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AU Peace Fund targets private partnerships to mitigate continental conflicts

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The AU has been raising its funding through member countries' contributions but often calls on international partners to support its endeavours, particularly with the ongoing African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

The African Union Peace Fund has begun exploring partnerships with private firms in its endeavour to increase its resource capacity and independence in mitigating against and responding to conflict in the continent.

On Monday, the unit explored areas of collaboration with Equity Bank-Kenya, which has a presence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.



The discussions delved into the status of the AU Peace Fund and its governance structure, the contribution by member states, the balance sheet and return on investments as well as the increasing appetite for the private sector's contribution to Africa's peace, security and stability architecture.

Since its establishment over two decades ago, the AU has been raising its funding through member countries' contributions but often calls on international partners to support its endeavours, particularly with the ongoing African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

"For every one dollar spent on conflict and crisis prevention, over USD16 is saved on the downstream costs of violent conflict, which demonstrates the value of the prevention rather than management of conflicts," AU said on Monday after the meeting led by the African Union Commission delegation led by Deputy Chairperson Monique Nsanzabaganwa.

Peace support operations

The AU relies on the fund to finance its peace prevention, mediation and enforcement activities within its member states including peace support operations and other authorised mandates such as observer missions, enforcement missions and stabilization missions in response to complex national and transnational security threats.

As of December 31, the fund had USD384.3 million contributions from member countries.

"Notably, 34 member states have contributed 100 per cent of their assessed shares, demonstrating a strong commitment to finance peace on the continent," a statement issued by the AU at the time states.

USD6.5million from the kitty was disbursed to ATMIS to bridge a funding gap of USD2 million, another USD2 million went to support the operations of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and another USD 1.5million went to fund the technical pause for ATMIS and the remaining USD1 million was approved to sustain the Pretoria Peace Process in the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration exercise in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia.

The meetings will culminate in the launch of the expanded AU Peace Fund Resource Mobilisation Strategy in July through which the regional body will collaborate to raise funds for conflict prevention and response.

The delegation has been meeting financial institutions, state-owned enterprises, African multi-laterals, and private sector players including philanthropists and high-net-worth individuals.

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