Friday 4 January 2013

The African Union (AU) partners FESPACO on Peace And Security

The Commission of the African Union (AU) and the Government of Burkina Faso, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a Special Peace and Security Award for the Ougadoudou PanAfrican Film and Television Festival (FESPACO).

The MoU was signed at the AU Headquarters, by Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security, and, on behalf of Burkina Faso, by Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma, Permanent Representative to the AU. The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Dr. Mustapha Kaloko Sidiki, also attended the ceremony.

The decision to establish the Peace and Security Award is part of the ‘Make Peace Happen’ Campaign, launched by the AU to further mobilize all stakeholders within the continent, in order to bring to an end the conflicts and crises that are afflicting Africa. The objective is also to confer greater visibility on AU’s efforts in this area.

The Award, which is worth 8 million CFA francs (about 16,000 U.S. dollars), aims at presenting a certificate, rewarding and honoring, through FESPACO, the best African cinematographic productions which promote the culture of peace and nonviolence on the continent. It will be reserved to African films and awarded at every edition of the Festival by a special jury proposed by the AU.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Commissioner Lamamra reiterated the commitment of the AU to use all available tools to further the cause of peace on the continent. In this context, he underscored the appropriateness of the FESPACO framework, as one of the most eminent Film Festivals in Africa. He added: "The AU’s decision to launch this Peace Award is also in recognition of the contribution of President Blaise Compaoré towards the promotion of peace, security and stability in West Africa, as evidenced by the successful mediation efforts he has undertaken to assist in the resolution of conflicts and crises in the region”. 

On her part, Ambassador Samate Cessouma welcomed this new milestone in the cooperation between the AU and Burkina Faso towards freeing the continent from the scourge of conflicts and making peace happen. “Since its inception, the African Union has shown a proactiveness in conflict prevention and resolution that is unanimously acknowledged on the continent. Undoubtedly, the establishment of the Peace Award will go a long way in promoting the culture of peace, while at the same time honoring my country and its leaders”.

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