Press Release: Amani Africa and Namibia convene a meeting of the High-level Panel of Experts on Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System

14 and 15 December, 2023

Nairobi, Kenya: Amani Africa convenes the joint Namibia-Amani Africa High-Level Panel of Experts on Africa and the Reform of the Multilateral System in Nairobi, Kenya on 14-15 December. This Panel, following the launch of the joint initiative in February 2023 on the side-lines of the 36th AU Summit, held its inaugural meeting in July 2023. It serves as a platform to harness the rich expertise and insights of seasoned diplomats, scholars and policy makers for facilitating and informing the engagement of African states in the various policy discussions and negotiations for making the multilateral system fit for purposes.

Amid the dynamic shifts in global power structures, intensifying geopolitical tensions and a marked rise in impunity, there is growing need and urgency for reforming the structure and operation of the current multilateral system. For Africa and others that have no seat in some of the key multilateral decision-making forums, this would entail, among others, representation and effective participation in decisions that profoundly affecting them.

The joint High-level Panel of Experts brings together experts from different fields to examine the challenges facing multilateralism and to articulate proposals for reforming the system reflecting Africa’s position for a more representative and fairer multilateral system. This is cognizant of the rising profile of Africa and the African Union (AU) in global affairs and how AU’s role vis-a-vis the United Nation (UN) can serve as a locus for reform of the multilateral system.

The Nairobi meeting, opened with Keynote address of Dr Korir A. Sing’Oei, Principal Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, discussed the current state of the policy processes on the reform of multilateralism. It also thoroughly examined the draft text prepared to serves as the base of the final report of the Panel.

The Nairobi meeting built on and took forward the views canvassed during the inaugural meeting of the Panel and the consultative meeting the Panel held with the Africa Group in New York under the leadership of H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia.

The convening of the High-Level Panel jointly by Namibia, as member state of the AU and the UN, Amani Africa, as a think tank, and is lauded as ground breaking initiative that is the first of its kind both in its approach and relevance for enabling Africa, through the AU and the Africa Group, to play its expanding role effectively and meaningfully in the global arena.

The work of the panel is designed to serve as useful input for Africa’s engagement in the various reform processes including those leading to the Summit of the Future in September 2024. Apart from feeding the analysis from the work of the Panel to various policy negotiations at the level of the AU and global multilateral forums such as the UN and the G20, the High-level Panel of Experts is expected to finalize and launch its report in early 2024.

Amani Africa acknowledges with appreciation the generous support of Open Society Foundations towards this convening. We also thank Switzerland, Ireland, and Norway for their support for our other works.