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Cape Town, 29 March 2018 – In the spirit of a peaceful and secure Africa and in furtherance of the goal of securing an end to conflicts in Africa, and supporting the AU’s ‘Silencing of the Guns” objective, a two-day Technical Retreat on the theme ‘Silencing the Guns: Pre-requisites for realizing a conflict-free Africa by the year 2020’ was held in Cape Town, South Africa on the 23rd and 24th of March 2018. The meeting included representatives from the AU Commission’s Political Affairs and Peace and Security departments as well as the Bureau of the Chairperson, Ambassadors who are members of the Peace and Security Council, COMESA, APRM member states, the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, and the CEO of the APR Secretariat.
The main objective of the Retreat was to discuss better means of harmonisation of the objectives of the early warning and conflict prevention capabilities of the APRM with that of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and other AU agencies, organs and departments working in conflict prevention to effectively and efficiently collaborate in conflict prevention. Thus, the theme of the meeting was “harmonisation” among the multiple organs, initiatives and programmes that operate in the field of conflict prevention.
During the Technical Retreat, it was discussed that the APRM as well as the African Governance Architecture can assist in monitoring the three years roadmap of APSA on Silencing the Guns 2020, and this M&E role is essential for conflict prevention in Africa.
At the end of the 2-day Technical Retreat, the following recommendations were made:
1. Sensitization of the APRM and AU organs on how best to work collaboratively towards attaining the goals of Silencing the Guns and conflict prevention in Africa;
2. Technical Evaluation of competencies amongst the AU institutions and APRM Member States;
3. Harmonisation of all the work done by the APRM/AGA/APSA as part of the realisation of the AU flagship project on Silencing the Guns by 2020 and the systematic inclusion of the Regional Economic Communities in linking the continental bodies with Member States;
4. The development of a holistic set of tools in Knowledge Management and Monitoring & Evaluation that would allow for sharing information as part of a Governance Data Hub and addressing capacity constraints;
5. Joint reporting of the AU organs to the AU Assembly on Peace and Security issues; and
6. Coordination with the African Union Commission on matters of peace and security.
In conclusion, it was decided that the Technical Retreat would be convened annually to further the goal of harmonising and coordinating the work of each AU body in furthering the goals of conflict prevention on the Continent and delivering AU Agenda 2063’s Aspiration 4 for a “peaceful and secure Africa.”