The African Peace Facility (APF) was established in 2004 in response to a request by African leaders. Financed through the European Development Fund, it constitutes the main source of funding to support the African Union's and African Regional Economic Communities' efforts in the area of peace and security with an overall amount of more than EUR 2,7 billion since 2004.
Under the Africa-EU partnership, the strategic objective on peace and security is not only 'to ensure a peaceful, safe, secure environment', but also to 'foster political stability and effective governance, while enabling sustainable and inclusive growth.'
Through this instrument, the EU is at the forefront of international support to the African Peace and Security agenda, providing, in parallel to EU political backing, substantial and predictable funding to the African Union's and African Regional Economic Communities' efforts in the area of peace and security. This partnership consists of three inter-linked priorities, which correspond to the specific objectives of the APF:
- Enhanced dialogue on challenges to peace and security
- Set up of an operational African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)
- Support to Peace Support Operations (PSOs) in Africa.
The APF has its legal basis on the Cotonou Agreement and it is funded through the European Development Fund (EDF). The direct beneficiaries of APF support are the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs), with a mandate in Peace and Security, and relevant institutions within or related to the APSA. According to the EDF regulations, APF funds can be used to finance costs incurred by African countries that are deploying their peace-keeping forces under the banner of the AU or a REC/RM in another country.
The APF strategic orientation is based on a dual approach, which combines short-term funding to address crises as they occur with a longer-term support of institutional capacity building in Peace and Security.
In line with agreed priorities, APF funded activities fall in the following areas:
- Capacity Building
Capacity building is a major component of the APF since 2007. It aims at strengthening basic institutional capacities and efficiency of the AU and the RECs/RMs in the planning and conduct of PSOs in Africa as well as in the operationalisation of the APSA. The long-term goal is to enable the African institutions to ensure peace and security on their own without external assistance.
- Early Response Mechanism (ERM)
The ERM allows rapidly responding to urgent needs by providing funding for the first stages of actions aimed at the prevention, management and resolution of crises. The APF foresees an initial allocation of €20 million for the ERM, earmarked in the Action Programme 2017-2018).
- African-led Peace Support Operations (PSOs)
The PSOs are aimed at providing public security through a range of military and civilian tasks, including peacekeeping, maintenance of public order, policing, infrastructure reconstruction, political dialogue and national reconciliation.
The APF has provided support to 14 African-led PSOs in18 countries since 2004.
From a financial perspective, supporting these operations has represented the main area of commitment of the APF.
The Financing Agreement for the 2017-2018 Action Programme for the African Peace Facility (€592 million) is in line with previous APF programmes. Direct beneficiaries remain the AU and the RECs/EMS, with close to 90% of the funds to support African-led peace operations and the rest to support the operationalisation of the APSA and Early Response Mechanism actions aimed at conflict prevention and crisis management. The rules of eligibility of costs remain unchanged from the past, the APF may for example cover allowances for the troops, salaries for civilians, logistical, transportation, medical, communication costs but in no way can it fund military equipment, arms, ammunition or military training.