The fifth edition of the intensive two-week training Negotiation and Mediation as an Instrument for Conflict Resolution for African Women Mediators was concluded last week. Clingendael Academy organised this training programme in cooperation with the African Union’s FemWise. FemWise was established in 2017 to strengthen African women’s participation in conflict prevention, mediation processes and peace stabilisation efforts. The Clingendael training programme supports this initiative, as part of The Netherlands’ efforts to contribute to the international peace infrastructure.
The eighteen participating meditators came from the whole continent: from South-Africa to Egypt, and from Ghana to Ethiopia. They brought extensive mediation experience to the training, such as involvement with ethnic tensions amongst refugees in host countries, talks between governments and opposition groups, dialogue between pastoralists and farmer communities, between universities and student bodies, the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, the IGAD-led South Sudan talks, conflict between cross-border traders and revenue authorities and between companies and employers. What all of them had in common was a strong motivation to increase the contribution of women to peaceful resolution of conflict across Africa.
The participants strengthened their negotiation and mediation skills during simulations and deepened their insights during sessions on inclusion, dealing with deadlocks, ground rules and reconciliation. Hon. Betty Bigombe, former chief mediator in the talks between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army, shared lessons she learned and practical tips for
African women mediators.
At the end of the training, the group presented action plans on case studies focussing on farmer-herder conflicts in West-Africa, the formation of a transitional government in Sudan, border conflicts and the prevention of electoral violence.
For further information on Clingendael Academy's training facility 'Negotiation and Mediation Training as a Conflict Resolution Instrument', please click here.