Silencing the Guns: creating conducive conditions for Africa’s Development
In 2014, the Bank extended a grant of UA 1 million to RECSA for an 18-months Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Project, which was successfully implemented. The partnership between the AfDB and RECSA espoused the recognition of the mandate of RECSA and showed that reduction of the proliferation of small arms can enhance the stability of the region and its member states.
The AU Summit, held on 9 and 10 February 2020, adopted “Silencing the Guns: creating conducive conditions for Africa’s Development” as the AU’s theme for 2020.
In the quest for peace and development, African Heads of State and Government decided to recommit to collecting illicit firearms by extending the commemoration and conduct of the Africa Amnesty Month up to 2030. The extension of the implementation of the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps for Silencing the Guns in Africa to 2030 was agreed upon during the AU Extra-Ordinary Summit held on 6 December 2020 providing an important opportunity to strengthen collaboration.
Silencing guns in Africa by the year 2020 remains a very strategic plan for improving peace and stability in Africa. It stipulates the use of collective measures for all member states to avoid the interests and power of single actors and yet, it requires an asserted/ collective effort to peace talks and agreements.
The threat posed by COVID-19 has considerably slowed the momentum of the silencing of the guns agenda and has abruptly added to the existing challenges, slowing down the attainment of peace and development.
The triangular relationship between the African Union (AU), the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons (RECSA) has been leveraged to foster efforts of Silencing the Guns Initiative. The aim is to further accelerate collective efforts to end conflicts and crises in Africa.