As a result of Akina Mama wa Afrika’s demonstrated leadership and capacity to mobilize, the Nairobi Peace Initiative reached out to Akina Mama wa Afrika to plan and organize for the launch of International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Civil Society Handbook in Uganda. The launch of the handbook which took place on the 27th of June 2016 at Hotel Protea was well attended and brought together a total of 40 participants from CSOs, Private Sector and Government, media and International Organizations based in Uganda.
The ICGLR CSO Handbook launched sought to contribute to strengthened partnership between civil society in the Great Lakes Region with those of sub-regional intergovernmental organization such as the ICGLR. The handbook provides practical information about the structure of this multilateral body, its decision making process and cycles. It highlights the importance of engaging with the ICGLR, indicates different spaces in which people from the region can participate to develop policies, actions and jointly strengthen the organisation in the prevention and management of armed conflicts.
It further highlights case studies of successful involvement of CSOs in the various mechanisms and programmes of the ICGLR, makes some general reflections and formulates recommendations on how this organisation and CSOs can further develop constructive partnerships and work towards a more peaceful region.Key among the issues that emerged from the launch included;
a) Recognition of Uganda government’s readiness to work with CSOs on ICGLR processes
b) The need for continued engagement of various actors in ICGLR processes especially the private sector
c) Popularization of the ICGLR protocols among citizens especially in higher institutions of learning
d) A call for the engagement of private sector in all national and regional processes of the ICGLR
e) The lack of visibility of the other protocols except for the one on Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) to which members were advised to identify their niche and engage with the other protocols of the ICGLR.
The Handbook launched by Prof. Maggie a Board Member of Akina Mama wa Afrika, is certainly a great resource tool for ICGLR CSOs, sub-regional intergovernmental organizations and other actors as we collectively work to secure sustainable peace in the region. A press statement on the launch was produced and disseminated on line and to different media houses