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15 November 2023 (Adama-Ethiopia): IGAD Peace and Security Division conducted a capacity-building training workshop for Youth Leaders in the Region. This was the first of the two workshops to be conducted under the theme of Conflict Prevention Management and Resolution (CPMR).

The workshop was officially opened by the Director Hon. Siraj Fegessa, who said that the workshop strongly aligned with the values and aspirations of the IGAD Youth Forum for Peace. He added that IGAD recognizes the role that youth play in shaping the destiny of the region and that the workshop aimed to equip them with essential skills in dialogue, negotiation and mediation.

The IGAD Region is home to a population where over 60 percent are under 25 years old. This demographic presents challenges as levels of youth unemployment intersect with their active involvement in conflicts. Addressing this requires engagement since while Member States have youth policies in place they often lack a focus on harnessing youths potential, for peace building.

Recognizing the potential of youth, the IGAD strategy for the years 2021- 2025 places great emphasis on their crucial role in promoting regional peace and security. This is further demonstrated by the establishment of the IGAD Youth Forum for Peace, which highlights a commitment to providing a platform for youth participation and involvement in preventing conflicts and fostering peace.

The workshop met its objective of enhancing the knowledge and skills of the Youth Leaders in Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution(CPMR). Participants clearly showcased improved proficiency in conflict analysis, constructive dialogue and practical application of conflict resolution techniques. Key achievements included identifying approaches to engage individuals, in conflict prevention and resolution efforts while also establishing a network of well-informed and skilled young leaders who are ready to make a meaningful difference in their communities.

As the IGAD Peace and Security Division celebrates the success achieved through this initiative, we look forward to embarking on the second round of workshops scheduled to take place from November 17th to 19th, 2023 in Adama, Ethiopia.

This workshop was conducted with support of the European Union through the APSA IV programme.

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