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Debate on African secularism and faith-branded security threats to take centre stage at Tana

Panels of African heads of state, eminent African personalities, academics, and policy makers are expected to debate African secularism and faith-branded security threats when the 4th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa takes place on the 18th and 19th April 2015 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, the capital of the Amhara regional state, 578 kms North of Addis Abeba.


This year’s theme, which focuses on “Secularism and Politicised Faith” in Africa, has attracted more than 200 stakeholders from government, civil society, faith-based organisations, policy makers, and academics from across the continent.

“This year’s theme comes at a time when the continent is at a crossroads,” said H.E. OlusegunObasanjo, former Nigerian President and Chairperson of the Tana Board. “The debate on secularism and politicised faith has always bordered on the cautious with African states often using faith-based movements for political means or checking it by force. Africa is a continent where faith holds a special place in people’s lives whether it is traditional African beliefs or organised religions. We at Tana feel it is time to take the debate to the pertinent stakeholders and seek holistic solutions.”

“Recent events in the Sahel region, the postponement of elections in Nigeria due to security fears brought about by Boko Haram, and faith-based conflicts in Central African Republic will give this year’s theme added relevance,” Michelle Ndaye-Ntab, Head of the Tana Forum Secretariat. “But the debate at Tana aims beyond current news events and hopes to create an enabling avenue for multi-stakeholders to make open, critical, and substantive contributions reflecting regional peculiarities and providing context driven-solutions.”

The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa is an independent Forum on peace and security in Africa. Taking place every year in April on the shores of Lake Tana and the source of the Blue Nile in the picturesque lake side resort city of Bahir Dar in Ethiopia, the Forum brings together heads of state, academics, the private sector, and policy makers for two days of debate, discussions, and side meetings.



Cover Photo: Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Tana Board Chairperson

Photo: Tana Forum

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