7-8 JUNE 2017 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

APF support to the African Peace and Security Architecture: successes and challenges

APF support to the African Peace and Security Architecture: successes and challenges

African Peace Facility

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 16:15 to 17:30

Key points

• The African Peace Facility (APF) has been a welcome success since its launch.
• The financing of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is changing to reflect an autonomous Africa in a multipolar world.
• The nature of conflict is changing in Africa.
• More needs to be done to address the root causes of conflict and to bring civil society into peace process.


The African Union (AU) has always seen peace and security as a priority issue. The African Peace Facility (APF), created in 2004, has been the backbone of the EU-Africa partnership on peace and security, and its funding has steadily increased over time. 

Recognised as a game changer by African and European leaders, the APF is built on three pillars:

  • Capacity building: strengthening basic institutional capacities as well as making the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) operational;
  • An early-response mechanism to provide funding for initial first stages of prevention, management and resolution of crises; and
  • African-led peace support operations.

A notable APF innovation is channelling financial support directly into needs identified by African countries themselves. The panel highlighted the stronger emphasis on coherence and complementary between continental and regional actors in peace and security.

Geopolitical and economic pressures have prompted changes in ASPA’s terms of financing. Europe wants a stronger emphasis on financial burden sharing for long-running peace operations. The AU, both through its Peace Fund and through its Agenda 2063 commitment to silencing the guns by 2020, is signalling its desire to take ownership and be more proactive.

A multisource approach to funding is more likely even if the EU is expected to remain the most important partner for African peace and security. The upcoming 5th Africa-EU Summit, which will be held in Abidjan in November 2017, will consider future peace and security operations and the financial framework.

The nature of conflict in Africa has changed. While the overall level of conflict is lower than before, today’s security threats are often transnational in nature, creating spillovers well beyond the source of the conflict and even beyond the continent.

Peace and security policy needs to be recalibrated to meet the new challenges, such as radicalisation, terrorism and people trafficking. Some intractable problems, notably in the Sahel region, show the need to address the root causes of conflict. The panel emphasised that winning the peace is as important as winning the war. Access to water, energy, education and jobs can counteract these root causes and are closely linked with development policy.

The panel highlighted the importance of the post-conflict phase. This is at the nexus of peace, security and development. More needs to be done to bring civil society organisations into the conversation in Africa, at national, regional and continental levels.

Civil society provides a vital link to the day-to-day problems affecting people on the ground and can enable better institutional effectiveness. Where fragile populations and transnational threats exist, civil society actors are especially important sources of information. In conflict prevention situations, the role of NGOs was also highlighted, including examples where women mediators have been successful in brokering peace. 


The policy shift from ‘non-interference to non-indifference’ relates to improved governance by AU member states and a lower level of conflict.

Organised by

    Shada Islam
    Director of Policy
    Friends of Europe
    Jonas Hemou
    Representative to the EU
    Koen Vervaeke
    Managing Director Africa
    European External Action Service
    Koen Doens
    Director East and Southern Africa and ACP coordination
    European Commission - DG for International Cooperation and Development
    Volker Hauck
    Head of Programme - Conflict, Security and Resilience
    European Centre for Development Policy Management
Photo gallery

Password for download : EDD2017