Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry will inaugurate, on Monday, the second Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development that will be held via video conference.
The five-day Forum will see a high-level session in which President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and other African leaders will exchange their views on the topics included in the agenda.
The Forum brings together leaders of government, regional and international organisations, financial institutions, the private sector, and civil society, as well as visionaries, scholars, key experts and practitioners.
Against the backdrop of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the participants will discuss new risks and challenges, as well as opportunities that lie ahead for Africa.
In this edition, strategic partners include Sweden, Japan, and the African Development Bank Group (AFDB). Other partners include the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), and for the first time the UK. As for the private-sector partners, EFG Hermes and Twitter are also participating for the first time.
According to the agenda, issues to be discussed include advancing the position of women, security during the pandemic and beyond, and tackling forced displacements in national planning and peace processes. It will also look at the role of arts, culture, and heritage in promoting sustainable peace, and harnessing trade for peace and prosperity.
The closing session aims to chart ways in which Africa can recover and “rebuild itself better” following the pandemic. A series of workshops geared towards producing action-oriented recommendations will be presented to the forum.
Among the topics to be discussed will be “Terrorism in the shadow of the pandemic”, “Migration in national development planning in the Sahel and Sahara”, and “Climate change and its impacts on security and development”.
The Forum seeks to advance a broad and ambitious agenda for addressing the peace, security and development challenges facing Africa , according to Shoukry.
The minister pointed out that the success of the Aswan Forum in its first edition, and confirmed the need to continue to deliver Africa’s voice for peace and security.
He said that the pandemic has imposed a virtual convening of the forum, and has brought into focus the challenges facing Africa. It has also highlighted the strength of youth and the extent of its impact on the development of the continent.
The theme of this edition is “Shaping Africa’s New Normal: Recovering Stronger, Rebuilding Better”. It will discuss the post-COVID-19 recovery; terrorism; role of women in establishing peace and security; sustaining peace through reconstruction and development; arts and culture; trade; forced displacement; cooperation for development in the Red Sea; and Sahel crises, Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Hamdy Loza said.
The Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peace building (CCCPA) is the Executive Secretariat of the Aswan Forum.
Ahmed Abdel Latif, CCPA Director General, said, “Our care about African matters wasn’t just restricted to the duration we chaired the AU [in 2019]… Egypt still plays an effective role in peace in Africa, although it is no longer the chair of AU.”