Squaring the Circle: The Role of the African Peace and Security Architecture
This chapter provides a critical assessment of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). It argues against viewing the APSA through a narrow military prism, instead calling for a broader focus on the full spectrum of conflict prevention strategies, and a more proactive approach that addresses the structural causes of conflict in Africa. Though the APSA has included the creation of conflict early warning and early response instruments, it continues to have a reactive stance, lacking adequate mechanisms for decisive and timely preventive action. This reflects the de-linking of governance and human rights institutions as a major defect in the APSA. The chapter offers several recommendations to strengthen the APSA, including integration with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and new mechanisms to strengthen compliance with human rights and governance standards, while urging greater political will and resource mobilisation for conflict prevention.