In April 2015, the WAPSN organized a symposium on the Regional Dynamics of Peace and Security in West Africa at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre in Accra. The event brought together researchers and practitioners from Africa, Europe and North America to discuss current challenges to peace and security in West Africa. Among others, the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, the Political Director of the ECOWAS Commission and UN representatives were in attendance. Debate focused on the crisis in Mali, the MINUSMA operation, maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, the role of France in West Africa and on the coordination of different organizations in conflict resolution.
Drawing academic and practitioners together from a broad spectrum of field of expertise, the symposium was regarded by delegates as a founding stone for the development and growth of the WAPS Network. The Political Director of the UN-Office at the African Union, Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah notably stressed that exchange between academics and practitioners could foster solutions : “The prevention of conflicts requires their deeper understanding. Therefore, a better communication and cooperation between practitioners from regional and international institutions, civil servants from national governments and researchers is needed to strengthen this understanding and use it in an effective way”.