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PRESS RELEASE — The Tana Forum, Africa’s foremost peace and security platform, will convene as a virtual conference for the first time in October 2020. The 9th edition of the Forum will be held from 19 to 24 October under the theme “The AfCFTA: A Milestone for Pan-Africanism and Conflict Transformation”.

Originally scheduled to take place in April 2020 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, the Forum was postponed due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Projected to boost economic development by bringing together 55 African economies to form the worlds’ largest trading bloc, when fully operationalized the AfCFTA will account for USD 3.4 trillion. The coronavirus pandemic has already affected the operationalization of the AfCFTA, arguably the continent’s most ambitious project to date. With border closures and delays in the supply of goods, the full impact of this public health crisis on economic integration and free movement in Africa remains to be seen.

The top priority of the Tana Forum Secretariat, based at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), is to ensure the safety of staff, participants and our community in line with recommendations issued by the World Health Organization and the Government of Ethiopia. Therefore, after close consultations with the Amhara regional government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the decision was made to organize the 9th edition of the Tana Forum as a virtual conference.

In the coming weeks and months, the Secretariat will hold consultations with various partners to explore how the Forum can contribute to dialogue and developments in the peace and security environment. The Secretariat will also resume communications with invited participants and the general public to share information on the agenda, format, and technical aspects of the online Forum.

About the Tana Forum

The Tana Forum annually convenes high-level officials, experts, thought leaders, academia, and other stakeholders to unpack political, economic, and social solutions to Africa’s peace and security challenges. In the spirit of gatherings taking place under the Baobab tree, the Forum advocates for African-led solutions by holding discussions on the strategic and pro-active management of African peace and security issues. Complementary to formal assemblies of African heads of state and government, the Forum engages participants in frank, relevant, and candid dialogue in an informal and collaborative environment.

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Source of original article: Tana Forum (tanaforum.org).
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