Support to the African Union for the Operationalisation of The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)

Project description

Title: Support to the African Union in the prevention and management of violent conflicts and peace consolidation within the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Member States of the African Union
Lead executing agency: Peace and Security Department (PSD) of the African Union Commission (AUC)
Overall term: 2009 to 2021

Context

For decades, crises and violent conflicts have erupted in some countries and regions on the African continent. In 2017 there were 52 violent conflicts spread across more than 30 African countries. Areas of conflict are often the struggle for political power, access to natural resources, and disputes surrounding elections and political extremism.

The African Union (AU) was given a comprehensive mandate to maintain peace and security in 2002. With a comprehensive African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the AU and the African regional organisations are seeking African solutions for peace and security. Their mission is to better prevent and manage violent conflicts and crises.

The AU has already successfully prevented violent conflicts in a number of cases. However, financial and personnel bottlenecks, as well as political opposition, often impair the quality and prevent the effectiveness of interventions. In addition, the current focus on conflict management in the form of peace missions generates high costs that the organisation so far has been unable to adequately cover using its own financial resources. Another challenge is to involve women and young people more comprehensively in the peacebuilding process.

The project therefore focuses on structural crisis prevention, preventive diplomacy, mediation and the promotion of youth initiatives and gender aspects.

Objective

The Member States of the African Union are better able to mitigate emerging crises, diffuse violent conflicts that have already erupted and consolidate peace in post-conflict countries.

Approach

The project supports its partners in preventing crises and conflicts or contributing to the long-term resolution of existing conflicts. In this context, the project is based on AU’s ‘Roadmap on Silencing the Guns by 2020’, the ‘Guidelines on Preventing Crises, Managing Conflicts, Promoting Peace’ of the German Federal Government and the key aspects of BMZ’s blueprint ‘Africa and Europe –A new partnership for development, peace and a better future – Cornerstones of a Marshall Plan for Africa’. It also contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals under the 2030 Agenda (SDG 16).

Result

  • An early warning system of the African Union (Continental Early Warning System, CEWS) was jointly developed and also used to set up other regional systems. The information and analysis tools enable AU policy-makers to respond to emerging conflicts without delay and use appropriate conflict mitigation tools.
  • The project has supported the establishment of the Africa-wide ‘PanWise’ network and the establishment of the ‘FemWise’ network of female mediators. Both institutions strengthen the work of the existing Panel of the Wise (PoW).
  • A pool of experts for civilian personnel in peace operations was established in cooperation with regional organisations and the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF). 450 civilian specialists have already been recruited and trained.
  • The project provided support to the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the AU in developing a regional strategy aimed at stabilising, rebuilding and strengthening resilience in the Lake Chad Basin, which has been affected by violent extremism.
  • As part of the Interfaith Dialogue on Violent Extremism (iDove), the project encouraged the involvement of young people in the prevention of violent extremism. The establishment of an international network of multipliers, the support of micro-projects and training in the field of extremism prevention supports young people in their work.

Further information