Africa is the second-largest and second-most-populous continent on earth with an estimated 2020 population of 1.3 billion, which is expected to double by 2050. Due to the effects of climate change, extreme weather events are increasing in many parts of the continent. Crises worlwide- droughts, conflicts, epidemics, food insecurity, natural disasters - have a devastating impact on local populations and their consequences affect the entire international community. This is why the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna has been investing human and financial resources for years in programmes aimed at increasing endogenous African capacities to manage conflicts and disasters (from prevention to reconstruction). These efforts were aimed at building a renewed North-South cooperation in the areas of research and training, with the exchange of experiences, best practices, lessons learned, transfer of knowledge and know-how. We aimed at building a strong partnership for the management of knowledge in strategic areas such as peace and security, good governance, management of natural disasters, respect for human rights, as well as contributing to the implementation of Goal 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions of the UN Agenda 2030. The ultimate goal is to build and strengthen indigenous capacities following the principle of local ownership, full African ownership of responses to the continent's challenges and opportunities.
Development of the innovative solution
Thanks to the activation of its International Training Program for Conflict Management in 1995, the San’Anna School of Advanced Studies has carried out a series of activities for international staff working in Africa in humanitarian assistance, development and post-conflict reconstruction (peacebuilding) projects on the one hand, and for African training and research institutions and staff on the other.
Social, economic and enviromental impact and benefit
The Sant’Anna school has trained more than 8,000 people and organised more than 550 courses, 1/3 of them abroad, most of them on the African continent. Through the project 'Training of civilian and police personnel to be employed in the African Union Rapid Response Forces', concrete support was offered to the AU for the preparation of civilian and police personnel to be engaged in peace support operations (PSOs) in unstable countries. This project was then complemented by the second programme of actions focused on building the capacity and skills of central state administration staff in various African countries in the belief that there is an extraordinary potential of local human resources available in the various African countries to take direct responsibility for crisis management in their countries, after appropriate training. The third area of activity is focused on the training of civilian personnel from Italy and Western countries involved in helping African countries to manage humanitarian crises and in the reconstruction phase.