INTERVIEW with Al Ahram Weekly: A Forum for Peace and Development
04 December 2019
This month’s first edition of the Aswan Forum is shedding light on the connection between post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa, forum secretary Ashraf Sweilam tells Bassem Aly
The Aswan Forum, which begins on 11 December in the Upper Egyptian city of Aswan, is the pre-eminent platform in Africa addressing the connection between peace and development.
Starting this year, the event will be held annually in December and will bring together heads of state and government, representatives from regional and international organisations and financial institutions, members of the private sector and civil society, and scholars and experts for action-oriented and forward-looking discussions on the threats, challenges and opportunities for Africa in the years ahead.
Ashraf Sweilam, executive secretary of the Aswan Forum and director of the Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA), explained the work of the forum in an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly.
What is the regional and international significance of the 2019 Aswan Forum?
The inaugural meeting of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development is taking place at a critical time, both globally and for Africa. It is happening at a time of fragile global structures in a world distracted by a plethora of ongoing and potential crises. In the face of these challenges, there is a growing recognition among policymakers, both in Africa and globally, of the need for change.
Acting in its capacity as chair of the African Union (AU), champion of post-conflict reconstruction, development and peacebuilding in Africa, and the vice-chair of the AU’s Peacebuilding Commission, Egypt is taking the initiative to launch this conversation. Under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development will provide a first-of-its-kind platform in Africa to advance an African conversation on the new and innovative approaches, programmes, financial instruments, and partnerships needed not only to promote sustainable development and alleviate poverty, but also to promote peace and stability across the continent.