The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held a virtual signing ceremony on Thursday, 1 October 2020 at 11am to mark a partnership formed with The Forum for Former African Heads of State (Africa Forum) and a pledge of support from the Government of Japan represented by Ambassador Maruyama from the Embassy of Japan to South Africa. This partnership is to promote a new approach to dialogue for peace, stability and good governance in Africa. UNDP Resident Representative Dr Ayodele Odusola who was also chair of the signing highlighted that “the project is anchored in the peace pillar introduced in TICAD7, and that it will also be anchored in UNDP’s social cohesion project".
Presently, the Africa Forum has a total of thirty-five (35) former Heads of State and Government. Additionally, there are four other African leaders. It is essentially designed to support the implementation of the broad objectives of the African Union (AU) and African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), at national, sub-regional and regional levels. Ambassador Maruyama assured the partners of the embassy’s support to the NAPSA initiative by calling for the “outlining of key areas of the initiatives to be put into practice”. The Ambassador also added that he was “positive that these efforts will lead to fruitful completion of project” and further asked for the embassy to be kept abreast of developments.
This partnership is also aimed at working extensively with the South African government departments concerned with effective governance and promotion of social cohesion as well as the involvement with regional institutions of peace and security including the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The partnerships will also be sought with private sector, academic and research institutes in peace and good governance.
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