Chapter 14: The African Union security sector reform and governance: challenges for African peace and development
A major theme in the development discourse in Africa is the need for sustainable peace and security as a prerequisite for political, social and economic development. However, looking at recent increases in violent conflicts in Africa, the hope for sustainable peace and security is not guaranteed. One of the causes of this increasing insecurity is the violence caused by various elements of Africa’s security sector. The African Union (AU) has identified peace and security as necessary preconditions for sustainable political, social and economic development in Africa. This theme has been well captured in the AU Commission Strategic Plans for 2009–2012 and 2013–2017. The later document states that, conflict prevention and resolution and post-conflict reconstruction are essential components of the peace and security agenda in Africa. This agenda interacts with the major democratic transformation and socio-economic development endeavors of the African countries as well as with continental human capacity building and institutional integration projects. The same theme has also been framed in the AU’s Agenda 2063 document which, among other issues, aspires that by 2063, ‘Africa shall be free from conflict, terrorism, extremism, intolerance and gender-based violence as a major threat to human security, peace and development’ (Agenda 2063). In order to operationalize the theme of security and development, the AU Commission has adopted eight priority areas that will define the continental body’s activities.
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