New presidents need orientation seminars
New presidents need orientation seminars
New presidents need orientation seminars

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Former Uganda Vice President and Member of the AU Panel of the Wise Ms Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, calls for deliberate seminars to be organised for new presidents and their cabinets. This, she argues will help in bringing them up to speed with everyone else on critical local, regional and international priority issues.
She was Tuesday addressing over 60 participants at a one-day seminar onā€œStrengthening Mediationā€ organized by ACCORD. The seminar took place at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Wandira further urged the participants to embrace peace building mechanisms as a cheaper option compared to conflict prevention. She underscored the role of non-state actors especially universities, which are responsible for doing the necessary research on structural issues that, either promote peace or fuel conflict. She added that religious institutions should be a permanent feature for ensuring continuity in working with communities for peace building.
AMISOM representative Lydia Wanyoto-Mutende called on all concerned leaders, to clearly define the relationship between protocols and actual situations on the ground in conflict-prone countries. She figuratively drew attention to a woman waking up to bomb blasts and gunshots, and having to carry her baby on her back while running to safety; and ordinary citizens crossing borders to escape conflicts, sometimes without even having a passport or visa, to say the least.
The seminar, was also addressed by other high profile discussants including; Assistant UN Secretary General Taye-Brook Zerihoun, Chair of the Peace and Security Council (month of May), Amb. Amina Diallo, Member AU Panel of the Wise, H.E Edem Kodjo, AU Special Representative Mali/Sahel, H.E Pierre Buyoya, Amb. Bwakira from CMI, and ACCORD Founder Vasu Gounden, among others. Their discussions largely focused on the post-1990 conflict trends and accompanying complex practices and challenges; the nature of existing collaboration between the AU and Regional Economic Communities; the role played by international bilateral and multilateral cooperation and partnerships including those of partners in general and United Nations in particular; and the role of non-state actors in the mediation process.
On the way forward, participants proposed the strengthening of the capacity of hitherto marginalized groups such as women and the youth for mediation; the importance of implementation of agreements that result from mediation efforts, not to mention that this will require additional human and financial resources, among others.