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H.E Damtien Larbli Tchintchibidja, Vice President, ECOWAS,

Dr. Onyinye Onwuka, Ag. Director Early Warning Division, ECOWAS,

Distinguished Representatives of the RECs/RMs,

Distinguished Participants from the African Union Commission,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

On behalf of Dr. Alhaji Sarjoh Bah, Director Conflict Management Directorate, I bring you greetings from the the African Union and its leadership.

Let me also express the African Union’s appreciation to ECOWAS for co-hosting this important meeting.

This meeting continues to bring together, again representatives from various RECs/RMs and the African Union. Our collective presence here reflects how across Africa our collaboration is bringing about peace and security and delivering on continental aspirations.

From the outset, let me underscore the AU's unwavering commitment to promoting peace, security, and stability in Africa. This is clearly articulated in the Constitutive Act and the PSC Protocol. In this regard, the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) plays a vital role in anticipating and preventing conflicts on our continent. A role that we must collectivelty take pride in advancing.

Today's meeting, the 28th joint session since 2008, is a milestone to be celebrated as it highlights our commitment to collaboration and dedication to the cause of Early Warning across Africa.

Our joint meetings continue to hold great significance - as they provide us an opportunity to strengthen collaboration and coordination between AU CEWS and RECs/RMs - ultimately improving our efforts at conflict prevention and mitigation.

But as we celebrate this milestone, let us remain mindful of the objectives set for the next three days, which will steer our discussions and help us make the most of this meeting.

Our aim is to enhance collaboration and coordination, share insights on emerging trends and potential conflict indicators, and identify capacity gaps while exploring capacity-building opportunities.

Overall, the message of our sessions must revolve around the revitalisation of CEWS and the need to incorporate good practices that will benefit both the AU and the RECs/RMs. Mainly how we collaborate and harmonise our early warning activities for effective conflict prevention and the importance of deepening our joint reporting as an effective tool.

We must also acknowledge the key achievements of the last 27 meetings. Key here have been improvements in information sharing, joint activities and joint planning.

Moving forward, past challenges such as the need to strengthen joint conflict analysis will be a priority for us all.

Looking ahead, we must promote peer learning and partnerships, engage in joint initiatives, and make use of resources like the Inter-Regional Knowledge Exchange (I-RECKE) Platform.
Additionally, training national personnel, collaborating on electoral activities, and implementing mediation and negotiation strategies will be crucial in maintaining good governance and preventing conflicts.

In conclusion, the African Union continues to call for a renewed focus on our combined efforts and cooperation to achieve peace and security across the continent. This must involve the robust development of joint initiatives and the essential ongoing support for RECs/RMs. We believe through this approach, we can effectively address early warning issues.

Finally, on behalf of the African Union, let me congratulate you all again and thank ECOWAS and all the RECs/RMs for your continuous efforts in early warning. I wish you a successful meeting and present the African Union’s goodwill to you all.

I thank you.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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