ABOUT THE IMPROVING POLICIES FOR CONFLICT PREVENTION: CIVIL SOCIETY ENGAGEMENT TO TRANSFORM BORDERLANDS IN AFRICA PROJECT
Most of Africa’s 109 International borders, extending over 55,000 km, have yet to be delimited and demarcated. With roots to colonial times, unaddressed borders have directly contributed to inter-state tensions, border disputes, secessionist movements and war on the continent. The African Union has long since recognized the negative impacts these situations have on the continent, but the lack of systematic channels for civil society engagement at the continental and regional levels has meant this process lacks representation, participation and contribution from the civil society organizations; that best represent the reality of the borderlands and the need for Cross-border Cooperation (CBC). More about CBC? Checkout the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation/Niamey Convention Campaign
The “Improving policies for conflict prevention: Civil Society Engagement to Transform Borderlands in Africa” Project running 2017-2020 was designed to bridge this gap by leveraging unique access to continental and regional bodies through on-going work and relationships of the implementing partners; Life & Peace Institute’s Horn of Africa Regional Programme (LPI-HARP), Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), Act Change Transform (ACT!) Kenya and InterAfrica Group (IAG). This project/action focuses on five (5) border areas; Moyale (Ethiopia), Moyale (Kenya), Busia (Uganda), Busia (Kenya), Kassala (The Sudan) in the Horn of Africa. It is funded by the European Union (EU) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
The overall objective of this project is to increase the participation and contribution of civil society organizations, CSOs in regional and continental policy that affects communities at the borders. This will ensure continental and regional policies on cross border cooperation in Africa are responsive to the human security priorities of borderland communities.
Under this project, the implementing partners work with 26 selected borderlands Civil Society Organizations (CSO) from the five project sites. This intervention strengthens their effectiveness in contributing to regional and continental decision-making.
To ensure that CSO participation and contribution at the continental level is substantial and sustainable, the Action focuses on strengthening the capacities, collaborative relationships and influence of CSOs to infuse compelling evidence into regional and continental decision making processes on cross border cooperation and tackling borderland human security challenges.
- Strengthening information and knowledge capacities about the African Union and IGAD.
- Strengthening their skills in gender and conflict analysis, organizational development and policy advocacy.
- Facilitating building of both vertical and lateral relationships.
- Supporting efforts for joint cross border cooperation action.
OUTCOMES OF THE PROJECT
- Strengthened awareness and skills of strategically selected CSOs to participate in policy discussions.
- CSOs have access to networks and spaces for exchange amongst themselves and with relevant policy actors.
- Increased visibility for issues of borderland human security, cross-border cooperation and the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation (Niamey convention).
- Policy actors have been presented with a compelling body of evidence on cross-border cooperation and human security priorities and have been engaged in policy dialogue.
- Strengthen the capacities, collaborative relationships and influence of CSOs in order to infuse compelling evidence into regional and continental decision-making processes on cross-border cooperation and tackling borderland human security challenges.
KEY PROJECT ACTIVITIES
- Selecting CSO’s
- Training selected CSO’s
- Vertical and horizontal Collaboration
- Technology solutions for the CBC
- CBC-CSO Coalition launched and secretariat established
- Advocacy campaigns in Kenya and Uganda to sign and ratify the Niamey Convention.
- Advocate for IGAD CBC Framework
- Campaign at AUC
- Establish an AUBP Advisory Board and Prize
- Spatial mapping for Informal CBC
- Social media campaign on Niamey Convetion
- Championing Niamey Convention at PAP
- Animation on African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation/Niamey Convention.
- At least 2 member states in the Horn of Africa sign and ratify the also known as; African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation (Niamey Convention)
- IGAD adopting the CBC framework.
- Institutional mechanisms for border CSOs to engage the AU.
- Equipping 26 CSO’s to continue similar work on their own and accessing funding
For more info, visit the IECs Page