By Edward Nyarko
“Africa today carries the largest share of the international peace and security burden, which in fact should be a global responsibility,” says Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey. She added, “unless a secure predictable sustainable financing for the peace continuum, including strengthening the capacity of regional institutions for peace and security and continental integration and economic transformation, is achieved, Africa shall continue to fall short in building inclusive and stable societies and preventing recruitment and radicalization.”
The Minister was addressing the ministerial session of the African Union Peace and Security Council in the margins of the UN General Assembly on strengthening regional organizations in efforts to combat and manage terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization on the continent in New York.
COUNTER TERRORISM INITIATIVES AND ITS CHALLENGES
Ghana’s top diplomat, who is the chair for the AU Peace and Security Council for the month of September 2022 indicated that Africa has rolled out a number of initiatives such as the 2020-2024 ECOWAS Action Plan for the Eradication of Terrorism in West Africa, the Accra Initiative, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique, the Multinational Joint Task Force and the G5 Sahel.
However, she intimidated that budgetary constraints have limited the ability of these regional organizations thus making the prospects of the success in taking on the terrorist menace and at the same time recovering from economic shocks seem bleak.
FRAGILITY SYSTEMS AND ECONOMIC SHOCKS
According to her, the fragility of systems in Africa and the lack of resilience of economies has been underscored by the impacts of COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and the worsening impacts of climate change.
Also Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) have emerged as the key players in responding to the terrorism and violent extremism that threaten countries in Africa. And to her, this calls for strengthening capacities of these regional bodies, which is a reflection of renewed determination to silence the guns and achieve the Africa We Want.
THE ROLE OF THE UN
The honourable minister emphasized that it is time to ensure that the United Nations, especially the development partners on the Security Council, respond with commitments and support that are consistent with ambitions and needs for peace and security and sustainable development.