EU The objective of this partnership is for Africa and Europe to work together to address global security challenges and improve the worldwide multilateral capacity to respond to crises. At the same time it focuses on the capacity of Africa to take its share in the management of crises and security threats. The partnership pursues two main objectives: a) building the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and agenda; b) strengthening the dialogue between the EU and the AU on peace and security issues, such as counter-terrorism disarmament, post conflict reconstruction and weapons of mass destruction.
The EU has made more than €1 billion available for this Partnership. The largest share of this has gone into the African Peace Facility, which is the major funds provider for Africa-led peace support operations (see below).
Who will benefit from the partnership and how?
The primary beneficiaries of the Partnership are the African Union, the various Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) in their efforts to improve security and deal with conflicts. Peace in Africa also means a more secure environment for Europe – the consequences of conflicts do not stop at continental borders. Finally, the people of Africa will gain from this partnership: strengthening the capacities for peace and security will also benefit the victims of insecurity such as refugees and internally displaced persons.
What has been achieved so far?
The partnership pursues dialogue, networking and coherence among African and European stakeholders. Because of its financial capacity it can implement an ambitious agenda. The actions taken so far have significantly improved the interaction of sectoral expert groups and created a stronger overall sense of common purpose. Achievements include:
- Systematic political dialogue between AU and EU on every crisis situation in Africa
- Continued build-up of the elements of the APSA
- Support to various peace keeping missions, such as AMISOM in Somalia, MICOPAX in the Central African Republic and AMIS in Sudan
- Increased early warning capacities at the African Union Commission and Regional Economic Communities (RECs)
- Support to the elaboration of an AU Strategy on Small Arms and Light Weapons, and support to the first pan-African project to fight trafficking of firearms in Africa (see info box)
- Co-operation on the elaboration of an AU Security Sector Reform/Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration strategy fostering greater links between the African Union and RECs
Example: The African Peace Facility
Through the creation of the African Peace Facility, the EU provides financial support to the efforts of the African Union and other regional organisations to find ‘African solutions to African problems’. Operations financed by the facility are led and staffed by Africans. The peace facility was created in 2004 in response to a request from government leaders of the African Union. It focuses on three key aspects:
- an enhanced EU-Africa dialogue on challenges to peace and security;
- the creation of a more efficient African peace and security architecture;
- a source of predictable funding for African-led peace support operations.
The budget of the facility was €440 million in 2004-2008 and €300 million for 2009-2011. The main peace support operations it has funded have been in Somalia, the Central African Republic, Sudan and the Comoros Islands. Important capacity building programmes have also been funded.
Example: Action against small arms and light weapons
Small arms and light weapons (SALW) constitute a key problem for security in Africa. Cheap, easy to operate, mobile and highly lethal, they are the most easily acquired and used weapons in armed conflicts. The first action against trafficking of SALW was launched in early 2010, with EU funding of €3.3 million. The three-year initiative will support peace and security by actively fighting against the proliferation of firearms and explosive materials.
The initiative aims at:
Raising awareness among national and regional institutions and civil society about legislative and institutional aspects
Creating National Focal Points to develop and implement national action plans
Strengthening co-operation between African regional police chiefs’ organisations and law-enforcement agencies at different levels
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