Photo by Eduardo Soteras/AFP via Getty Images

Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 26 May 2022

The Conflict and Resilience Monitor offers monthly blog-size commentary and analysis on the latest conflict-related trends in Africa.

This week we celebrate Africa Day, which is our annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963. Although the OAU transformed into the African Union (AU) in 2002, the establishment of the OAU on this day is symbolic of both the idea of pan-African unity as well as the political vision and agency to achieve it.

In this edition of the Monitor we celebrate Africa Day with a number of reflections from African thought leaders covering both contemporary crises like the recent uptick in military coups as well as more enduring challenges like climate change. We start with a reflection on the special relationship between the United Nations and Africa, with a contribution from Cristina Duarte, the UN’s Special Advisor for Africa. 

We have two articles that address the challenges posed by the recent increase in military coups and other forms of contested transitions that challenge the AU’s norm on unconstitutional changes of government, the first by Dr. Solomon Dersso of Amani Africa and the second by Dr. Jide Okeke of UNDP Africa and Jessica Banfield. This is also one of the topics of the extraordinary summit of the AU that is taking place in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from 25 to 28 May.

These two articles are followed by a piece by Prof Eddy Maloka, the CEO of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), who writes about the significance of the inaugural joint APRM and Peace and Security Council meeting that took place in Durban in December 2021.

Our fifth article is by Kapinga Yvette Ngandu, the Commissioner, Gender, Human and Social Development, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), who writes about the important role that regional integration plays in promoting human and social development in the Central African region.

Our last article is by Saliem Fakir and Faten Aggad of the Africa Climate Foundation.  They argue that the Conference of the Parties (COP), which will be hosted by Egypt in November this year, provides us with an opportunity to make sure that the Paris Agreement is implemented in such a way that it becomes a catalyst for meeting Africa’s Agenda 2063 goals.  This is so that the process of decarbonisation becomes a vehicle for achieving Africa’s economic ambitions whilst at the same time enhancing our social-ecological resilience.

Chief Editor: Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Managing Editor: Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Assistant Editor: Conflict & Resilience Monitor
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Peace and Security

The United Nations Priority for Africa: Approaching Instability Through the Peace and Development Nexus

  • Cristina Duarte

In 2017, shortly after taking office, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General addressed the Security Council and presented his vision for promoting international peace and security by “meeting the prevention challenge”. In order to achieve this objective, the Secretary-General emphasised the need to reform the Organisation, leverage partnerships, surge prevention capacities and support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as a tool for long-term prevention of conflicts. All in all, the Secretary-General’s proposal to Member States entailed reviewing the role played by the UN in the peace and security value chain and increasing the organisation’s focus and resources on areas that, until then, had been neglected but that would provide more sustainable results in a more cost-effective way, both with regard to financial resources employed and to human suffering.

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Photo by Annie Risemberg/AFP
Photo by Annie Risemberg/AFP
Solomon Dersso
Political Unrest or Violence

Key questions about recent coups in Africa

  • Solomon Ayele Dersso

The recent spate of coups witnessed on the continent has triggered a number of questions including whether we are witnessing a return of coups, what explains the coups and what to make of their apparent popular support. This piece offers some insight into these questions.

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Photo by John Kalapo/Getty Images
Photo by John Kalapo/Getty Images
Political Unrest or Violence

Hot-Air or a Resurgence? Making Sense of Unconstitutional Changes in Government in Africa

  • Jide Martyns Okeke
  • Jessica Banfield

Over the past 24 months, global attention has been on the COVID-19 health pandemic, and, more recently on the unfolding war in the Ukraine. In parallel, Africa has experienced six military coups and two attempted coups. These events represent a sharp rise in such contested political transitions over the previous 10-year period and indicates the possibility of further instability on the continent.

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Photo by ACCORD
Photo by ACCORD
Governance, Leadership

eThekwini Conclusions and the significance for the Inaugural Joint APRM – PSC Retreat

  • Eddy Maloka

From 19th to 21st December 2021, members of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC), the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, Africa Governance Platform members, the Panel of the Wise secretariat, Femwise, Youth Peace Envoy, experts and partners such as ACCORD, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and GIZ gathered in Durban, South Africa, for a specific occasion: the Inaugural Joint Retreat between the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the PSC, organised pursuant to the decision of the PSC taken at its 914th Meeting held on 5 March 2020 (PSC/PR/COMM.(CMXIV)). The retreat was organised in Durban, a landmark for peace and security on the Continent since it is the birthplace of the PSC Protocol, adopted 20 years ago.

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Photo by Paul Kagame/Flickr
Photo by Paul Kagame/Flickr
Governance

Promoting Regional Integration and Development in ECCAS by investing in Human and Social Development

  • Kapinga Yvette Ngandu

Central Africa has been confronted for decades with insurmountable challenges that negatively impact social and economic development and, more worryingly, the development of human capital. The lack of sustainable growth and the shortcomings of economic development in Central Africa contribute heavily to this delay. Formal regional integration exercises aim to play a leading role in reversing the process of marginalisation of the economies of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) zone, human underdevelopment and depletion of natural resources.

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Photo by UN Women/Ryan Brown
Photo by UN Women/Ryan Brown
Environment

The Road to COP27 – the African COP has to be something different

  • Saliem Fakir
  • Faten Aggad

COPs are not an end in themselves but a meeting point to assess and define the road ahead. Indeed, the COP 27, which is to be hosted in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh in November 2022, is positioned as an opportune moment for a different type of African COP given that Africa is just coming out of a pandemic and has suffered setbacks to economic and development gains made so far. It is important to see this as a development COP and not just an environmental get-together.

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