Dakar — The 2nd High Level Media Workshop on the African Union Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) started today in Dakar, Senegal, on the theme "Promoting the culture of Peace through Media".
Representing the African Union (AU), Professor Abdoulaye Bathily, AU Special Envoy on the Mbororo issue, deplored the little resources African nations invest in peace and security efforts, and urged the media to act as spokespersons for the continent, especially for peace and human security.
Highlighting the theme of the workshop, Bathily emphasized that the culture of peace should be disseminated sustainably "into societies, our spirit and our daily routine".
"This should be transmitted to the future generations in order to prevent conflicts" he added.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Defence of Senegal, Col. Abdurahim Kebe encouraged the collaborative work between the AU and the media to actively promote a culture of peace in all African communities, as it would be sure to trickle down to mental practices.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, chair of newly launched Pan-African Institute of Strategies (IPS).
Speaking about the crisis in Mali and the African response to it, Gadio stressed the need for a more unified political approach to conflicts on the continent. He pointed out the shortcomings of the initial tackling of the Mali crisis as a regional issue, rather than as a continental one.
Over the next three days, participants in the workshop, more than 60 media practitioners, will discuss the functioning of the AU in terms of peace and security, its peace and security architecture, and its different components in terms of crises prevention and resolution, notably the African Standby Force (ASF).
The workshop will also aim at providing participating journalists who specialise on issues of peace and security on the continent, with reliable information on the matter, thus increasing their understanding of the complexity of peace and security issues, as well as ameliorating the factual media coverage of the AU efforts in the area of peace and security.
Launched in November 2011, the APSA media workshop aims to reinforce dialogue between the AU and the media by popularising the many mechanisms of the APSA, Conflict Prevention and Early Warning practice.
This second encounter will further give a platform for fruitful interaction between information and communication experts and practitioners of matters of peace and security.
This collaborative initiative between the Directorate of Information and Communication (DIC) and the AU Peace and Security Department (PSD) of the African Union brings together the leadership of various international media and key AU officials and their partners in the field of Peace and Security.