ECOWAS Vice President, Mrs Finda Koroma, on Tuesday called for urgent need to adopt a more proactive approach to Africa’s common quest for development, peace and stability.

Koroma made the call at a meeting held in collaboration with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

Newsmen report that the meeting is theme: “African Civil Society Perspectives on Implementing APRM National Action Plans and Linking APRM Country Evaluations to Early Warning for Conflict Prevention Interventions”.

“The decision to leverage the APRM for early warning and conflict prevention at the continental level is far-reaching, visionary and laudable.

“Periodic APRM country evaluations, looking to identify existing and emerging challenges and vulnerabilities along the four thematic areas, will serve to reinforce early warning signs of potential conflict,” she said.

She said the evaluations would also provide a useful guide for programmatic planning of interventions to prevent and mitigate tensions and conflict at the local, national, sub-national, regional and continental levels.

“We need to make a tangible paradigm shift from reactive to preventive strategies and initiatives, in order to completely achieve and sustain this aspiration.

“The objective of today’s forum is to explore ways of strengthening the role of civil society in conflict prevention for the effective implementation of Agenda 2063,” she said.

The ECOWAS official said that civil society organisations had undoubtedly proven to be vital partners in providing valuable insights into diverse local and community dynamics, mobilising local and national peace actors and coordinating community-based peace infrastructures.

“Collecting and disseminating information from grassroots to national and regional levels, promoting inter and intra-communal dialogue as well as enhancing mediation capacities of communities.

Also speaking, Mr Eddy Maloka, Chief Executive Officer, APRM Secretariat, said that AU gave the APRM the mandate to contribute to conflict prevention in the African continent because APRM produces country reports at which those reports has been able to show the challenges faced by those countries.

“Some of the challenges can be earnest and used for conflict prevention and early warning.

“So we are here to think through the methodology and processes for achieving that,” he said.

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