Building capacity to further the youth, peace and security agenda

Image: Adam Randera

How can we build the capacity of young people to better participate in peacebuilding?

On 7 October 2022, ACCORD and the African Union (AU) Youth for Peace Program (Y4P hosted an Inter-Generational Dialogue (IGD) on Capacity Building for Youth, Peace and Security, via Zoom. This IGD was the fourth in a series that ACCORD and AU Y4P have collaborated on this year, looking into the five cross-cutting issues that impact the effective involvement of youth in all levels of peace and security.   

The IGD, moderated by Dr Rhuks Ako and Ms Savannah Wilmot, reflected on methods to best address the capacity gaps among both young people looking to participate in peace and security initiatives and the institutions working with youth. The panel of experts for the dialogue was made up of Mr Joao Felipe Scarpelini, a YPS specialist with the United Nations Population, Dr Linda Darkwa, a Senior research fellow at the University of Ghana, Ms Shuvai Busuman Nyoni, the Executive Director of the African Leadership Centre, and Mr Mohamed Kunta, the African Youth Ambassador for Peace for West Africa. 

The discussion centred the work that still needs to take place in order to better enable the development and transfer of skills and knowledge between institutions, youth, and youth groups. The panellists agreed that there is a vast pool of skills and knowledge among young people and that more research is needed to uncover this, and to share stories of young people and the amazing work they are already doing. The panellists discussed the need for creative thinking in order to deploy the capacity of youth and to use their current skills and knowledge. This could include using institutional resources to package materials and linking youth groups for peer-to-peer learning, rather than simply providing trainings to isolated young people. Another point which recurred throughout the discussion was that more effort is needed to package knowledge and materials in ways that everyone could access, especially considering the many different languages on the continent and the different levels of literacy among groups.

This discussion will be followed up by further collaborations between ACCORD and AU Y4P, including two more IGDs in this series unpacking the crosscutting issues of the Continental Framework, which will look at Communication and Knowledge management. This series aligns with ACCORD’s strategic objective to enhance the role of youth in preventing, mitigating and resolving complex conflicts.

Watch the full dialogue here. All dialogues in this series are live streamed on ACCORD’s Facebook page, where you can also catch up on dialogues you have missed. 

Article by:

Adam Randera
Programme Officer in the Operations Division