AAPI Convenes 2nd Arts4Peace Forum in Addis Ababa


An article by Dennis Kabatto in Shout-Africa

There is a growing consensus among young Africans in the continent and the Diaspora that the arts could orchestrate a lasting peace in Africa.  The African Artists Peace Initiative (AAPI), a Pan African movement of artists and peace-makers in association with UNESCO, UNDP, UN Economic Commission for Africa and relevant partners from the African Union Commission is hosting its second Arts4Peace Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


The two day forum on Tuesday, January 26 – Wednesday, January 27, 2016 will explore five key areas: Human Rights in Conflict Zones and Fragile States, Ending Violence against Women and Girls, Curbing Youth Extremism and Terrorism in Africa, Peace Education through Arts and the Media, Rethinking Refugees and Migrant Situations.

“We are indeed looking forward to fruitful deliberations with all stakeholders, and I would like to express here our readiness and commitment as Artists for a peaceful Africa,” said Meron Dagnew, AAPI Country Coordinator, Ethiopia and Chair of the two day forum.  “This arts 4 peace forum is one of our flagship projects that will be held every year in Addis Abeba right ahead of the African Union Heads of State summit as to make sure the results of the meeting are included in the discussions of the summit.”

Aisha Mohammed, Ethiopia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism will offer the forum’s official Opening Remarks. Some of the dignitaries that will appear to discuss the issues at the forum including Mr. Ibrahim Ceesay, AAPI Executive Coordinator; Dr. Olawale I. Maiyegun- Director, AUC Social Affairs Division; Alieu Jammeh, Minister of Youth and Sports of The Republic of The Gambia; Mr. Luckman Jaji- Poet/AAPI Liaison Officer to AU and ECA; Ms. Helen Afsaw, Director- Selam Ethiopia; Mr. Sydney Salmon: Musician and Ambassador of AAPI; Mr. Taye Balogun, Film-maker and Founder Storytellers; Mr. Faris Basharahil, Visual Artists and Director-Social Creative Singapore; Ms. Angela Martins, Head of Culture AU Social Affairs Department; Mr. Elyes Guermazi Executive Director,The International Institute of Debate; Ambassador Olusegun Akinsanya, Regional Representative & Senior Advisor, Regional Office Institute for Security Studies Addis Ababa; Ms. Michelle Ndiaye Ntab Director, Institute of Peace and Security Studies

AAPI officials say their movement inspired by the AU Constitutive Act, AU Year of Peace and Make Peace Happen Campaign, AU 2063 Agenda and the UNESCO Culture of Peace and Non-Violence Campaign will utilize the arts as their “weapon and tool for nurturing a culture of peace based on values, attitude, and ways of life conducive to the promotion of peace among individuals, groups and society.”

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