APSACO Talks: « Covid-19 and security in Africa »

In the context of the Covid-19 crisis that has prevailed in Africa since March, the Policy Center for the New South has decided to organize a special edition of one of its flagship annual events, the Annual Conference on Peace and Security in Africa, named for the occasion APSACO Talks.

This on-line version of the conference, spread over three days, has invited high-level experts to speak in short (60 minutes) « webinars » on « The Security Sector in Africa During and After the Covid-19 Health Crisis » (23 September, at 3 pm Morrocan time) and on « Privatization of Violence in Africa: Non-State Armed Groups and Private Security » (24 September, 3 pm).

Issues related to the new African Human Security Index, currently being developed by the African Union, and the Global Peace Index, a reference tool developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP, Belgium), will be addressed in two workshops on 25 September (see attached Agenda). The webinars will be available on the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages of the Policy Center for the New South.

Invited guests who include Yonas AdayeAdeto (Ethiopia), Director, Institute for Peace & Security Studies (IPSS), Rama Yade (France), Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, Saïd Abbass Ahmed (Comoros), Director, Thinking Africa, Badreddine 

El Harti (Morocco), Principal Security Sector Reform and Rule of Law Adviser, UNDP and Special Adviser to Burkina Faso President, Serge Stroobants (Belgium), Director, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa Region, Institute for Economics and Peace, and Abdelhak Bassou (Morocco), Senior Fellow, PCNS, will contribute to the debate on the security consequences of the pandemic.

Most African countries have indeed experienced a period of relative peace since March 2020, as highlighted in a joint report by the African Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published last July. However, inter-community violence in some countries could be exacerbated by the economic repercussions of the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on food security. In addition, attacks by armed groups, militias and terrorist organizations have not ceased. On the contrary, they have plunged Burkina Faso, Mali and Somalia into critical situations. 

Travel bans and border closures, by which African States were hoping to slow down the pandemic, have rather hampered the work of UN peacekeepers deployed on the continent, as well as humanitarian organizations. What impact did it have on security

All of these aspects will be discussed in the candid and open spirit that is characteristic of the Policy Center for the New South, with talks based on evidence, rather than perception, and on forward-looking analysis

For the record: Themes from previous APSACO editions

• 2017 – African Union: What are the Possible Options for StrategicAutonomy?

• 2018 – Peacekeeping Operations across Africa: Trends and Challenges.

• 2019 –Africa’s Place and Influence in a Changing World.

About the Policy Center for the New South

Launched in 2014 in Rabat with more than 40 experts of both south and north, the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) is a Moroccan think tank aiming to contribute to the improvement of economic and social public policies that challenge Morocco and the rest of Africa as integral parts of the global South. www.policycenter.ma


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