THE BRIDGE EXCLUSIVE ONE ON ONE WITH AFRICA PEACE AND SECURITY UNION CHAIRPERSON

Africa is facing myriad challenges. From conflicts to natural catastrophes such as drought, famine and floods, yet the continent has shown resilience in the wake of adversities

The Swazi Bridge Africa Correspondent based in Kenya Barack Oduor spoke exclusively to African Peace and Security Union (APSU) chairperson Roll Stephane Ngomat on what the initiative is doing to bring peace to the continent.

The Bridge (TB): What are the roles of the African Peace and Security Union (APSU)?

Roll Stephane Ngomat (RN):  Peace and Security Union (APSU) role is to promote a permanent dialogue between all components of the African population on issues concerning the culture of peace; Support policies and programs which promote peace, security, stability and encourage the integration of the Africans. African Peace and Security Union is built on several key thematic priorities in areas that include, Early Warning (Conflict Prevention), Peace-Making and Mediation, -Peace Building and Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD), Peacekeeping, -Security Sector Reform (SSR), Women Peace and Security Agenda, Youth Peace and Security Agenda, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), Human Rights, Good Governance and Rule of Law, Electoral Institutions and Democratic Principles, Humanitarian Affairs and Assistance.

TB: What are some of the achievements of the African Peace and Security Union (APSU)?

RN: The African Peace and Security Union (APSU) hosted a side event on the Private Sector and Civil Society International Conference on the State of Peace in Africa on the side-line of the 36th African Heads of States and Government Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 16th-17th, 2023. We discussed the role and perspectives of the effective involvement of private sector and Civil society organisations in the mainstream effort to end conflict in Africa as well as the kind of government actions to most effectively address their contribution to peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD). It's also noted that experiences and best practices were shared on CSO's contribution to peace, security, stability and Humanitarian Affairs and on different strategies to strengthen government and private sector partnerships in conflict anticipation, prevention, management and conflict resolution. The side event, gathered peace and security experts, CSOs, the private sector, centres of excellence and highly influential personalities from different countries among others. As part of its mandate to advance the implementation of policies, programs and initiatives that promote women's Peace and Security Agenda, the African Peace and Security Union (APSU) organised a "He for She" campaign on Positive Masculinity for enhancing women's participation in peacekeeping and conflict prevention in Africa and for the elimination of violence against women and girls on the continent on the African Woman Day. We have also launched a series of awareness campaigns and popularisation on positive media interactions that aim to achieve a conflict-free Africa, preventing genocide, making peace a reality for all and ridding the continent of wars, violent conflicts, human rights violations, humanitarian disasters and Women's inclusion.

TB: What are the benefits of the trade agreements the African Peace and Security Union (APSU) signed with external entities?

RN: Signing agreements with external entities allows the continent to benefit from training, skills transfer, and sharing of science, technology and innovation. There is also the acquisition of Foreign Direct Investment, capacity building, Job creation, fight against unemployment, and promotion of peace, Security and Stability.

African Peace and Security Union (APSU) chairperson Roll Stephane Ngomat

TB: Can you list some of the agreements the African Peace and Security Union (APSU) has signed?

Some of the agreements we have signed with foreign partners include;

(a)Signing with Lancer Container, an India based company

(b)Signing with SAMPRE Group, India based Company,

(c)Signing with TATIC

(d)Signing with ASIA EXPO Which are some of the potential sectors in Africa that have not fully been exploited? Agriculture, Energy, Road, Housing, and Infrastructure.

TB: Tell us more about the International Agricultural Congress (ASIAEXPO) and your visit to Sochi, Russia.

RN: AsiaExpo is a platform for the exchange of experience and the perfect guide for the mutual integration of agricultural spheres of Russia, China, India, the countries of Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the CIS. ASIA EXPO is a unique platform integrator of international cooperation in the sphere of agro-industrial complex in the context of global reorientation of markets. It's a flagship of technological development of the industry providing access to advanced technologies and achievements, allowing exchanging experiences in the sphere of agro-industrial complex.

TB: Tell us more about the signed Memorandum of Understanding between Turkey-African Trade and Investment Council (TATIC) and African Peace and Security Union (APSU).

RN: This agreement was signed to help TATIC and its subsidiaries establish a strong business presence in Africa hinterland covering interest areas of Investment, Commercial, Infrastructure development and security. and in providing investment, infrastructure development, technology and logistics services through public-private partnerships with African states.

TB: How can Africans help in ending the Sudan conflict?

RN: By calling for the promotion of peace, which is this set of attitudes and behaviours that reflect respect for life, human beings and their dignity, which must be disseminated and practised by every Sudanese. And calling all the parties to adhere to the principle of freedom, solidarity and tolerance between Sudanese. By also giving dialogue and negotiation a real chance; It is also necessary to underline that Africans must be involved in the search for a solution to the Sudanese crisis and take ownership of the Peace Process in Sudan. From this perspective, ''the preservation of peace depends not only on the political, economic or military contribution but above all on the active and deep commitment of Sudanese in Particular and Africans in General united in their social relations and multifaceted diversity''. 

TB: How can African countries experiencing war achieve lasting peace?

RN: I believe we can achieve lasting peace by promoting African solutions to African problems, setting in place mechanisms and policies that promote peace and security Agenda, promoting governance, transparency, human rights and accountability across the continent. We can also achieve lasting peace by Ensuring that job creation, education and health are considered priorities in national development programmes as they pose a direct threat to social peace and stability Peace can also be achieved in the continent by working in synergy with relevant partners, institutions and organizations to address and or mitigate the immediate causes of violence, conflict and fragility but also and above all, the root causes. We are also rooting for Improvement in governance structures, systems and processes to ensure states serve the interests and provide for the needs of citizens particularly those of youth and women.