Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has had a very important
workshop on conflict resolution and peace building in Dakar, Senegal, that
ended last week.
two-day convergence, which brought together more than 40 civil society
organizations and ECOWAS officials, is dubbed ECOWAS Conflict Prevention
Framework (ECPF) and is held annually across West African countries.
Society Organisations like the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP),
the Kofi Annan International Peace-keeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC) and
other institutions, were in attendance at the workshop, to look at issues of
conflicts and how to prevent or tackle such eventualities in the region.
conflict-prevention initiative would definitely not serve as a panacea to
solving conflicts and ensuring peace in African countries. However, it would
surely contribute substantially to finding solutions to conflicts, and putting
in place preventive mechanisms that would help in reducing the incidence of
conflicts in the region and on the continent.
involvement of CSOs in the initiative makes it all the more viable, as they
play very important role in conflict resolution and peace-building in the
like WANEP and KAIPTC are peace-building CSOs that are rendering essential
service in preventing conflicts in Africa.
up with them, therefore, in a fashion as the ECPF is a logical step to
alleviating the possibilities of regional, cross-border and internal strife or
conflicts in African countries.
in 1998 in response to civil wars that plagued West Africa in the 1990s, WANEP
has over the years, succeeded in establishing strong national networks in every
member state of ECOWAS with over 500 member organizations across West Africa.
“places special focus on collaborative approaches to conflict prevention, and
peacebuilding, working with diverse actors from civil society, governments,
intergovernmental bodies, women groups and other partners in a bid to establish
a platform for dialogue, experience sharing and learning”, thereby
complementing efforts at ensuring sustainable peace and development in West
Africa and beyond.
a similar vein, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre
(KAIPTC), established in 1998, in Ghana and started formal operations in 2002,
provides training and research in peacekeeping and peace operations. It has
ever since been expanding its courses to give meaningful and appropriate
lessons on conflict resolution and peace building in the region.
has, therefore, taken appropriate steps in teaming up with the above-mentioned
institutions to promote conflict resolution and peace-building in the
can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. ”