The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI), in collaboration with the AU Commission, the Institute of Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), convened a roundtable discussion on the theme: Regional Economic Communities (RECs), African Union (AU) and Peacebuilding in Africa. The Roundtable, which aimed to assess the role of the RECs and AU in peacebuilding in Africa, brought together academics and experts to discuss theories; concepts; mechanisms; strategies; and modalities of RECs, AU, in order to strengthen the peacebuilding efforts. The hybrid event took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 16 to 17 November 2022, and ACCORD attended virtually.
Speakers included Professor Redie Bereketeab; Professor Kwesi Aning; Dr Paul Batibonak; Professor Ulf Engel; Ambassador Fred Ngoga-Gateretse; Ambassador Aderemi Ajibewa; Dr Daniel Oduyingbo, and Dr Ndubuisi Christian Ani. The dialogue focused on RECs and included the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU); Economic Communities of Central African States (ECCAS); Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS); Inter Government Authority on Development (IGAD); and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The central discussion point looked at the way in which the RECs were able to meet the increasing responsibility of peacebuilding allotted to them by the AU and UN. The deliberations explored successes and challenges of the AU and each REC in peacebuilding and how they could be revitalised and strengthened. Experts provided key insights into the theoretical and methodological instruments required for effective peacebuilding. The AU and RECs have a joint responsibility towards peacebuilding that responds to complex conflicts, according to the different contexts in each region.The theme of the discussion aligns specifically with ACCORD’s strategic objective one, enhancing the institutional responses of the AU and RECs to complex conflicts; and strategic objective five, contributing to evidence-based analysis, policy support and knowledge to complex conflicts. ACCORD will continue to contribute towards peacebuilding efforts in Africa while supporting the AU and RECs.