By Thomas Ochieng 26/8/21 The Horn International Institute of Strategic Studies an Independent applied Research and Policy think tank based in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, is holding a 2 day High level conference on Africa-Middle East Relations at a Nairobi Hotel Ole Serani-Emara from 25th-26th August 2020.
The conference aims to asses impact of increasing Political, Security and Economic engagements between Africa and Middle Eastern countries on Africa’s Development and Stability.
Speaking during the opening session, Dr Mustafa Ali, The Director and Chairman for HORN institute said that Africa-Middle East interaction has increased significantly over the last 30 years ”Interactions between the Middle East has increased significantly over the years. In the last 10 years, interactions between the Middle Eastern countries and Africa has more than doubled.” Mustafa Yusuf Ali said.
Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Chief Administrative Secretary CAS Hon.Ababu Namwamba while officially opening the conference said that Kenya being a rotational Member of the Security council of the United Nations UN, Kenya will champion the interaction of Africa and Middle Eastern region in pursuit of Peace, Security and Stability he also praised the HORN institute “As Kenya takes the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in October, Kenyan think tanks such as HORN Institute will play a key role” Said Hon.Namwamba. Adding that Africa and Middle East ties continue to be defined by ever rising economic security and political engagements between our countries ultimately for mutual benefits and prosperity.
His sentiments were echoed by The Morocco Ambassador to Kenya Dr Mokhtar Ghambou who called for robust engagements at the African union by ensuring that there’s national integration “geographical classifications should be looked and known through creating problem solving mechanism and discourse such as slavery urging to look at history and create dual relationship to promote longevity” Said Amb.Ghambou.
According to one of the panelist, Prof Fatuma Ali an associate professor of International Relations at the United States International University -Africa remarked on the economic and violent extremism in Africa moments that those Middle Eastern Countries remains on high profile. “When it comes to extremists we need to look at their profile and understand where they are coming from.” -Prof Fatuma Ali said. Scholars need to engage in a conversation with the middle east countries to find a solution for the challenges and problems faced.
Among scholars and renowned industrialists attended the first ever conference physically and virtually were; Titus Ibui, EGH, Chairman of the Board, LAPSSET Corridor Program, Rashid Abdi, Analyst, Horn of Africa and the Gulf, Prof. Macharia Munene, Ph.D., Associate Fellow, Diplomacy, Geopolitics, and Foreign Relations, the HORN Institute, Prof. Anne Speckhard, Ph.D., Director, International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE), USA .