Warning: getimagesize(https://cdn.ghanaweb.com/imagelib/src/): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden in /data/www/africaweb/utils2/article.engine.build.php on line 93
Germany identifies Africa's peace and security topmost priority
You are here: HomeNews2009 08 31Article 167834

General News of Monday, 31 August 2009

Source: GNA

Germany identifies Africa's peace and security topmost priority

Accra, Aug. 31, GNA - The Federal Republic of Germany on Monday stated that peace and security should be viewed as the topmost priority for accelerated development in Africa.

Mr Hans Christian Winkler, Deputy German Ambassador to Ghana, said: "Germany's policy towards Africa is value-based; its principles are respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law and peaceful resolution of conflicts.

"Yet Germany also has clearly defined interests. As a major exporting nation we need a reliable and well-functioning world trade system, which cannot exist without peace, security and stability." Mr Winkler stated this during the opening session of a three-week training on "Paradigms in Peacebuilding, Trends of Conflict and Mechanisms for Conflict Transformation" organized by the West Africa Peacebuilding Institute (WAPI). About 40 participants from West Africa, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Italy and Lebanon are attending the session being sponsored by the German Embassy and GTZ Accra.

Mr Winkler said although the continent had become safer as many parts of the continent were now enjoying the benefits of stability, conflicts and strife existed in places such as the Sudan, Chad, the Congo and the Horn of Africa. Mr Cletus Avoka, Minister of the Interior, said peace and security were cardinal ingredients for the development of any nation, therefore West Africa civil society activists and governments must collectively work together to identify early warning signals and deal with them. Mr Avoka also expressed concern about the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the sub-region and called on civil society activists to collaborate with governments to combat the trend. The Executive Director of West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Mr Emmanuel Bombande, said the training would empower participants in conflict prevention, early warning and early responses and transformation processes.

He said WAPI used unique methodology that combined local knowledge of peace building with case studies from the sub-region, drawing on specific experiences and expertise. WAPI is essentially a forum for peace building practitioners from all over West Africa and beyond, to network, coordinate and share experiences, best practices.

Mr Bombande said the West African sub-region had been confronted over the last three decades with violent and destructive conflicts with grave lingering consequences.

He said the loss of life and destruction of infrastructure as a result of violent conflicts did not only create instability but threatened the sustenance effort of promoting human security. Dr. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, an international security expert, said conflict over the past decades had retarded the development agenda of the founding fathers of Africa.

"The basis for the formation of the Organization of African Unity, now the African Union, has been eroded through mismanagement, governance and greed," he said.

Dr Aning called for a paradigm shift to deal with conflicts that undermined human security.

He also urged African countries to focus on the new challenges of conflicts, which included proliferation of arms, drugs, human trafficking and managing of the continent's huge resources. WAPI was established to provide specialized, intensive, and culturally sensitive training in conflict transformation and peacebuilding for individuals, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Policymakers and other relevant actors from West Africa and beyond.

Join our Newsletter