The African Union has reaffirmed the need for alternative narratives and effective government regulation, as well as control of all education curricula at all levels to prevent infiltration of learning institutions by terrorist and violent extremist groups.
The AU made the decision at its 687th meeting held in Addis Ababa on 23 May 2017, noting that Council underlines the imperative of religious and cultural tolerance, but the need to control all education curricula at all levels, kindergarten to the highest institutions of learning.
High levels of illiteracy and poverty in Africa have made education institutions more vulnerable to religious ideologies. Religious institutions make the majority of education institutions in provincial and urban towns, and in villages, with little or no monitoring by governments on the nature of education passed on to the pupils.
The AU acknowledges that no country can unilaterally confront and defeat terrorism and violent extremism, but underscores the importance of timely and coordinated responses to early warnings.
“Council also underscores the importance of intelligence sharing and regional, as well as continental collective security arrangements in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.”
The AU Council reiterates the urgent need to fully activate its Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism as well the urgent need to operationalize the African Union Special Fund on the Prevention and Combating Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Africa.
The AU reaffirms that terrorism, radicalization and violent extremism can only be effectively addressed through the use of a holistic approach that combine security and military action and, in the longer term, economic and social development.
“Council urges once more Member States to deploy necessary efforts and to effectively address the root causes and the underlying conditions that give rise to the spread of terrorism and violent extremism, including poverty, marginalization and youth unemployment, as well as economic, social and political exclusion.”