Investment In People Is Unifying Foundation, Says Rwandan President

Africa Now Witnessing New Geopolitical Leadership, Says Togo’s Foreign Affairs Minister

Doha, Qatar: The second day of the 2024 Global Security Forum – the sixth in the annual series which is being held in Doha under the patronage of the nation’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani – has heard calls for more African unity with the Rwandan President citing investment in human capital as a unifying catalyst.

In a fireside chat, His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda said investment in human capital galvanises unity efforts and builds African self-reliance.

He said: “The foundation for us is unity and we are building on that foundation by investing in people,” pointing to his nation’s remarkable recovery from genocide, its development roadmap, and its approach to hosting refugees and asylum seekers.

A strong call for more unification came from His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) in a fireside chat when the AUC leader underscored the importance of the United Nations in resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, emphasized the need for sustainable peace in Sudan, expressed disappointment over the displacement of young Africans, and stressed the necessity for African unity in international affairs.

“We are not as united as we want and sometimes, we feel that members of some states don't follow what has been decided at the level of the continent,” he said.

He added: “We need real efforts to unite, to speak with one voice to strengthen the position of Africa in the international arena. It is a real challenge also for us.”

 This year’s Forum, organized by the Qatar International Academy For Security Studies (QIASS) and The Soufan Center, is addressing the theme of 'Strategic Competition: The Complexity of Interdependence.' The gathering has convened international leaders, security experts, and policymakers to explore the intricate dynamics of global security and address the multifaceted challenges of an interconnected world.

Delivering high level remarks, Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar, Nigeria’s Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, emphasized the delicate balance required for global security and the imperative of maintaining momentum for safety.

He stated: “Today, we are witnessing how existing and new actors, major and medium powers, are gradually playing key roles in shaping global and regional security issues and situations, expanding their influence, and advancing their strategic interests across the globe, using all elements of national power”.

Continuing the focus on Africa, a discussion on 'The Current Geopolitical Landscape in Africa' examined the increasing involvement of external actors in African geopolitics and highlighted the importance of internal dialogue for addressing issues. His Excellency Robert Dussey, Togo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, and Togolese Abroad emphasized the significance of African countries engaging in self-dialogue for sustainable solutions.

He said: ‘The African continent is changing. When we talk about geopolitical issues in the world, and particularly in Africa, we have right now new leadership in Africa’.

Later the Forum focus shifted to the issue of hostage affairs with Ambassador Roger Carstens, Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, emphasizing the importance of personal engagement with hostage families citing examples from the recent issue of Israeli hostages in Gaza. He told the Forum: “What we tried to do immediately is establish contact with the families, start pulling in information, building relationships with the Israeli government and ensuring lines of effort were clear in the United States government.”

Throughout the day, various high-level remarks, fireside chats, and panel discussions also addressed critical issues including countering terrorism and the proliferation of non-state actors.

Day two of the forum concluded with side events, including a signing by journalist, author, and Chief Correspondent for MSNBC, Ali Velshi of his new book ‘Small Acts of Courage’ and an exclusive event sponsored by the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate.

Ali Velshi said the Forum was an important showcase for his book which chronicles a legacy of endurance and the fight for democracy and is a memoir of his family’s migration from India to South Africa to Kenya to Canada, and his own journey as an American citizen.

He said: “It’s timely that I’m able to speak about Small Acts of Courage with attendees and speakers at the Global Security Forum - people who understand well that solving the problems that plague us happens literally one discussion, one policy change at a time. The confluence of problems to solve to make the world a safer place seems, in its entirety, altogether too big. But together, undertaking sometimes small, but courageous acts, we make the world a better place.”

The Global Security Forum 2024 concludes tomorrow. The final day will hear high level remarks from His Excellency Ali Ihusaan, Minister of Homeland Security and Technology, Republic of Maldives and feature discussions on the geopolitical implications of the war in Gaza, threats to human security in the Global South, and the security impact of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.

About The Global Security Forum:

The Global Security Forum is an annual international gathering which has brought together, for several years, an international network of senior officials and experts and consistently included heads of state and government, ministers, heads of security agencies, prominent experts, academics, journalists, and thousands of attendees. This invitation-only event provides a unique dynamic platform for international stakeholders to convene and address the international community’s leading security challenges. Please visit and follow @TheSoufanCenter, @GSECFORUM, @QIASSQATAR #GSF2024.