Last week, a delegation of peacebuilding experts from Africa traveled to Washington D.C. as part of Africa Advocacy Week. The event was organized by the Salama Hub, a peacebuilding consortium, which includes AFSC, that is based in the Horn of Africa.
The delegation spoke with members of Congress, State Department staff, USAID officials, and civil society and faith-based organizations about nonviolent and inclusive approaches to peacebuilding in the region. They urged U.S. policymakers to invest in peacebuilding and diplomatic efforts led by African governments and civil society organizations.
Delegates highlighted the inclusion of women, youth, and people with different abilities in peace initiatives. They also emphasized climate justice, local ownership, and capacity building. And they sought to bring more public awareness about the issues faced in countries in Africa and the role that various stakeholders can play in peacebuilding and sustainable development.
“The peacebuilding delegation's advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., aim to shed light on the devastating consequences of ongoing conflicts in the Horn of Africa,” said Pauline Muchina, AFSC’s Africa region public education and advocacy coordinator. “Through their advocacy, the delegation serves as a vital voice, reminding the U.S. of how the forgotten conflicts in Africa continue to take a heavy toll on lives and demand immediate attention.”
The meetings culminated with a live-streamed panel discussion, “African Voices of Hope,” at the National Press Club. Delegates shared their frontline experiences in conflict zones such as Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. They also made the case for why we need increased U.S. engagement in Africa and the power of nonviolent conflict resolution.
Watch the video:
The sponsors for Africa Advocacy Week include AFSC, Advocacy Network of Africa, Alliance for Peace, Open Society Foundation, Alliance for Peace, Brut Fur die Welt (Bread for the World), Salama Hub Africa, Odd Fellows Lodge, and UNAIDS.