G8++ Africa Clearing House to deepen collaboration

New-AU-Headquarters-Addis-Ababa07 November 2013, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization, APO, ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The G8++ Africa Clearing House, ACH, has made a commitment to deepen collaboration.

This commitment is contained in the declarations reached at the African Union, AU, Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 06 November 2013.

The meeting was co-hosted by the United Kingdom, UK, under their G8 Presidency, and the African Union Commission, AUC, and was attended by delegates from the AUC, Economic Community of Central African States, ECCAS, Eastern Africa Standby Force Regional Coordination Mechanism, EASFCOM, European Union, EU, the UN, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, US, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Ethiopia (President of the AU) and Equatorial Guinea (Chair of the Peace and Security Council for the month of November 2013). Several major African Troop Contributing Countries, TCCs, (Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda, Ethiopia), AMISOM TCCs (Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Djibouti, Sierra Leone), and AFISM-CAR TCCs (Chad, Gabon, Congo, and Cameroon) attended as observers.

The meeting was opened by Mr. El-Ghassim Wane, Director of the AU Peace and Security and His Excellency, Mr. Greg Dorey, Her Majesty Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the African Union. Participants recognised the importance of the AU’s voice – as articulated via the AUC – in adding legitimacy to international engagements in Africa, including through its representational role at the G8. Participants further recognised that the close relationship between the G8++ partners and the AU is based on substantial areas of mutual interest.

The meeting, after updates and discussions on (i) regional security issues, (ii) AU current PSO missions, (iii) Exercise Amani Africa II and (iv) African Standby Force review, recommended the following:
a. G8++ efforts should be guided by sustained dialogue with the African Union, including on clarity of the AU’s requirements within the context of the APSA.
b. Partners reiterated their keen commitment to respond to these African requirements in an effective and well coordinated way.
c. The possible creation of an Addis Ababa based G8++ Africa Clearing House working group, which would need to be action-oriented and add real value to the current information exchanges in other fora. A first meeting of the working group will take place by the end of 2013, after which the group will evaluate its efficacy and agree on the way forward.
d. The creation of an effective and comprehensive coordination matrix, as an information management tool, to avoid the unnecessary and wasteful duplication of efforts.
e. The meeting looked forward to the ongoing reviews of the APSA delivering a framework to guide future G8++ engagement and assistance, to ensure that Africa has the capacity to deploy quickly and effectively in crisis situations.

The ACH was established in 2004, under the G8 Presidency of the USA, as “the premier mechanism for continued information exchange, cooperation and future collaboration,” with a view to providing a multilateral forum for the exchange of information on security assistance and cooperation programmes for Africa. The Addis Ababa ACH meeting offered partners an opportunity to exchange views on the challenges of responding to emerging threats to peace and security in Africa, and explore ways and means of further enhancing Africa’s capability to conduct peace support operations and other crisis response mechanisms.

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