UNOY Blog

Building a Closer Network in West and Central Africa

August 30th, 2017

In Nigeria, young peacebuilders have formed a coalition to push for more youth participation in addressing the country’s security challenges. In Liberia, youth are working to ensure a violence-free election process. In Cameroon, young people are working with their peers in the prison system to help them disengage from violence. Across West and Central Africa, young people are not only raising their voices for peace, but taking active measures to build peace from the ground up.

With 21 youth-led peacebuilding organisations as members of UNOY Peacebuilders, West and Central Africa has long been one of the most active regions within the network. However, coordinating all these efforts across a vast region has been a challenge. Now, with the creation of the position of Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa, UNOY Peacebuilders is better equipped than ever before to address the region’s needs and ensure that young peacebuilders are able to work together across national boundaries.

Mohammed Foboi, Anca Gliga, Gizem Kilinc and Rashid Zuberu during the kick-off meeting of the Regional Coordinator position for West and Central Africa.

 

Mohammed Foboi is the newly appointed Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa. In this new role, Mohammed plans to improve communications among UNOY Peacebuilders member organisations in the region through regular online meetings, and to work together with the rest of the International Secretariat team to organise joint activities on youth advocacy, promoting peaceful elections, and preventing violent extremism in the region. Earlier this month, he met with Mr. Kennedy Zaro Barisa, head of the Employment, Youth and Sports division at the ECOWAS secretariat, to discuss how UNOY Peacebuilders’ member organisations can work together with the key regional intergovernmental body in West Africa.

As regional coordinator, Mohammed will work closely with Rashid Zuberu, who has been elected to represent West and Central Africa in the International Steering Group (ISG) of UNOY Peacebuilders. As the governing body of the network, the ISG sets the strategic agenda of the network on behalf of the member organisations. With the new position of Regional Coordinator, we hope that this agenda will start to make even more of a difference to the youth community in West and Central Africa.

The creation of the position of Regional Coordinator comes following a network-wide consultation aimed at improving both members’ ownership and inclusivity in the network. Regional Coordinators will be appointed in several regions, with West and Central Africa serving as one of two pilot regions together with Asia. The network development process, including the consultations and kick-off meetings for the newly appointed Regional Coordinators, is supported by an Organisational Development grant from PeaceNexus Foundation. This grant has given UNOY Peacebuilders a unique opportunity to look into its own functioning and improve its service to its members.

We are excited to continue this process, kicking off the Regional Coordinator position for Asia in the coming weeks!

UNOY Peacebuilders

We are a global network strengthening sustainable youth-driven peacebuilding. We connect 70 youth peace organizations across 45 countries.

Our goal is to create a world where young people have the opportunity and skills to contribute to peace. We work to strengthen youth-led peacebuilding initiatives, facilitate a safe space for dialogue and conflict transformation, develop the organizational capacities of our members and to bring the voices of young people to policy makers on a regional and global level.