(NASA via AP)
CAIRO – 11 December 2019: Terrorism can only be encountered through collective efforts, in addition, countries that support and sponsor terrorism must be dealt with “decisively,” President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said during his speech at the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa, the first to be held in the Upper Egyptian city of Aswan.
Inaugurated on Wednesday, the conference is taking place with the presence of a number of African heads of state and government, as well as officials.
The aim of the two-day conference is to open new channels toward achieving peace and sustainable development in the continent.
Furthermore, the Egyptian leader expressed optimism about the future of the African continent, despite all the challenges and difficulties facing it.
He pointed out that in 2013, Egypt was facing many challenges, including civil war and terrorism, “and we had two options, the first is to confront terrorism and stop development, or give up facing terrorism and look for development, but we moved in the two tracks, therefore, Africa should mainly focus on achieving sustainable development and boosting regional security.
Chadian president Idriss Déby stressed during his speech the necessity to finding real solutions for problems that face the African continent, especially poverty and sustainable development.
He further stressed that terrorist organizations in Africa are a scourge that must be eliminated through collaborative efforts.
He also said Sahel countries dedicate around 18-32% to security efforts.
This year’s theme is “An Agenda for Sustainable Peace, Security and Development in Africa”.
Day-one activities includes workshops on "Silencing the Guns in Africa: Owning the Prevention Agenda", “The Africa We Want: Sustaining Peace, Security & Development” and "Twenty-One Strategies Later: Why is Sustainable Peace and Development in the Sahel Still Elusive?”.
Senegal's President Macky Sall, during his speech, said the African continent is advancing towards its development path despite the difficulties, and is able to find solutions to its problems, including its security problems.
Sall opened the International Forum on Peace and Security in Dakar last week calling for the UN Security Council to agree to a stronger mandate for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
French President Emmanuel Macron last week promised to improve security in the region after meeting with the presidents of Chad, Niger and Mali.
Sall pointed out that Washington agreements are not suitable for Africa, and therefore “we demand long-term resources to eradicate poverty in Africa as we are developing the continent.”
Nigerien president Mahamadou Issoufou also asserted that no development can be achieved without ensuring security, Africa has 20% of the world's population, and after 40 years from now it will represent 40% of the world’s population, indicating that other continents do not have this population growth, which constitutes a priority that the African continent can count on in achieving means of development.
African countries must achieve a growth rate in excess of 24% in order to achieve the minimum growth rate of 7% and achieve development aspirations as the African Agenda 2063 aims in addition to attracting investments to the African continent, according to Issoufou.