ADDIS ABABA–THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD Newspaper 17 April 2016: The Munich Security Conference (MSC) which brought together political, academic, business and civic society leaders to discuss key issues of international security policy with a special emphasis in Africa was held April 14-15,2016 in Addis Ababa.
Opening the conference, MSC Chairperson Wolfgang Ischinger said : “After meetings in Beijing, Doha, Moscow, New Delhi, Vienna, Washington and Tehran, we are thrilled to finally arrive on African soil.”
Commenting the old ill perception towards Africa, He said : ” Much of the world tends to look at Africa as a continent of crises. But, it is so much more than that: it is a continent of growth, rapid change, and opportunity.”
The ex- president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasango, and Chairperson of the Tana Forum_ Board on his part said that the MSC has been a cherished partner of the Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa since the latter was launched in 2012. Obasanjo further said : ” It is with a great pleasure that I welcome the Core Group Meeting taking place on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the Tana Forum.”
In his welcoming address Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom expressed his delight for the MSC held its first Core Group Meeting here in Africa. The Foreign Minister shared his thoughts on “issues of emerging global challenges and their implications to Africa.”
The Foreign Minister added that the ever increasing advancement in information and other technology, progress in the transportation sector as well as easy flow of knowledge made the inter-linkage between countries more solid than ever.
Naming out potential threats including climate change, population growth, pandemics, global terrorism, the fragility of state institutions and the growing strength of non-state actors Dr. Tedros said : “These issues complicated the already complex situation. Hence, dialogue, exchange of venues and understandings are pertinent since our future is extremely intertwined and therefore we share common destinies.”
He said he is confident that the MSC Core Group Meeting will make important contributions to the betterment of the lives of the global community.
Ambassador Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, also highlighted the importance of working closely with the rest of the world in a concerted manner to build Africa’s capacity to respond to international threats to peace and security._
Chergui emphasized that African peacekeeping efforts need reliable financing to ensure effectiveness.
Round table discussions under the theme “Answering Wake-up Call:African Responses to High Level Panels on Global Health Security” and “Cyber Security : More connected, Less Secure? Protecting Africa’s Digital Transformation” were held during the security conference.
“Safeguarding Peace: Conflict Dynamics in the Eastern Africa” and “The Rise of Violent Extremism: Implications and Counter Strategies” were the themes tabled for discussions and debate at the conference.
The two-day conference was organized by the governments of Ethiopia, Germany and the African Union Commission, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
BY FANUEL LAKEW