Over 40 participants representing customs administrations, think-tank, international organizations, and the private sector attended the conference on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) which took place at Africa Union headquarters on 24 May 2019 under the theme ‘’ How to prevent Illicit Financial Flows and recover stolen Assets to better serve the African continent. The conference is co-organized by the Freidrich Ebert Stiftung- AU Cooperation Office in Addis Ababa and the Africa Union Department of Economic Affairs, AU/DEA. The opening statement is delivered by his Excellencies Victor Harrison, Commissioner of the Africa Union Department of Economic Affairs, AU/DEA, and he outlined the need for comprehensive effort to curb IFFs in Africa.
The workshop convened practitioners and policy experts together to analyse the stock of the current state of play regarding Illicit Financial Flows agenda in Africa as well as progress made through global, regional, and country level initiatives. The workshops also act as a platform to articulate problems and propose solutions and explore opportunities for collaboration and common action. This one-day workshop covers four different session: AUC strategic development on IFFs, Resource Mobilization, Stolen Asset Recovery in Africa, The Role of International Cooperation in the fight against IFFs. Participants have reviewed the continental legislation on IFFs and stolen asset recovery procedures and discussed about legislative gaps that might jeopardize regional cooperation. At the end of the workshop participants agreed on the need for technical assistance support from developed countries in building the capacity of financial regulatory bodies and respective institutions in Africa and emphasized the need to harmonize policies at regional and continental level to curb and disrupt the practice of IFF’s in the continent.
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung -AU Cooperation office in collaboration with the African Union, UNICEF and Save the Children have co-organized the 2019 Model Africa Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Nov 11-15, 2019 under the theme ‘’ Children Today, Youth Tomorrow: A Smooth Transition’’. This five-day featured workshop and plenaries led by inspiring trainers, journalists, AU officials and UN experts, who shared their experience and ideas on how to become an active African citizen and the road they must take to contribute for the socio-economic development of the continent. Close to hundred participants, which includes students, journalist, and activists from 50 African countries took part on the program. Model Africa Union, also known as Model AU or M-AU, is an extra-curricular activity in which participants typically roleplay delegates to the Africa Union and simulate different AU committees. This role-playing element helped young the participants to understand the AU’s priorities, structures and functions, and build their strategic skills for effective decision-making, Strategy development and implementation.
During the conference representatives from Africa Union, United Nations, and Save the Children briefed participants how they can be part of African renaissance and a driver of change. Ms. Hanna Tetteh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, shared her life-long experience regarding what it takes to be an active participant and citizenry. Also, Ms.Aya Chebb, first special Envoy on Youth, also shared her experiences as a continental advocate for the Africa Union. At the end, participants left with a tool kit, and a network of support – knowing that they a responsibility to continuously engage in the continental matter.
From November 28-29, 2019 the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung AU Cooperation Office and African Union Peace and Security Department have organized a workshop to validate a Joint Study into Existing Collaboration between the AU/RECs and CSOs in the Area of Conflict Prevention, Early warning and Early Response, a study commissioned in 2018. The aim of the study was to explore ways of how best to systematize and institutionalize the collaboration between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in cooperation with civil society organizations (CSOs) in the area of peace and security, particularly focusing on conflict prevention, early warning and early response in Eastern Africa. Particularly, the study intends to review existing structures and collaboration with CSOs both at the AU and RECs levels, mapping of CSOs working in the area of peace and security in the region, identifying gaps, bench mark best experiences of West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEPs) interaction with ECOWAS and proposing practical and systematic ways to institutionalize a coordinated and harmonized engagement with CSOs.
Accordingly, the workshop organized was focused on validating the findings of the study as well in reaching an agreement of next steps. Various CSOs from Eastern Africa countries were represented in the workshop, as well representatives from each of the early warning mechanisms of East Africa (EAC, IGAD, COMESA) and WANEP have participated. The workshop ended with a remarkable result by validating the study and establishing a steering committee responsible for developing further roadmap and implementing of modalities of engagement of Eastern African CSOs with AU and RECs. As a result, the workshop created an enabling environment for CSOs to organize themselves towards a creation of CSOs network in the Eastern Africa dedicated on conflict prevention, early warning and response.
The project on APSA future scenario building process is aimed at having a structured form of debate over what future developments in the APSA may involve and how current factors influencing these developments should be addressed in order to contribute to the development of robust policy options. To have a better understanding of current trends impacting on the APSA -- such as ad-hoc setup and financial and institutional reform processes – and to build scenarios in reference to aspects of the respective trends and policy implications of the respective scenarios, the FES AU Cooperation Office in coordination with headquarters FES Africa Department and FES Rwanda have organized the first scenario building process on the future of “the APSA we want” workshop in Kigali, Rwanda from October 25-27, 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. Policy makers, practitioners, academicians, AUMS Ministry experts, civil society, AU and FES representatives participated and engaged in a discussion of identifying key uncertainties that are highly important for the future (2040) of APSA and resulted with four scenarios. The scenarios are formed in axis grid with two main uncertainties i.e member states political will to implement APSA and APSA adapted to challenges on the Continent.
A second workshop was then organized in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from December 6-8, 2019 as a follow-up of the first scenario building workshop. Attendants remain almost the same from the Kigali workshop to keep the momentum going. The workshop enabled to fine-tune the four scenarios, namely Igloo in the Desert, Lighthouse in the Storm, Sanctuary in the Sky and Abandoned Village and discuss implications for current policy and next steps. These policy implications are combined with the scenario descriptions in a paper and a final draft is produced, accompanied by graphic designed video simulation. The APSA Scenarios in 2040 will be launched, presented and disseminated widely to relevant audiences (AU, EU, UN, AURECS, e.t.c).
From March 05 to 06, 2020, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) AU Cooperation Office in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), the Human Security Unit (HSU) of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) , convened an Experts Consultative Meeting (ECM) on the design and development of the African Human Security Index (AHSI). The meeting was held with a general goal of stimulating conversation among experts and practitioners in developing the African Human Security Index. The consultative meeting specific objectives were probing human security concepts, practices, and methodologies; exploring the humanitarian, development, and peace triple-nexus; and developing the set of recommendations that will form the way forward on the efforts of developing a methodology.
The meeting brought together various participants with expertise in different areas of human security. During the experts consultative meeting, the concept of human security was discussed and its pragmatic application in the African context was interrogated with particular focus given to the design of the framework, methodology for the AHSI and piloting countries. The meeting resulted with identification of several issues as key priorities for consideration in future actions and a set of recommendations were agreed. After the meeting, a form of coalition/network was established – as a virtual space housed within UNECA for online deliberations and rich sources – which will be pertinent to the development of the AHIS, promotion and advocation of human security agenda in Africa. In general, the consultative meeting served as a knowledge sharing and networking platform and helped to receive feedback from experts on the suitability of the proposed conceptual design and methodology of the index and to examine the challenges the AHSI faces relating to data availability across member states.
IntroductionThe Africa Union Commission (AUC) in partnership with the Africa Development Bank (AFDB) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) are organising an Independent Experts’ Meeting on Mobilisation of Domestic Resources: Fighting against Corruption and Illicit Financial Flows. This meeting is meant to provide a forum for independent1 experts from Africa and beyond to articulate challenges and propose solutions concerning three thematic areas: domestic resource mobilization, the fight against corruption and the fight against illicit financial flows (IFFs).Background:In 2015, the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government adopted Agenda 2063, which outlined the continent’s aims for its socio-economic transformation over the succeeding 50 years. This document expresses many of the same aims as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to which African countries also agreed in 2015. As outlined in these two frameworks, one of the main methods that Africa has decided to use to finance its development is through increased mobilization and use of domestic resources. It is widely accepted that the realisation of the goals spelt out in the two development Agendas, will depend on the ability of the continent to mobilise the substantial financial resources required for their implementation; indeed, analysis by AUC, ECA and others has underlined that domestic resources have a number of advantages compared to foreign financing (such as greater predictability and reliability in terms of the level of flows, and avoiding aid dependence); moreover, only greater mobilization of domestic resources can meet the continent’s current funding.
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