Africa: Capacitate Institutions to Silence the Guns, Urges AU

In an effort to silence the guns on the continent, African Union Chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa has underscored the need to capacitate institutions that are engaged in efforts of peace and security.

"In particular, we need to improve the implementation and coordination of the African Peace and Security Architecture and the African Governance Architecture for quick and adequate responses to conflict and instability.

"To build lasting peace, we need to create inclusive multi-sectoral programmes that address the economic, social and environmental causes of conflict, along with their racial, ethnic, gender and spatial dimensions," he said.

The President highlighted the need to capacitate institutions during the 14th Session of the Extraordinary Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union on Silencing the Guns on Sunday.

At the session, the continental body reiterated its commitment to extend the African Union (AU) Master Roadmap on practical steps to silence the guns for the next ten years, while it continues to declare September of each year as Africa Amnesty Month.

Inspired by the vision of Agenda 2063, President Ramaphosa said the continent needs to redouble its efforts to overcome the root causes of conflict on the continent.

"Countries of the continent need to work together, as a collective, if we are to make any meaningful progress towards the creation of the Africa we want," he said.

President Ramaphosa further called for the advancement of regional and global efforts to transform the conditions that women and girls experience in conflict as central to the agenda of silencing the guns.

"Protecting women's right to safety in conflict and non-conflict situations is fundamental to wider sustainable human development in areas afflicted by conflict," he said.

The President also spoke about the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area in January 2021.

This, he said, provides an opportunity and a compelling reason to silence the guns.

"Greater intra-African trade and industrialisation will contribute to peace, just as peace will contribute to greater economic development.

In conclusion, I wish to call upon all of you to support, through implementation in your respective countries, the decisions and the declaration that have just been adopted by this summit to ensure that we fulfil our objective of silencing the guns in Africa.

"We have heard what we need to do to eliminate conflicts on the continent. We have seen what we need to do. Now it is the time to translate our words into action," he said.

The President expressed confidence that the continent will overcome conflict.

"Working in unity and with collective determination, I have no doubt that we will end all conflict on our continent and the African cause shall triumph," said the President.

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