A Conversation with Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

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On December 2nd, IPI hosted a Global Leaders Series event featuring H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

The African Union Commission (AUC) is integral to the promotion of sustainable peace and democratic governance on the African continent. These priorities and initiatives serve as a foundation for collective action, from pursuing regional integration at the political and economic levels to championing governance, development, and peace as interrelated normative and policy agendas. To further support these priorities and advance Africa’s interests on the global stage, the AUC has strengthened its partnerships with Africa’s regional economic communities and mechanisms, the United Nations, and other regions and countries.

The AUC’s upcoming twentieth anniversary and its recently completed institutional reforms offer a moment for reflection on recent progress and ongoing challenges. Despite tangible progress in recent years, African countries continue to confront structural and proximate threats to collective peace and security. Exclusive political leadership detracts from the consolidation of democratic-governance institutions and inclusive economic development, testing social contracts and giving rise to civic unrest. The COVID-19 pandemic is still reverberating across the continent and straining already fragile economies and domestic social structures. Climate degradation is exacerbating already significant humanitarian needs and amplifying the pressures of rapid urbanization and a majority-youth population. The continent’s aspirations to silence all guns and end armed conflicts have been weakened by fragile political agreements, transnational security and criminal threats, and rising geopolitical tensions that undermine the prospects for sustained multilateral action.

IPI’s Global Leaders Series discussion with H.E. Mahamat will focus on contemporary peace and security trends on the African continent as well as opportunities and priorities for strengthening sustainable peace and democratic governance over the coming years. It will also provide an opportunity to reflect on the African Union’s role as a multilateral institution supporting continental peace and security and its efforts to strengthen Africa’s geopolitical effectiveness and unity.

H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, now in his second term as Chairperson of the African Union Commission, has held this position since January 2017. H.E. Mahamat has previously served in multiple official capacities for the Republic of Chad, including as Prime Minister and Head of Government, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Director of the presidential cabinet, and President of the country’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council. He also chaired the Security Council in December 2014, including the general debate on December 19, 2014 on “threats to international peace and security: cross-border terrorism and crime.” H.E. Mahamat chaired the Peace and Security Council of the African Union in September 2013 and steered the Extraordinary Summit on Antiterrorism in Ouagadougou.

This event was moderated by Dr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, President and CEO of IPI.