September 2, 2017 - Tana Forum’s organizers announced the change of venue of the high-level conference for next year from Bahir Dar to Ethiopia's southern city of Hawassa, where it will hold the 7th forum April 21 to 22, 2018 under the theme, “Ownership of Africa’s Peace and Security Provision: Financing and Reforming the African Union”.
The forum is an independent initiative by a group of renowned Africans, including former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and the late Meles Zenawi. It was launched in 2012, and has taken place each April on the shores of Lake Tana in the Ethiopian northern City of Bahir Dar.
Some experts say security concerns in Bahir Dar and other localities of the Amhara Regional State might have necessitated the change of venue. The 6th forum took place in Bahir Dar in April 2017 amid the state of emergency declared across Ethiopia.
The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa is a platform for African leaders, stakeholders and pro-active strategists to collaboratively engage in exploring and exchanging ideas on African-led solutions to security challenges.
Its secretariat, based at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University, is the organizer of the Tana Forum. President Obasanjo is the current chairperson of the forum’s advisory board, which includes former South African President Thabo Mbeki and other noted Africans.
The forum complements formal meetings of African heads of state and government by assembling them in an informal, collaborative environment.
In the spirit of gatherings taking place under the baobab tree, the forum offers space for panel discussions, interaction with the floor as well as bilateral talks to share views and experiences in a time-efficient, results-oriented and open manner.
The Tana Forum promotes African-led solutions by holding discussions on the strategic and pro-active management of African peace and security issues driven by the interest to contribute to stronger ownership of these issues.
The board of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa provides both strategic oversight on the forum as an institution, and decides on each forum's broad agenda and participation. It is composed of eminent Africans who have demonstrated leadership and inspiration in their fields of endeavor.