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WANEP Commemorates International Women’s Day

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Women’s voices from around West Africa: Women As the “BEDROCK” of Families, Societies and the World.
Through its fifteen national networks across the West African sub-region, WANEP marks this year’s International Women’s Day through multiple activities including peace marches in Senegal and Togo; round table discussions on reconciliation issues in Liberia; political participation of women in Ghana, and many other peaceful actions in Sierra Leone, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, the Gambia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Senegal. . . . .

Click on link to read full statement

Event in Pictures across the subregion.

FROM GHANA

FROM TOGO

WANEP RETREAT 2012

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February 13 – 16, 2012

Theme: “Consolidating WANEP’s Institutional Capacity for Peacebuilding in West Africa”

As part of its efforts to strengthen its institutional capacity for a better, well organized and highly professional peacebuilding organization, WANEP had its 2012 retreat from February 15th to 16th, in Accra – Ghana with the theme: Consolidating WANEP’s Institutional Capacity for Peacebuilding in West Africa”

After 13 years of active peacebuilding practice in West Africa, WANEP believes it is now time to consolidate its institutional capacity through a well-structured and professional peacebuilding organization. During the retreat, Regional Board Members of WANEP, National Board Chairs, National Network Coordinators and regional staff engaged in reflections informed by the report on WANEP 2011 Systems Audit which was commissioned by the Swedish International Development Agencies (Sida) on how WANEP should restructure and reposition itself strategically in the coming years.

As an organization directly involved in practice, WANEP’s retreat produced concrete strategic policy directions which would also become the pillars for developing the next strategic plan of WANEP both at regional and national levels. The retreat also provided the opportunity for the harmonization of WANEP’s internal working procedures while ensuring that accountability is a priority in every National Network.

The retreat was preceded by a meeting with WANEP’s funding partners in a bid to engage like-minded partners in a Joint Funding Arrangement as advised by the Accra declaration on Aid Effectiveness
 

“Election Dispute Management Practice Guide for West Africa” LAUNCHED

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As part of its contribution to the mitigation of electoral disputes in Africa, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) launched on Tuesday 14th February, 2011 a book titled “Election Dispute Management Practice Guide for West Africa’’ in Accra, Ghana.

Elections in the recent past have triggered outbreaks of violence in many West African countries. Long and unaddressed grievances over bad governance and political exclusion are now finding popular expression in the demand for the conduct of transparent elections that are free, fair and credible. The development of the Practice Guide was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). This will serve as an important resource for the conduct of credible, peace and transparent local and national elections. This strategic document focuses on the prevention, mitigation and resolution of electoral disputes. It will therefore serve as a Guide that will support our efforts in election disputes management and violence prevention in the West Africa sub-region and by extension the African continent.

The Keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chair of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Sierra Leone. She indicated that “the electoral management process must be owned by the people of the host country. Therefore, all stakeholders, including the political parties, business communities, religious communities, the media, civil society and the population at large must actively play their part in ensuring that the principles and values of the constitution of the country are protected.”

The Executive Governor of the Niger state of Nigeria – A.K.A Chief Servant, who was a special guest of Honour in his contribution emphasized that “each nation gives meaning to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own historical circumstances and political culture, even though the key to stable democracy remains free, fair and credible elections, which of necessity determines those who will be entrusted with the sovereignty of the people”….. As peaceful, fair and credible elections often determine the legitimacy of the leaders such elections throw up

A synopsis of the practice guide was provided by Professor Isaac Albert (Lead Consultant on the development of the guide and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies) while the presentation and official launch was done by Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana and Chair of the National Peace Council (NPC). The NPC Chair commended WANEP for coming out with a timely and relevant tool to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts especially at a period when over 40 African countries are in the process of political transition and elections.

Follow link for keynote address “Managing Peaceful Elections in West Africa” delivered by Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chair of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone and the Speech of the Special Guest, Governor of Niger State, Nigeria.

Cotonou, Benin hosts WANEP – ECOWAS Biannual Coordination Meeting

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As part of its effort to improve on the ECOWAS Early Warning System – ECOWARN, Cotonou hosted the first of its biannual coordination meeting, bringing together Focal Points, Zonal Coordinators, regional staff of implementing partner WANEP, Government Focal Points and staff of the Early Warning Directorate (EWD).

The meeting provided opportunity for the stakeholders in ECOWARN to learn from the challenges from the field and improve on the system as well as the skills and technical know-how of the field monitors in order to improve the regional early warning system, ECOWARN. In addition, the Coordination Meeting provided the opportunity to meet the new field monitors from Government and CSOs and share experiences aimed at making the system more responsive to the communities and institutions it is meant to serve.

In his opening remarks on behalf of the Executive Director of WANEP, Mr. Chukwuemeka Eze – Program Director, acknowledged that the collective effort of civil society and state actors towards monitoring, analysing and reporting of indicators for conflict and peace would always provide the much needed information for policy makers and civil society to act in a timely manner to promote peace and stability in the sub region. He reflected on the reality of conflict and complex emergencies; the nexus between peace, development and security as key and should be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the need for promoting systemic peacebuilding and conflict-sensitive development through early warning and early response.

Click on this link for the full address of the Program Director of WANEP

WANEP Launches “Election Dispute Management Practice Guide for West Africa”

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As part of its contribution to the mitigation of electoral disputes in Africa, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) will be launching a book titled “Election Dispute Management Practice Guide for West Africa’’ on 14th February 2012 at the Grand Mensvic Hotel, East Legon, Accra, Ghana at 9:00am.

Elections in the recent past have triggered outbreaks of violence in many West African countries. Long and unaddressed grievances over bad governance and political exclusion are now finding popular expression in the demand for the conduct of transparent elections that are free, fair and credible. Against this background, WANEP with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) developed the Election Dispute Management Practice Guide to serve as an important resource for local, national and continental actionable response to the conduct of credible and peaceful elections. It focuses on the prevention, mitigation and resolution of electoral disputes.

The Keynote speech will be delivered by Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chair of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Sierra Leone while the review and presentation of the practice guide will be done by Professor Isaac Albert (Lead Consultant on the development of the guide and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies) and the Hon. Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Ghana respectively.

Also expected at the launching to deliver a speech on “Peaceful Elections and Democratic Stability” is the Executive Governor of Niger State, Nigeria