ACCORD was invited by the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (DPAPS) to participate in the meeting of the strategy group of the African Union Network of Think Tanks for Peace (NeTT4Peace) which took place from 6-8 February 2023. The NeTT4Peace looks to promote strategic long-term collaboration between think tanks working on peace, security and development in Africa and DPAPS to ensure that the department benefits from the research, advisory and advocacy work from a network of think tanks while providing a viable platform for research to feed into policy development. The Commissioner, Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, has further emphasized the rationale behind the initiative by explaining that, without the “benefits of robust data and analysis to underpin our AU action, we will be walking and acting blindly”.
The two-day meeting of the strategy group in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was convened to develop the mission, objectives, terms of reference and strategy of work that would be used to guide the NETT4PEACE. This culminated in a draft charter that was presented to delegates at the official launch ceremony held on 8 February 2023 at the Headquarters of the African Union. After welcome remarks were made by Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, the presentation of structure and operations of Nett4PEACE was made by the Co-Chair of the Strategy Group, Ambassador Ahmed Abdel-Latif who underscored the importance of the initiative with a quote from famous scholar Abu Bakr that, “Without Knowledge, action is useless and knowledge without action is futile”. The initiative was officially launched by the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa. The keynote address was then delivered by Prof. Tim Murithi followed by goodwill messages from various international partners. Ms Patience Chiradza, the Director of the Governance and Conflict Prevention Directorate rounded off the launch with closing remarks.
It was unanimously agreed that the NETT4PEACE presents an innovative and promising platform to promote African solutions and in particular, evidence-based action.