The Munich Security Conference which brings together Political, Security, Academic, Business and Civic Society leaders to discuss key issues of international security policy with a special emphasis in Africa is kicked off today (April 14) in Addis.
At the opening remarks, Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, noted “after meetings in Beijing, Doha, Moscow, New Delhi, Vienna, Washington and Tehran, we are thrilled to finally arrive on African Soil.” He added “much of the world tends to look at Africa as a continent of crises. But, it is so much more than that: it is a continent of growth, rapid change, and opportunity.”
H.E Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Republic of Nigeria and Chairperson of the Tana Forum Board said, The Munich Security Conference has been a cherished partner of the Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa since the latter was launched in 2012. Therefore, added Obasanjo, it is with a great pleasure that I welcome the Core Group Meeting taking place on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the Tana Forum.
Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom, after welcoming the participants, expressed his delight that the MSC held its first Core Group Meeting here in Africa at Addis. The Foreign Minister shared his thoughts on “issues of emerging Global challenges and their implications to Africa.” The Minister added, the ever increasing advancement in information and other techs, progress in the transportation sector as well as easy flow of knowledge made the interlinkage between countries real.
Dr. Tedros also said climate change, population growth, pandemics, global terrorism, the fragility of state institutions and the growing strength of non-state actors complicated the already complex situation. He added, “Our futures are extremely intertwined and therefore we share common destinies.” Hence, Dialogues, exchange of venues and understanding are pertinent. The Foreign Minister noted that he is confident that the MSC Core Group Meeting will make important contributions to the betterment of life of the global community.
Ambassador Ismail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, also revealed the importance of working closely with the rest of the world in a concerted manner, to build its capacity to respond to international threats to peace and security. Ismail Chergui emphasized that Africa peacekeeping needs reliable financing to ensure effectiveness. Roundtable discussions under the theme “Answering Wake-up call: African Responses to High Level Panels on Global Health Security” and “Cyber Security: More connected, less secure? Protecting Africa’s digital transformation” was held at the security conference.
At the main discussion sessions “safeguarding peace: conflict dynamics in the Eastern Africa” and “The rise of violent extremism: Implications and counter strategies” were themes tabled for discussions and debates. On the heated debate on challenges of effectiveness of financial support to Somalia National Army Dr. Tedros asserted “The corruption issue should not be singled out. We should do everything to enable the Federal Government of Somalia to take ownership He noted; narrow national interest and greed will kill this world.
The two days conference is organized by the governments of Ethiopia, Germany and the African Union Commission.