Members of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council have held their first joint retreat in Durban, South Africa.
The meeting afforded the two organizations the opportunity to discuss ways of better collaborating in identifying early warning signs of conflicts in Africa and devising the best way of tackling them.
In 2003, the African Union established the APRM, a self-monitoring instrument to which member states accede voluntarily.
It serves as an African-owned and African-led platform for self-assessment, peer-learning, and experience-sharing in democracy and good governance.
Focus is also placed on respect for democratic principles, human rights, rule of law and the acceleration of political, social and economic integration in Africa.
Africa has for many years been plagued by conflicts, wars, bad governance and instability and the APRM has the mandate to contribute to early warning for conflict prevention in harmony and synergy with the African Union’s Peace and Security Council.
At the Durban meeting, delegates agreed that wars, conflicts and bad governance are becoming a disruption to the total development of the African continent, requiring urgent solutions.
Day 2 of the #APRMPSC Joint Retreat kicks off with the presentation of the State of Transitions in Africa: a recent learned and way forward for supporting inclusive transitions (UNDP) by Dr. Nadia Bellal. pic.twitter.com/OFwQOmEv2k
— African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) (@APRMorg) December 20, 2021
Constitutional crises, election related conflicts, struggle over political hegemony, struggle over scare resources, exploitation of identity among others were identified as the major drivers of conflict in Africa, according to the African Centre For The Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD).
The Covid-19 pandemic has also been identified as another major conflict multiplier triggering health, economic, security and Humanitarian crises in Africa.
The lack of adequate resources for Africans especially the creation of jobs for young people has also been highlighted as a major threat to conflicts.
Experts at the meeting have said that Africa is racing against time to prevent many of the conflicts on the continent because of exponential population growth, rapid urbanization, global economic slowdown, commodity crisis, climate change and disruptive technology.
They warned that if urgent action isn’t taken to tackle these challenges, there would be more violence and death, humanitarian crises, overflow of refugees and internal displaced people, economic stagnation, breakdown in authority and security and destruction of basic infrastructure and government capacity.
At the Durban joint meeting, experiences were shared on recent peer review of Ivory Coast and Egypt.
2. Sharing of experiences and best practices from the review processes by Member States that have been peer reviewed so as to enhance efforts towards preventive diplomacy and good governance aimed at achieving the Agenda 2063, ‘the Africa We Want’. pic.twitter.com/gOgdwT6s4q
— African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) (@APRMorg) December 19, 2021
The delegates at the meeting hope to review reports undertaken over the past two years to enhance early warning strategies and efforts to address root cause of conflicts.