Accord in partnership with the African Union (AU) Office of the Youth Envoy OYE) Global Peace convened a virtual Inter-Generational Dialogue (IGD) in Congo-Brazzaville under the theme “Silencing the Guns” (STG). The IGD was held on the 12th of September, 2020.
The STG is an initiative adopted by the AU in 2013 with the pledge that the guns would be silenced by 2020. As a result, 2020 is the AU’s year of STG, with the AU OYE taking a number of steps to ensure that the youth of the continent are involved in the initiative and part of the conversation. The IGDs therefore serve as a platform for the youth and other generations to engage with each other. The IGDs are also part of ACCORDs objective to fulfil the UN75 dialogue initiative which is marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN). The Congo IGD was moderated by Elenga Reiche Golmand and Duchel Kinouani. The panellists were Alliance Baudruche Pemosso, Subathra Rajendran, Dr Gaela Gloriossa and Aser John Sidney.
The panellists highlighted that there needs to be a root cause analysis as to why Africans use guns as a means to survive. It was further highlighted that young people lack opportunities and resources which makes it easier for gangs and insurgency groups to manipulate them into joining these groups, however, this can be addressed through education. The education system in Congo needs to be strengthened as this will be key to silencing the guns, and eradicating corruption to produce astute future leaders. The panellists echoed the need for a change in the mind-set of people and the youth who believe that guns and arms are the only way to solve problems; and the importance of involving women in the peace and development processes.
Some of the recommendations made during the IDG include reforming the education system in order to develop leaders and deal with problems facing society, initiative that will encourage development must be undertaken so that issues like poverty can be addressed and gender equality needs to be pursued as a step towards social equality. To conclude the IGD, it was noted that fighting poverty, improving the standard and quality of living, better education and greater awareness of issues surrounding conflict were all identified as key to silencing the guns and promoting peace on the continent.
This Congo IGD is in line with ACCORD’s strategic objective to strengthen the capacities of youth to participate in peace and security initiatives.