The Borno State governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, has travelled to Egypt, where he addressed participants at the third edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, which held on Tuesday, in Cairo.
The Aswan Forum was launched in February 2019 by the Egyptian Government “in its capacity as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) and Champion of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) in Africa.”
The forum which holds annually in Egypt “is a high-level multi-stakeholder platform that brings heads of states, leaders from national governments, international and regional organizations, financial institutions, private sector and civil society, together with visionaries, scholars and prominent experts for a context-specific, action-oriented and forward-looking discussion on the opportunities as well as the threats and challenges facing the (African) continent” and identifying solutions to African problems.
This year’s forum had the theme: “Africa in an Era of Cascading Risks and Climate Vulnerability: Pathways for a Peaceful, Resilient, and Sustainable Continent.”
The forum was attended by participants from African countries and international development partners from other parts of the world.
United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and the President of Egypt, Abdu Fattah El-Sisi participated virtually.
The forum discussed a number of Africa’s priorities, including enhancing cooperation to combat terrorism, overcoming the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, achieving food security, and advancing post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts.
In his presentation, titled “Pathways for a peaceful, resilient and sustainable Borno State and environs,” Professor Zulum discussed Borno’s experiences in over 12 years of battling with insurgency highlighting impact of the crisis, responses and ongoing rebuilding efforts as well as prospects for peace recovery.
Zulum, amongst other things, highlighted issues related to effective integrated model in response to a wave of defection by terrorists, reinforcing peace-building and development in Borno’s 10 points agenda, balancing between peace and justice and ensuring appropriate linkages between the federal based rehabilitation efforts and the state-led rehabilitation, reconciliation and reintegration currently taking place.
Before Tuesday’s presentation, Governor Zulum, on Monday, received a research paper titled, “Advancing Holistic and Comprehensive Efforts to Confront Africa’s Growing Terrorism Challenge: A Nigerian Case Study on Developing Sustainable Pathways Out of Extremism for Individuals Formerly Associated with Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa Province”.
The report was presented to the governor by Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping & Peace-building (CCCPA).
The report is expected to help Borno’s approach in ongoing peace-building efforts which seek to end violent activities by Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists.
Governor Zulum traveled to Egypt alongside officials involved with Borno’s ongoing Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration activities in response to mass surrender by Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters who yielded to the Government’s invitation for peace.
The officials in Zulum’s delegation included a Commissioner-designate, Zuwaira Gambo, Special Adviser Security, Brigadier General Abdullahi Ishaq (retired) and Special Adviser on Religious Affairs, Sheikh Modu Mustapha.