Post-Tana Forum on the integration agenda in the Horn of Africa and the implications on women, peace and security

7 August, 2019

Based on key takeaway messages from the Tana Forum, the post-forum explored the implications of the current integration efforts in the Horn of Africa on women, peace and security.

In collaboration with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), IPSS hosted a two-day Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue on the theme “Integration Agenda in the Horn of Africa: Implications on Women, Peace and Security” from 5-6 August 2019 in Djibouti. The post-forum served as an important opportunity for stocktaking, reflection, the formulation of ideas as well as networking between relevant stakeholders.

 The 8th edition of the Tana Forum took place on 4-5 May 2019 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia under the theme: “Political Dynamics in the Horn of Africa: Nurturing the Emerging Peace Trends”. National and regional stability in the Horn of Africa (HoA) is of paramount importance to the region’s peace and security agenda, serving as vital components of sustainable development objectives across the region. Ethno-centric modes of governance, artificial and porous borders, weak institutions and the scramble for resources, among others, have served as significant causes of conflict and division on the continent and have subsequently become barriers to nation-building in the HoA. These factors have affected the trajectories of African politics in many ways and have devalued Africa’s integration and the collective identity of the continent.

In this regard, political dynamics in the Horn of Africa have recently experienced several positive changes. One notable achievement is the cessation of hostilities between the neighbouring states of Eritrea and Ethiopia, and the subsequent signing of the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship on 9 July 2018 in Asmara, Eritrea. This was followed by the Agreement on Peace, Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the State of Eritrea on 16 September 2018 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This positive development encouraged the United Nations to unanimously lift its longstanding sanctions on Eritrea. Furthermore, the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (RARCSS) signed at the 33rd Extraordinary Summit of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on 12 September 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Key takeaway messages from the Tana Forum indicated that integration needs to be viewed beyond leadership rapprochement and good relations, and speak to the integration of systems and values. Regional integration needs to happen faster, deeper, and more effectively. It was also stated that investments in economic infrastructural linkages, which have regional impact and benefits as well as the ability to secure innovative financing, is imperative. The integration agenda needs to progress despite its numerous challenges, including fragmentation at the national level in some countries of the region.

Based on the key takeaway messages of the Tana Forum, the post-forum explored the implications of the current integration efforts in the Horn of Africa on women, peace and security. The main themes of the post-forum:

  • Interlinkages between integration, women, peace and security;
  • Regional peculiarities in the Horn of Africa;
  • Inclusion of women;
  • Accountability, role and mechanisms of the AU, RECs and Member States;
  • Cultural and structural factors;
  • Role of academia, think tanks, research institutions and civil society

See event photos here

Download the post-forum outcomes report   

Tana Forum

Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa (Tana Forum), which aims at bridging the gap between policy making and policy implementation, brings together Heads of State and Government, experts, prominent personalities, leaders of international and regional institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector, eminent scholars, academics and socially engaged youth to discuss timely issues in a spirit of commonality and moral duty towards finding solutions to peace and security challenging facing the continent. The informal nature of the Forum lends a different approach to discussing security issues on the continent. The Forum is not intended to deliver official declarations; instead, it is stimulated by the desire to engage in fresh, candid and in-depth discussions on pressing peace and security issues to produce innovative ideas, in addition to opening new windows of opportunities for solutions. Read more