WELCOME STATEMENT

Ibrahim Ceesay (Shalom), Founding Executive Director – African Artists Peace Initiative (AAPI) at the opening session of the Action4Peace 2030 Campaign & Initiatives, Nelson Mandela Hall, African Union (5 Dec. 2022)

The Action4Peace Pan-African Campaign (APAC) 2030 requires Partnerships4Peace and Sustainable Financing for Sustainable Peace in the attainment of a harmonious, prosperous and non-violent Africa by 2030. The complexities of Conflict-Transformation and Peace-building Strategies in Africa; requires Collaboration, Coordination and Co-Creation (CCC) Actions for Sustainable Peace at all levels.

AAPI strongly believes that the most viable and sustainable way to attain long lasting peace is to inculcate the culture of peace, understanding and non-violence ideals in the minds and hearts of the African citizenry and most especially the young people (who are not only the future leaders, but the leaders of today). AGENDA 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.

Agenda 2063 encapsulates not only Africa’s Aspirations for the Future but also identifies key Flagship Programs which can boost Africa’s economic growth and development and lead to the rapid transformation of the continent. AAPI contributed to this process by developing a visual identity (ICONS) for the Africa Agenda 2063. The icons were handed over to the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission in February 2018 on the margins of the 31st African Union Summit at the AUC Headquarters in Addis-Ababa. To achieve the goals of Agenda 2063, Africa needs to work towards ending all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence, coup d’etat, violent conflicts and preventing genocide on or before 2030. In addition, progress in the areas is to be monitored through the establishment and operationalization of an African Human Security Index (AHSI) as indicated by the African Union Commission.

The African Artists Peace Initiative (AAPI) organized Five (5) editions of the ‘‘Arts for Peace Africa Annual Forum’’ on the margins of the African Union Heads of States Summit from 2015 to 2019 – as a space for policy dialogues, advocacy and launch of pilot initiatives in response to the call by the African Union and her members to realize the ‘‘Africa We Want by 2063’’. This was made cognizant of key African Union frameworks for action; including the Africa Agenda 2063, African Youth Charter, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, African Union Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) 2018-2028, and the AU Campaign on Silencing the Guns in the New Decade (2021-2030): “Transforming the Vision to Reality”. The #Arts4Peace Forums contributed immensely to the peace-advocacy and education programs of the African Union campaign to Silence The Guns in Africa; through creative arts, creative communications and cultural diplomacy. More importantly, AAPI has continued to demonstrate through concrete actions; the Launch of the Action4Peace Pan-African Campaign (APAC) 2030 and Partnerships4Peace Africa 2030 Fund (PAF).

The first edition of the Bi-Annual Action4Peace Forum and Initiatives was held from the 5 to 7 of December 2022 at the Mandella Hall (Headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia) in collaboration with the Silencing The Guns Unit; Political Affairs Peace and Security (PAPS) Department of the African Union Commission. The three (3) days ACTION FOR PEACE FORUM AND INITIATIVES (AFPI) – comprised of Rethink Open-Sessions on Peace; Reset Workshops On Actions4Peace Initiatives; and Co-Creation Working Groups on (Culture4Peace; Media4Peace; Sports4Peace; Education4Peace, Interfaith Dialogue4Peace, Tourism4Peace and Business4Peace). Targeted and Well-Coordinated Pan-African Peace-Initiatives can make a major contribution to peace, security and conflict prevention, which is a major challenge in all parts of Africa. The ‘Action4Peace Pan-African Campaign (APAC) 2030’’ – will create the platform in which state and non-state actors can co-create and pilot concrete peace-building initiatives at the grassroots, national and regional levels. The Bi-Annual Action4Peace Forum will Rethink and Reset Action4Peace Campaign 2030 Peace-building Pilot Initiatives; and Retool Action4Peace Champions, Ambassadors and Partners across Africa and the African-Diaspora. On the margins of the Annual African Union Heads of States and Government Summit; the Annual Partnerships4Peace Forum will create the fund-raising-mechanisms and resource mobilization strategies for ‘’Sustainable Financing of Sustainable Peace-building Initiatives’’ for a peaceful and secured Africa for all.

It is my hope that the campaign and related initiatives will serve as the torchlight towards the attainment of Africa Agenda 2063 and UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Let Us Build Peace With Peace

Ibrahim Ceesay Shalom,

Founding Executive Director,

African Artists Peace Initiative (AAPI)