ACCORD continues to strengthen the mediation capacities of women in Africa.
ACCORD in collaboration with the Fellowship of Christian Council and Churches in the Great Lakes & the Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) and the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), trained the Regional Faith Women Peace Mediators in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa on mediation. The women represented the Christian and Muslim communities from Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and Burundi. The training took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 23-27 July 2018.
The intensive five day training covered modules on conflict analysis and mapping, communication and trust building, negotiation, mediation, lobbying and advocacy. The training was a combination of theory, group exercises, simulations and audio visual materials to improve participant’s skills and knowledge on conflict management. The training also enabled the sharing of experiences and lessons learnt sessions which helped the participants to reflect on the practice of mediation, based on their own contexts. The training was also strengthened by the experiences of guest speakers that included representatives from the Office of the African Union’s (AU) Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security; the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF); the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise-Africa); Clingendael Institute; the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme (UNEP); as well as Hon. Betty Bigombe-a mediator, all of whom have engaged in working on resolving conflict at different levels in the region.
Various learning visits were undertaken to the UN Office to the AU (UNOAU); UN Women and the AU’s Peace and Security Department. These visits enabled the participants to gain a better understanding of the mediation and conflict prevention work being undertaken by these institutions and more particularly the efforts undertaken to strengthen the participation of women in mediation and peacemaking.
After the training, the Network for the Women of Faith working on Mediation, that was launched in 2017, converged for a one-day Retreat to share experiences by participants who are undertaking mediation efforts within their respective countries as well as discuss the challenges they encounter in the work they are doing. The Retreat also enabled an induction of the guide on Gender Mainstreaming in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation: A Faith Perspective.
This training is an important and valuable effort towards strengthening women’s capacities to participate in peace processes which is a key element in working towards inclusive and sustainable peace processes. Such an initiative is one of the core strategies of ACCORD’s work and it contributes to ACCORD’s pillars on national capacities for peace and to the pillar on women, peace and security. ACCORD therefore will continue its commitment and engagements with its partners to strengthen the mediation capacities of women.