AU empowers women to lead the way in conflict resolution in Africa
8 March 2018
Africa University held a Women in Negotiation and Mediation Workshop at the university main campus from the 8th to the 9th of March 2018. The workshop was organized by the university’s Institute of Peace Leadership and Governance in partnership with the African Peace Building Network (APN). The theme of the workshop was Accelerating Women’s Participation in Peace building through UNSCR 2122.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 2122 adopted in 2013 puts stronger measures in place for women to participate in all phases of conflict prevention, resolution and recovery, placing the onus of providing them with seats at the peace table on UN Member States, regional organizations and the United Nations itself. This resolution came from a realization that Women must be involved at every stage of efforts to reassert the rule of law and rebuild society through transitional justice (UN Women 2013).
In attendance were women and men from Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. Vice Chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa in his opening remarks read on his behalf by the Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Pamela Machakanja said,
“The objective of this workshop is to bring together women and men from the business, government, church, civic society and nongovernmental sectors together to generate cross- sectional dialogue on this most important issue of bringing sustainable peace to some of the continent.”
He took the opportunity to highlight the significance and symbolism of the landmark workshop coinciding with International Women’s Day saying,
“It is of paramount importance that we recognize and acknowledge the indispensable role played by the women in our society in peace keeping and mediation. Too often women’s efforts are ignored and they are excluded from formal peace negotiations that are predominantly dominated by men, but it is usually women who are the agitators for the necessity of peace.”
Prof. Furusa went on to celebrate the diversity of the delegates in attendance saying,
“Diversity is one of our key values as Africa University and this enriches our experiences and lives through creating linkages that are both beneficial and reinforce the spirit of Ubuntu and Pan- Africanism.”
Topics tabled for discussion included the role of the church in negotiation and mediation efforts, traditional approaches to conflict resolution and an overall analysis and recognition of the great strides and contributions that women have and continue to make towards achieving lasting peace in Africa.
Launched in March 2012, the African Peace building Network (APN) supports independent African research on conflict-affected countries and neighboring regions of the continent as well as the integration of African knowledge into global policy communities. The APN promotes the visibility of African peace building knowledge among global and regional centers of scholarly analysis and practical action and makes it accessible to key policymakers at the United Nations and other multilateral, regional, and national policymaking institutions (www.ssrc.org).
Story by Jeanette Dadzie
Editor- Tsitsi Kanonge