South-South Cooperation on strengthening the infrastructure for Peace in Ethiopia

Participants at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre

Ethiopia continues to record high economic growth averaging 11.3% over the last decade and is ranked among the ten fastest growing economies in Africa (AEO, 2011) and the second fastest mover on human development (UNDP, 2013). Despite these strong gains, there are serious threats and vulnerabilities that could derail the established positive progress on human development. Principal amongst these threats and vulnerabilities are ethnic, communal and pastoralist conflicts.

The Government of Ethiopia and UNDP have developed a robust partnership to strengthen the evolving architecture for peace.  Central to this partnership isbuilding national standing capabilities or infrastructures for peacebuilding and prevention. In this regard, UNDP facilitated experience sharing between Ethiopian and Ghanaian policy makers and practitioner on emerging policy practices on strengthening infrastructure for peace. The level of participation from Ethiopia desmonstrated the consistent commitment of the government of Ethiopia to peacebuilding as a strategic policy intervention to inclusive and equitable development. Amongst the Ethiopia participants were the Director General for the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Business Process; Director General for the Religious and Faith related Affairs Business Process; Director of the Peace Culture, Heads of the Regional Administration and Security Affairs and Members of the Regional Parliament & Regional Cabinets of Addis Ababa,Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz,Oromiya, Southern Nation Nationalities and Tigray, Members of the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia: Department Head, Public Relations and Project officer, UNDP Project officer and Programme specialist.

Consequantial to the study tour is ongoing refletions on how Ethiopia could benefit from the observations and the lessons learned by participation, and potential areas of partnership between UNDP and Government of Ethiopia to strengthen the evolving infrastructure for peace.

The emerging consensus seems to point to the following areas and strategic entry points and drivers to strengthen the infrastructure for peace:

Institutional arrangements for peace-building

Focus: Government system of the different tiers, the National, the Regional and the local government units integrated to facilitate systemic response to conflict; peace mechanisms and arrangements

Policy and strategy

Focus: Policy and strategic frameworks; successes attained using the frameworks

Intervention approaches as success factors

Focus: How peace-building processes are planned, monitored and evaluated; success stories and catalytic interventions contributing for multiplied results

Conflict Early Warning and Rapid Response Mechanisms

Focus: How early onsets of conflicts monitored; mechanisms put in place to signpost conflicts; mechanism to exchange information; technology applied to receive and analyse information; coordination of rapid response.

Peace culture

Focus: Promotion of peace education; involve the youth& women in peace building; the role of the mediating peace building

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