Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Climate Change resources migration
Securing Africa in an uncertain climate
August 2009
Heinrich Böll Foundation Southern Africa

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges Heinrich Böll Foundation Southern Africa as the source of this document


Many events and discussions about Africa’s evolving peace and security architecture focus on its institutional challenges and efforts to manage and resolve conflicts across the continent, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan.

The conference ‘Climate Change, Resources, Migration: Old and New Sources of Conflict in Africa?’ hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) in Cape Town placed its emphasis differently. The conference, while analysing the current state of Africa’s peace and security architecture, focused rather on the structural root causes of conflict in Africa and on the question of whether the security framework in place offers appropriate answers to deal with these challenges.

Climate change, natural resources and migration have been of central interest to HBF, as a green political foundation, for many years, and they undoubtedly contribute, in conjunction to aggravating political, economic and social circumstances, to instability and insecurity on the continent.

This publication presents the critical themes that informed the debates during the conference. While the first article, written by Leonie Joubert, provides an overview of the conference proceedings, the ensuing contributions explore the range of issues on which the various discussion panels focused.

Setting the scene, Monica Juma introduces the topic of security and regional cooperation in Africa. She further discusses the factors that have put enormous pressure on the African peace and security architecture in its attempt to respond effectively and guarantee security for the continent. Building on this, Siphamandla Zondi sheds light on South Africa’s diplomacy efforts to create conditions of peace, stability and democracy across the continent.

In the third article, Oli Brown underlines the gravity of climate change to Africa, however warning not to oversimplify the relationship between climate change and conflict on the continent. Sarah Wykes outlines the governance and economic impediments to sustainable development and security associated with mineral-dependent states in Africa, while highlighting the role multinational companies can play, either positively or negatively, in influencing this outcome. In the last article, Loren Landau argues that as long as the central state remains at the core of how we understand security in the context of migration, we will fail to effectively protect women and other vulnerable migrant groups.

The conference clearly underscored that we need to understand and deal more comprehensively with structural root causes of conflict in Africa if sustainable peace and security is to be achieved. We therefore hope that this publication will provide a platform for further discussions focused on the obstacles to peace and security in Africa and the political solutions to overcome them.

Dr Antonie Katharina Nord
Regional Director

Jochen Luckscheiter
International Politics & Dialogue Programme Manager

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