Sustainable Peace Driving the African Peace and Security Architecture through ECOWAS
This paper focuses on the best practices of and lessons learned from ECOWAS in its implementation of the APSA and draws on academic and policy literature, as well as ECOWAS reports and frameworks. The paper focuses particularly on ECOWAS’ attempts to address the root causes of conflicts rather than simply keeping the peace. The AU and the United Nations (UN) have recognized the importance of moving beyond traditional methods to a concept of ‘sustaining peace’ and have made this a priority. The comparative advantages of RECs in relation to the AU is also examined. The paper outlines how ECOWAS has formalized its peace and security frameworks and departments and looks at individual directorates that work across the conflict spectrum. The ECOWAS’ engagements is then indicated in the areas of early warning, election observation and governance, mediation and peacebuilding. It proceeds by examining ECOWAS’ efforts at institutional reform. Finally, it concludes by considering best practices from ECOWAS that can be shared with other RECs and proposing a way forward to strengthen ECOWAS–AU linkages.