July 28th-29th,2021 (Bishoftu, Ethiopia): MSU held a 2-day workshop for Capacity Development for Ethiopia’s National Dialogue Process that was attended by: State Ministers, Chief of Staff, Peace Building Director General, Directorates in the Ministry of Peace, Representatives from the Ministry of Peace, Representatives from various States, and Multi-stakeholder Initiative for National Dialogue (MIND) who gave an overview of the National Dialogue in Ethiopia.
In the opening remarks, Hon. Siraj Fegessa (PSD Director and Head of IGAD Mission to Ethiopia) welcomed the participants on behalf of the Executive Secretary, and on his behalf to the workshop. .
He stated that IGAD’s expectation is to galvanize opportunities to address gaps that national institutions representatives would point out, and help building national capacities on preventive diplomacy, mediation and peace building. He later emphasized IGAD’s commitment in supporting the National Dialogue process in Ethiopia and therefore looking forward to further engagements and deliberations with them. He also took the opportunity to thank the European Union for funding, and continued support; and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) for facilitating the workshop.
The Workshop commenced with discussions on “Guiding Principles on a National Dialogue process and ended with conceptualizing framework on the consultation workshop. The participants were introduced to the initiative, highlighted objectives, and underscored the major achievements and challenges since the launch of the process which was followed by discussions on current best practices within the National Dialogue process, highlighting major gaps and challenges. There was keen interest to look into why Ethiopia needs elite bargain and National Dialogue and on what issues, giving their remarks on Inclusive Dialogue Strategies.
At the end of the Workshop, an Action plan/framework was designed for future engagements with an aim to enrich the training toolkit that could be utilized by national facilitators for future processes.
Peace Building Director General, Mrs. Asma Redi, thanked IGAD for their support, understanding and flexibility. Highlighting the importance of the workshop, she said that Academicians and the entire nation would benefit from the Ministry of Peace, leading to a calm, democratic and peaceful country by turning this idealistic initiative into a reality.
In the closing remarks, Dr. Aleu Garang- the MSU Director who doubles as Head of IGAD Mission to South Sudan thanked the participants for their attendance and participation that created an environment for learning through interaction. On behalf of the E.S, he applauded the commitment of the participants on consultancy to strengthen national dialogue. He also recognized the efforts of MSU staff for making the workshop a success. Assuring the participants that IGAD is ready to support, he emphasized that its role is not to do things for Member States but to assist in arriving at the intended destination. IGAD is a people centered Regional Organization dealing with the concerns of the general public, hence National Dialogue is a key entry point for sustainability of Peace and Peace Building efforts.