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Ethiopia: Tana forum deliberates Africa’s security issues

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

April 17, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – The 5th Tana Forum on security in Africa ended Sunday with deliberations on a range of issues related to peace and security on the continent.

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Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo (Photo: Getty Images)

Conflict prevention, building peace infrastructures, sustaining peace and peace support operations, were some of the items discussed during the two-day event.

The annual forum, which was held in Bahir Dar, the capital city of Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state brought together over 250 participants, including African heads of state and governments, academics, policymakers, representatives of non-governmental organisations and officials of regional, continental and international organisations.

Speaking at the closing of the forum, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced the formation of Tana Foundation after the previous ended its five year term.

The new foundation was formed after structures of the former Tana foundation were revised.

Desalegn said, “The formation of the Foundation is of paramount importance to attain the objectives and principles of Tana Forum and Pan-Africanism, respectively”.

He said Tana Forum has been working by giving due attention to African affairs over the last five years.

The premier said the Tana forum foundation was instrumental in promoting peace and security through education at regional and continental level.

"Ethiopia will strengthen its support to Tana Foundation", stressed the Ethiopian premier.

The chairman of the foundation, also former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo side Tana Forum’s Board had finished its five year- term and a new board will be designated soon after the forum’s report is submitted.

He stressed the need for Africa to work in united form and the need for the foundation to involve the private sector.

"Africa must struggle to get its rightful place in the world," Obasanjo told reporters Sunday.

“What we said we wanted to achieve through Tana Forum, we have achieved it," he added.

During Saturday’s opening of the forum, the Ethiopian premier said African solutions to its problems require collecting, analysing knowledge and upgrading local institutions.

At the side lines of the forum, panel discussions and symposiums were also held on good governance, corruption, employment and the continent’s peace-keeping operations.

The Tana forum intends to boost Africa’s struggle to reposition itself in the global security agenda, operationally and normatively, by giving vent to the idea of African solutions to African problems in its peace and security issues.

This year’s theme was “Africa in the Global Security Agenda.”

The whole aim of the initiative is for Africa to eventually control its own security destiny by crafting home-grown solutions and avoid externally designed solutions.