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Overview of crisis prevention and conflict management in Africa

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Africa is a key area for the German Government’s crisis‑prevention and post‑conflict peacebuilding measures. A major goal is to strengthen African ownership by empowering African partners to carry out successful crisis prevention and effective crisis response.

A German police officer on duty with UNAMID
A German police officer on duty with UNAMID© BMI

Civilian crisis prevention is an important foreign policy instrument for shaping transformation processes and rapidly stabilising fragile or conflict‑ridden states. Civilian crisis prevention is a priority of the German Government’s coalition agreement. The aim is to strengthen and further develop civilian crisis prevention structures.

Civilian Crisis Prevention Action Plan

On 12 November 2014 and 6 February 2015, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented the German Government’s Fourth Report on Implementing the Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Action Plan to the German Bundestag. The report underlines the need for a precautionary foreign policy based on the principle that it is better to make preventive investments in peace and stability, rather than ultimately having to intervene too late.

In the future, civilian crisis prevention will focus on strengthening statehood (including security sector reform and developing the rule of law and the police force), strengthening multilateral peacekeeping instruments such as the United Nations and regional organisations, as well as peace mediation, peaceful conflict resolution and post‑conflict peacebuilding. Sustainable crisis prevention can only be achieved by taking a comprehensive approach that includes all policy fields, particularly foreign, security, economic, development and environmental policy, and merging them into a coherent overall policy (the networked security concept).

Sitz der Afrikanischen Union in Addis Abeba
Sitz der Afrikanischen Union in Addis Abeba© dpa/picture alliance

Supporting peace and security architecture in Africa

One visible example is the construction of a building financed by Germany for the Peace and Security Department of the African Union Commission (AUC). The building will be handed over to the African Union (AU) in 2015. The German Government also supports long‑term programmes aimed at fostering the AU’s peace and security architecture. Further measures are enhancing reliable civilian police structures in Africa, supporting the African Union Border Programme and helping to set up a Continental Early Warning System (CEWS).

The German Government also takes this approach on the European level, for example by supporting the European Union Training Missions in Mali and Somalia and by contributing to the African Peace Facility via the European Development Fund.

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