Hon. Professor Sam Ongeri, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya made his debut foreign engagement at the Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa, held between 14 and 15th April 2012, in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
The delegation of the minister to the forum included H.E Dr. Monica Juma, Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, and Amb. Michael Oyugi, the Director of AU and Africa Directorate, at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya.
The Forum brought together a wide ranging cross section of African stakeholders, global actors, as well as the civil society and academics involved in the African security terrain. Among the key personalities in attendance were H.E Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti, H.E Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, H.E Sheikh Sherriff, President of Somalia, H.E President Thabo Mbeki, Former President of South Africa, H.E Luisa Dias Diogo, Former Prime Minister of Mozambique, H.E President Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria and co-convener of the Forum; the Foreign Ministers of Kenya, Rwanda, Gabon, Ethiopia; H.E Abdullahi Jenneh, Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Africa, Ambassadors, UN dignitaries, top African security analysts and policy makers as well as students and civil society actors.
Co-conveners, President Obasanjo (middle) and Prof. Eshete (right) and Dr. Esphina Rukato, the coordinator of the forum address the press ahead of the Forum
Held for the first time, the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa was an open forum that debated in-depth two thematic issues over two days of interaction, namely, a) Managing Diversity as a basis for guaranteeing security and b) Implications of state fragility on security in Africa. Debate was framed by panelists on each of the subject matter. The panel on managing diversity was chaired by Prof. Andreas Eshete and was addressed by Dr. francis Deng, Ms Bineta Diop, Prof Mohammud Mamdani and President Olusegun Obasanjo. The second panel on State Fragility was chaired by Dr. Funmi Olonisakin and had as its panelists H.E Luisa Diogo, H.E Ramtane Lamamra, President Thabo Mbeki and Dr. Abdallah Hamdok.
The Tana Forum will convene annually, to provide an open uninhibited space for interaction and consultations between African political decision makers with global actors and scholars in an effort to interrogate and contribute to security issues that are of key strategic important to the continent. According to Professor Eshete, the CEO of the Forum, the “…unique character of the forum is meant to give participants an opportunity to share experiences and insights in an informal setting in a spirit of a quest for fresh insights and perspectives that would contribute, over time to the emergency of a distinctively African voice in global policy and action on peace and security.” As a major player in the peace and security issues of the region and the continent, and in the light of our believe that the security of our country, region, continent and the world are in extricably connected, Kenya fully endorses and supports the Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa. For further information on the forum, visit http://africa-security-conference.org/