AU-NEPAD Host Workshop to Draft Roadmap for Implementation of The African Solidarity Initiative (ASI)
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 24, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The African Union Commission (AUC) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency are hosting a three-day high-level meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, to draft a Roadmap for the implementation of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) which aims at mobilizing support for post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa.
The meeting, which runs from 24 to 26 October 2012, is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and chaired by the Former Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, Mr. Anicet Georges Dologuele.
On behalf of the South Africa Government, Ms. N.M. Dwabayo, the Director of the National Office for the Coordination of Peace Missions in the Department for International Relations and Cooperation, welcomed participants at today’s opening session. She commended the African Union Commission for its tireless efforts towards the implementation of AU decisions, including the organization’s policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) adopted by African Heads of State in Banjul, Gambia, in June 2006.
“Launching the ASI was part of the AU’s endeavour to promote African solidarity and mutual assistance and propel the Continent to a higher level of development and self-confidence, driven by the motto: Africa helping Africa. It is time to turn this motto from a slogan to reality. This Initiative needs to be implemented as soon as yesterday,” Ms. Dwabayo emphasized.
Speaking on behalf of Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NEPAD Agency,Mr. Ibrahim Gourouza, the Special Assistant to the NEPAD CEO, emphasized the need for participants to be precise and concrete in their proposals.
Mr. Gourouza reiterated the need for a paradigm shift in Africa’s development philosophy, adding that Africa has everything it needs to pull itself out of poverty: “The ASI is not about charity. It is an initiative grounded in the African social value of solidarity: neighbours helping neighbours.” As a technical arm of the African Union, he added, the NEPAD Agency will work closely with all relevant AUC departments to achieve this goal.
The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Amb. Ramtane Lamamra, in his remarks presented on his behalf by the Head of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Unit in the Department of Peace and Security, Mr. Takwa Suifon, stated that though the ASI is an African Union initiative, its development and implementation requires the collaboration of relevant AU Partners, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AU Liaison Offices, NEPAD, the African Development Bank (AfDB), UNDP and the entire United Nations family, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, as well as other regional and sub-regional organizations. He urged participants to come up with a clear, practical, and realistic roadmap.
The Principal Facilitator for the ASI process, Mr. Samuel Nyambi, expressed the gratitude of the Organizing Team to the more than 50 participants for responding favourably to their invitations.
Participants at the workshop include senior government officials from various African countries, representatives of African and non-African cooperation and development agencies, representatives of various AUC departments, AU Liaison Offices, RECs, bilateral and multilateral Partners, and experts from several African countries emerging from conflict including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, DRC, Sudan and South Sudan.
The African Solidarity Initiative was launched at the 19th African Union Summit, held in Addis Ababa in July 2012, pursuant to a decision by African Heads of State and Government at the 18th AU Summit in January 2012. The initiative aims to mobilize enhanced support within the Continent for post-conflict reconstruction and development in countries emerging from conflict in Africa, with a view to consolidate peace where it has been achieved.
The ASI is premised on the fact that despite the progress made towards the achievement of the common objective of a conflict-free Africa, there is a growing need for renewed efforts towards post-conflict reconstruction and peace building, in order to sustain the hope and gains that accrue from the end of violence, in addition to addressing ongoing conflicts and crises.
The Initiative is part of the AUC programme in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) within the Department of Peace and Security.
The workshop, which is expected to propose a Roadmap that formulates key activities for implementation over the next three years and lay the groundwork for a major African Solidarity Conference (ASC), ends on Friday.
African Union Commission (AUC)