Dakar, 13 November 2017

I am very happy to be back in Dakar, and I would like to begin by thanking President Macky Sall, our host, for the invitation to join you here today.

As a contribution to our discussion, allow me to emphasise the simple point that insecurity flourishes where we fail to cooperate with each other adequately, building on whatever resources we might have.

Insecurity takes many forms, from terrorism to uncontrolled migration, to divisive politics, or even consequences of the failure to adapt to climate change. But whatever the challenge is, we can most successfully address it by working together.

First and foremost, that means coordinating among ourselves as Africans. If we allow others to bear the burden and to define our challenges for us and take responsibility for addressing those problems on our behalf, we have only ourselves to blame for the dismal results.

A major pillar of the ongoing institutional reform of the African Union is a more focused and assertive Africa. Another key pillar, inseparable from the first, is to pay for African institutions, including common security and defence mechanisms, as much as possible from our own resources.

However, African unity and resolve do not negate the importance of productive collaboration with our external partners. On the contrary. After all, on many critical priorities, such as counter-terrorism, our interests are fully aligned.

Let me not take very long and close by mentioning another important point. The spirit of collaboration must extend beyond governments. Stability is built on a foundation of trust and rising prosperity from which all citizens benefit.

That is the logic behind our experience in our country that an inclusive and consultative form of politics in which citizens and the private sector are fully involved offers the best prospects for security and human development.

In closing, allow me to acknowledge the various partners who have contributed to the successful process of this forum, and also to once again thank you, Mr President, our host, for all the arrangements that have made our stay comfortable.

I look forward to our discussion. Thank you.