Peace and Security Summit
The summit on Peace and Security in Africa held on September 17, 2018 at the African Union Mission in Washington, DC brought together security experts, diplomats, NGOs, and development professionals to address the nexus of insecurity in the continent and economic underdevelopment. The summit was timely, for it addressed the root causes of insurgencies in the continent and how they have retarded development efforts in recent years.
In the background of the discussions and debates on insecurity in the Sahel, West and East Africa are the relentless attacks on civilians and regional infrastructures by groups such as Boko Haram, al-Quaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Jihadist group of Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, commonly known as the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), and Al-Shaabab at the horn of Africa. The instability and destruction caused by these jihadists and their splinter groups have repelled investment capital from African economies at a rate that has made sustainable growth almost impossible for affected countries such as Mali, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, and Mauritania. In spite of concerted effort by internal and external forces to suppress and contain these groups, the damage they inflict on the continent’s ability to restore peace and stability remains remarkable and abetting.
The panelists and participants in the summit grappled with these issues and what avenues should be explored to restore peace and stability in the continent. On the panel were Ambassador H.E Nimaga of Mali, Professor John O. Ifediora, Director of the Council on African Security and Development, Professor Raymond Gilpin, Dean of Academic Affairs at the African Centre for Strategic Studies, and General William Ward, former commander of US Africa Command.
Melvin Foote, President of Constituency For Africa (CFA) was the principal organizer of the summit; Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins played a crucial role in formulating the summit’s agenda.