Intending to play a crucial role in bringing about sustainable peace and contributing to the implementation of the African Union’s Tripoli Declaration of August 2009, the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University (AAU) convenes an annual security event, the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, or popularly known as Tana Forum. The Tana Forum is an initiative that responds to the Declaration’s appeal for “African-led solutions” and calls for responding to peace and security as a collective “intellectual challenge.” As a result, the annual Tana Forum emerged as an independent platform initiated by IPSS and eminent African personalities, including Meles Zenawi, the late Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Tana Forum brings African leaders, decision-makers, and stakeholders to engage and explore African-led security solutions.

The centerpiece of the Tana experience is the baobab tree. Its symbolism of dialogue facilitates an informal and collaborative environment to discuss topical issues related to peace and security. The central Forum is complemented by panel discussions and bilateral talks, leading to frank and candid discussions and experience sharing. The Forum derives its name and takes place yearly at Lake Tana in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

The Context

This year (2022) marks the 10th anniversary of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa. It coincides with a critical moment in Africa and the world as the COVID-19 pandemic exposed fragilities and divisions while highlighting inequalities globally and locally. While old fault lines remain, new ones are producing tensions and threats that converge within – rather than outside- states in a way that exposes the underbelly of fractured state-society relations.

The signals of threats to peace and security across the African landscape are evident in the decline of democratization, the weakening of critical public institutions, the resurgence of ethnoreligious and other parochial identities, food insecurity, and weak preparedness of the African state to address its impact and externalities, the proliferation of actors and risks in ways previously not contemplated, and the limitations of reactive, military responses. Yet even at that, the prevailing cloud of uncertainty provides the opportunity to think deeply and act tenaciously to confront such triggers and enablers of today’s insecurities. Understanding Africa’s security threats today also requires rethinking the role of actors and initiatives at national, regional, and continental levels and that of international partners in soliciting solutions.

This year’s Tana Forum is invariably about how best to respond firmly to emerging socio-economic, political, and governance challenges or manage such threats in a way that does not lose sight of the continent’s most valuable resource: its citizens. How arts, culture, heritage, and resilience in nutrition and food security, the AU theme for 2021 and 2022, respectively, can be harnessed to promote enduring peace, considering the continent’s myriad challenges, needs to be interrogated. By shifting focus away from states and institutions to citizens who, ultimately, have the legitimacy and influence to make change happen, the course of a better future becomes clearly defined and attainable.

The theme of this year’s Tana Forum is framed around the following issues: Building resilience has gained new currency in light of new fragilities imposed by the outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and state measures to curb it; actions towards building resilience must be deliberate in placing citizens at the center, recognizing their agency in the process of reimagining governance and peacebuilding, Building strength is not a one-off event but a process that takes time and resources, The state may only play a role that is necessary and desirable in building strength if the deeply fractured social contract with citizens is repaired, and The international community may contribute to building citizens resilience but must do it in a manner that is aware of their priorities.

We should not use this slogan to push international communities when we suggest African Solutions for African Problems. Instead, we use it because we can analyze our challenges & constraints, & come up with a measurable solution based on our own culture & customs.

The overarching objective is to explore issues at the intersection of building a people-enabled peace,
security, and resilience in line with the African Union theme of the year 2021, “Arts, Culture and Heritage:
Levers for Building Africa We Want”. It is also worthy of note that the African Union theme
of the year 2022 emphasizes “R es I l I en c e I n Nu t r I t io n an n d Fo o d S ec u r I t y.” Alongside taking
stock of the evolution of certain peace and security challenges on the continent, the focus will be on
mobilizing and building the home-grown and local resilience that centers African agency.
Specific objectives include:
Create a shared understanding of building systemic resilience from below:
Interrogate the impacts of COVID-19 along with other multifaceted aspects in the context of peace
and security,
Give attention to climate change and climate resilience challenges,
Interrogate the functional relevance of existing peace and security institutions and normative
frameworks at regional and continental levels,
Probe the resurgence of military coups in Africa,
Explore pathways to enhance compliance with continental, regional, and national laws to address
threats to constitutional order in member states,
Look at the role of peace and security in culture and heritage protection,
Explore actionable ways to mainstream and strengthen youth and women’s inclusion,
Explore opportunities to enhance resilience in (nutrition and) food security,
The Forum further aims to offer participants a chance to rethink the nature, character and
the goal of international partnerships vis-à-vis the state of peace and security in Africa, and
Synthesize knowledge and insights that would support the strategies and actions of national,
regional and continental actors.
IV. Tana Forum 2022 Sub-themes and Guiding questions
The 2022 Tana Forum sub-themes will be anchored on the AU theme of the year 2021, “Arts, Culture
and Heritage: Levers for Building Africa We Want.” Furthermore, the AU theme of the year 2022 will be
the basis upon which the discussion should be furthered to explore ways to strengthen resilience in
nutrition and food security. Reflections on lessons learned and the impact of Tana in the peace, security, and development areas.
Specifically, these will be centered on the following sub-themes:

Sub-theme 1: Unconstitutional Change of Government: “Coup D’État”
The resurgence of Unconstitutional Change of Governments (UGC) in Africa is worrisome. This is mainly
because significant strides have been made at the continental and regional levels to provide normative
frameworks for enabling credible constitutional alternation of power in member states. In addition, the
African Union and most of its Regional Economic Communities have robust early warning mechanisms
designed to provide strategic decision-makers with relevant information to facilitate promptlyeffectively
Responses. Notwithstanding, for the first time in its 20 years, the African Union has suspended four member states within a year for UGC. Recent events in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Sudan, Guinea Bissau, and even Chad about power alternation point to two fundamental issues that need critical reflection. One is the exploitation of insecurity as justification for military takeovers. Two is the manipulation of legality by incumbents, which undermines the legitimacy of constitutional rule. The issues reveal the challenges and the limits of Africa’s multilateral institutions. Multilateral institutions have minimal enforcement powers about governance in member states and rely on member states’ willingness to implement relevant normative principles to further democracy, peace, security, and stability. As a result, the use of sovereignty as a shield by member states limits the space for multilateral organizations to engage in preventive efforts to address governance-related challenges and promote broad inclusion and participation in member states.
Session one explores pathways to enhance compliance with continental, regional, and national laws to
address governance deficits and military and non-military threats to constitutional order in member states.
Sub-theme 2: Impact of Global Insecurity on the Continent (Global Insecurity affecting the
Continent) The COVID-19 pandemic, fluctuating commodity prices, climate change, threats posed by violent extremism and fundamentalisms, illicit financial flows, and international organized crime are some of a few drivers of insecurity in our history as global citizens. By the end of 2021, at least 15 African countries were navigating armed and violent conflict varying between high and mid-level intensity while others battled governance and other crises; these conflicts and instability situations can be directly connected to events in other parts of the world. While the end of the Cold War brought a shift in the way conflicts outside the continent were fought on the continent as proxy wars, the structure, and nature of global financial, governance, and military systems mean ripples and shocks in other parts of the world are felt and contribute to insecurity in Africa; the most recent example being the War in Ukraine which has mainly contributed to food insecurity as statistics have proven that Russia and Ukraine dominate a huge quota in global food exports and African countries are a significant destination as they heavily depend on both countries for wheat, fertilizer, or vegetable oils. This Tana Forum – Tana @10 – provides an excellent and timely opportunity to reflect on and interrogate the multifaceted and interlinked drivers of global insecurity and how these affect the African continent. Speakers on this panel will go beyond diagnosing the impacts but posit new thinking and potential responses, some pre-emptive, to this ever-evolving phenomenon.

Sub-theme 3: Climate Change, Preparedness, Adaptation, and Financing
African countries are amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change despite the African
continent producing themost minort greenhouse emissions. Literature has described Africa as the ‘most vulnerable’ yet ‘least prepa,’d’, a datable description given the plethora of policies and programs created to respond to the impact of the pandemic. At a continental level, the African Union’s Climate change strategy 2020 – 2030 provides a roadmap to achieving the vision outlined in the Agenda 2063 of ‘building the resilience of the African continent to the impacts of climate change. In its strategy, the AU notes that ‘while adaptation is unquestionably and rightly the top priority for African countries, to create optimal responses, mitigation should be considered to balance the climate change solution equation.’

Furthermore, noting Africa’s immenunrivaledled potential for renewable energy, especially solar, for its development and export, the AU urges that the continental potential should be quantified as the continent’s contribution in return for finance and technology needed to adapt and develop despite climate change.
The impact of climate on land, crop,s and livestock as it exacerbates food insecurity and conflict is also a
significant component when discussing environment within the context of peace and security on the continent. Against this backdrop, this session aims to unpack the far-reaching consequence of climate change, the
continental response strategies, and their effectiveness.

Sub-theme 4: Harnessing Africa’s Cultural Heritage for Resilience and Integration
There’s been an increased interest in Africa’s cultural heritage in the last few years. Most of the recent
attention has focused on the return of stolen African artifacts from Europe and the long-overdue
confrontation with colonial violence. However, within the plan of uplifting Africa’s cultural heritage also
lies the broader quest of how to foster national and regional cohesion by investing in Africa’s diverse (and
evolving) cultures, traditions, languages at present and weaving them together to forge Pan-African unity
and common purpose going forward.
Recognizing the transformative power of culture, the African Union dedicated the Theme of the Year in
2021 to the importance of ‘arts, culture and heritage as levers for building the Africa wewant,’ building on Aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063. This ambition is ever more critical today against the backdrop of the global rise in intolerance, the proliferation of identity-based conflict,s and the continued destruction of invaluable cultural sites and artifacts as a consequence (and tactic) of war.
This session brings together multi-disciplinary perspectives on how Africa can restore, protect and harness its cultural legacies and present-day creative industry as a formidable tool to achieve greater social, cultural, and economic resilience and integration.
Sub-theme 5: Tana@10 and taking stock of the continent’s peace and security landscape: Is
Is the continent worse or better off after ten years?
Strands under this sub-theme will be a moment to reflect, take stoc,k and forecast the future of the Tana.
Forum, based on lessons learned over the last ten years since inception. It will also be a moment to gush and account for its impact and contribution – focusing on itsimplicationst, challenges, gap,s and opportunities.
The sub-theme will also be an opportunity to look at Africa’s peace and security situation candidly –
especially in the Horn of Africa, Great Lakes Region, Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, and thecriticaly governance and

conflicts issues. There will also be discussions on how the Forum has and can play a role in illuminating and
providing a space for dialogue and reflections on durable solutions to the ongoing crisis in these regions.
V. Tana 2022 Side Events and Related Activities
The Secretariat undertakes the following pre-Forum activities in the months leading up to the central Forum.
1) Experts Meeting: This is a meeting among a selected group of experts well-versed in the chosen
theme of the Forum that is held to identify, discuss, debate, and recommend. Recommendations
from the expert meetings are submitted to the Secretariat for use in the Forum’s agenda-setting
around identified sub-themes. The objectives of the expert meetings are:
o To define the scope of the selected theme of the year;
o To identify sectors and domains where policymakers may develop policies to advance the
role of the African Union, African states, and other stakeholders;
o To produce theme summaries that serve as guiding points to the session’s discussions in
the Tana Forum;
o To recommend critical speakers and presenters on the topics that will be addressed during
the Tana Forum;
o To propose and develop a theme on the outlines for the Tana Forum background papers.
2) Press-Conference and Ambassadors’ Briefing: With the view to brief, promote, and engage with
Addis-based ambassadors and members of the media, the Press Conference, and Ambassadors’
The briefing takes place one month before the central Forum on the event, its objectives, topic, theme,
participation, and envisioned outcomes. The Tana Chairperson and a Ministry of Foreign Affairs
representative will address the ambassadors and AU officials. In addition, the Ambassadors’ Briefing
serves as a platform where Addis-based Ambassadors’ can dialogue on the theme of the year. Additionally, local, regional and international correspondents based in Addis Ababa are invited to the
press conference.
3) Pre-Tana Multi-Stakeholders Forum: The Tana Secretariat holds a series of multi-stakeholder
forums in the months leading up to the central Forum. These pre-Forums are geared towards
ensuring the inclusivity of all stakeholders in Tana and related activities and also gathering the information
that will complement the discussions at the central Forum. Accordingly, the following Pre-forums
have been held from August 2021-April 2022:
o Pre-Tana Regional Multi-Stakeholders Forum on the theme ‘Human and Drug Trafficking
in Africa: Unlocking Human Freedom’ with the support of Humanity United on 19 August
2021 in a hybrid format.
o Pre-Tana Regional Multi-Stakeholders Forum on the theme ‘Emerging Technologies and
their Impact on Stability in Africa” with the Mission of Japan to the African Union on 14
September 2021 online.
o Pre-Tana Regional Multi-stakeholders Forum on the theme “The Impact of Peace and
Security on Culture and Heritage Protection in Africa” on 21 April 2021 in Hybrid format.
The following Pre-Tana Forums will be held in the upcoming months with various partners:

o Pre-Tana Regional Multi-stakeholders Forum on the theme “Climate-Induced Violence in
Africa” in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace.
o Pre-Tana Regional Multi-stakeholders Forum on the theme’ Security Challenges and
Working Solutions in Central Africa in Partnership with ECCAS and Humanity United-Pre-
Tana Regional Multi- stakeholders Forum on theme TBD with Swiss.
4) Pre-Tana Youth Consultation Forum: To make the Tana Forum as inclusive and participatory as
possible, Tana Secretariat holds a youth consultation forum. This Youth Consultation Forum serves as
a platform for young Africans to engage and mobilize on the Tana Forum theme and youth-related
issues regarding peace and security on the continent. In the year 2021, Youth Day was celebrated
internationally on 12 August; the 2021 theme “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for
Human and Planetary Health,” which availed an ideal opportunity to hold the Pre-Tana Youth
Consultation Forum on one of the threats Africa faces today, food insecurity. Hence, the Tana Forum
Secretariat, in partnership with UNESCO, held a regional youth consultation forum on the theme
“Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Sustainable Peace and Security”
resonates with both the theme of international youth day and this year’s Tana Forum.
5) The Meles Zenawi Lecture Series on Leadership in Africa: The Meles Zenawi Lecture Series is
dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of great African leaders who had or have been advocates
of pan-Africanism and contributed to the well-being of Africans. The purpose of the leadership
lecture series is to celebrate these achievements and call to action
the spirit of emulation based on the vision and ideals these leaders stood for.
6) Vice-Chancellors’ Dialogue: The Forum, in collaboration with Bahir Dar University, convenes vice-chancellors or university presidents across Africa for a debate (open to the public) on the year’s
theme. Among others, the Vice-Chancellors’ Dialogue aito bringing in the perspectives of those
governing institutions of higher educatind who are shaping future generations of African
leaders’ narratives. It is also aimed at expanding and enhancing the participation of stakeholders
on issues of the central Forum.
7) Side Events: Side events are parallel seminars (informal) organized on the evening preceding the
start of the Tana Forum on selected topical themes related to peace and security at regional,
continental, and global levels. They are usually organized in collaboration with partners who have
a specific interest in discussing particular issues of mutual interest.
8) Annual University Essay Competition: Youth from various African universities will compete
on the selected theme of Tana 2022. Besides serving as an additional platform to ensure youth
inclusivity, the Essay Competition complements ongoing debates and agendas on peace and
security, contributing to policy building and development.
9) Annual Book Launch: This is a platform where books written by African and non-African published
authors that fulfill requirements set by the Secretariat present their books focusing on peace,
security, development, and governance to the various high-level participants of the Tana Forum.
10) Report on State of Peace and Security in Africa Report: Tana Forum also avails a report on the
State of Peace and Security in Africa offersetailed analysis on current peace and security trends
in Africa asandnterventions. In addition, it provides a rich account of current efforts and
responses implemented to manage security threats on the continent.
11) Tana Forum Policy Briefs (Tana Papers): Tana Forum also presents a compendium of policy briefs
that offers policy recommendations to address several peace and security challenges in Africa.
Ultimately, the aim is to provoke deep discussions on security threats and resilience across multiple political, economic and social spaces.
VI. Expected Outcomes
The following are the expected outcomes of the Forum:
A shared understanding of current and emerging peace and security threats in Africa.
Commitment to managing threats by investing more in governance and building resilience, with
a significant premium given to citizens’ active and sustained participation in public affairs, remains an
essential component in achieving stability;
Document Africa’s contribution to the management of the pandemic, including investment in
research and knowledge products that reflect Africa’s solution to a global problem;
Work towards a comprehensive policy with an implementation strategy on climate mitigation and
adaptability would be vital to driving climate resilience, especially in the context of peace and
security at national, regional, and continental levels;
A shared understanding of the importance of promoting the voice and agency of citizens by
localizing peacebuilding by bringing it much closer to the grassroots;
Dialogue on how to enhance the ability of governments to manage current threats effectively rests
mainly with the constituency of the youth and women;
Unpack how Arts, Culture, and Heritage, the AU theme for 2021, can be converted into currencies
for promoting enduring peace in the light of the continent’s myriad challenges needs to be
Understand and capture how diversity, equity, and inclusion are reflected in Africa’s international
partnerships and engagement with the world.
outputs of the Forum:
One (1) Tana Forum Outcomes Report that entails the various outcomes of discussion from the
central Forum, side events, Meles Zenawi Lecture Series, and Vice Chancellors’ Dialogue;
State of Peace and Security in Africa Report;
Eight (8) Policy Papers;
Tigned to (i) share views and experiences informally and independently, (ii) be action

oriented and forward-looking and, most importantly, (iii) keep the essence of its concept: a consultative
forum that is not intended to become a decision-making forum.
Thus, the main format will be panel discussions and interactions. Further, introductions to these discussions.
The Forum is convened on an annual basis and has become an institution in its own right. It enables leaders to explore innovative and joint action options in peace and security. The Forum also allows for trustbuilding among key players who would often only meet in settings that are mediated by diplomatic
protocol. Altogether, it enables African leaders to develop and implement adequate and proactive initiatives in peace and security on the continent.