By Fiona Freddy
*Says EU has given €2.6bn euro to support peace, security operations in Africa since 2003
The European Union (EU) has said that it had allocated €430 million euros to security and peace building in Africa from 2014 to 2020.
The EU Deputy Head of Delegation in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Richard Young stated this in Abuja at the peace and security conference organised by EU and Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR).
The conference was to address key issues at the EU- African Union Summit, to be held between Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.
The EU-AU summit he said is aimed at exploring strategies that would promote peace and security in the continent
He pointed out that Africa experiences quite a number of complex security challenges which were intertwined with the EU own security in different ways.
Young said “The cost of conflicts around the world is put at approximately 14.3 billion dollars which is about 50 per cent of the world GDP this is enormous. If you look at Africa which contributes about 60 per cent to the world population has more than one third of the global conflict.
“We contested with peace and security challenges in Africa, of course the EU has been responding to this, a lot has been committed to the issue of security and defence by the EU”.
The envoy said that the EU had since 2003 given 2.6 billion euro to support peace and security operations in Africa
“We have earmarked 430 million euros to peace and security in Africa from 2014 to 2020.
“The EU is an all-weather friend in Africa and we are ready to work closely and support Africa in dealing with the issue of peace and security issue.
“The AU has to take this forward by improving its peace and security operation within the continent and that EU would not walk away but work with the AU in ensuring stability in Africa,” he said.
The Director General of IPCR, Prof. Osita Osita said that the conference was a preparatory forum to aggregate the views of Nigeria on the EU-AU summit coming up in Abidjan.
According to Osita, the issue of security is very important to Nigeria as a country and also the thematic issues addressing conflict prevention and not just peace support operation.
“We are interested in focusing on more upstream activities that will deal with the root cause of structural conflict; so that we can activate the processes of prevention rather than going for peace support operation.
“Let us find out what are those things that are causing wars and violent conflicts that make us have huge support operation that cost so much money. That is the reason why we organised this event and when we have the experts put together we can have solution to this issue.”