an article by Francesca Romana Mollica
In 1991, as a result of the enormous tragedy that was the 1974-1990 civil war, the Peace and Development Center for Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa (PDC) was founded in Ethiopia. The NGO is known as the first to be founded by Ethiopians.
Its main purpose is to develop a culture of peace and conflict mediation.
Among the various projects underway today are courses that are part of the larger project called Cross-Boundary Initiative for Peace (CIP) which, as stated on the website of PDC, have the purpose: “to ensure peaceful coexistence and social cohesion among conflicting communities in the two neighbouring Woredas namely Tulu Guled and Chinakson of Fafen zone and East Hararghe zone, respectively”. The initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in Ethiopia (USAID/Ethio) which has allocated funds for a 4-year initiative (2020/2024). The first courses were held in March 2020 and March/April 2021. In addition, on August 14, 2021, an annual review workshop.
These courses, which are called “People To People”, are aimed at community leaders who are normally called to make decisions for the communities, even and especially in conditions of possible conflict. The aim is for them to acquire the tools for decision-making that can lead to peaceful solutions to disputes, working in synergy for the welfare of the Woreda communities themselves. The formal leaders decided to participate in the training also to demonstrate their concrete commitment to restoring peace in the area. In addition to clan leaders, religious leaders and traditional youth and women leaders were also involved in the project.
Along the same lines of peaceful conflict resolution, another interesting project is the collaboration with the SEEK Project of the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) whose purpose is to manage the conflict on the border between Ethiopia and Kenya. The name of the project comes from the union of the words SALEM and EKISIL, which mean peace in the Amharic and Turkic languages. languages.
Last but not least, it is relevant to mention the Natural Resource Management (NRM) Additional Governance and Peace Component Project carried out in collaboration with HELVETAS and Swisspeace: the aim of this initiative is to improve the management of natural resources, through collaboration between local government and customary institutions: by developing better means of support for the local population, it is possible to consequently mitigate conflicts and therefore promote peacebuilding.
Picture: Flickr.com – perta