One among the many programs Initiative Africa (IA) has been implementing under the Business for Peace Project, the Business for Peace Fellowship is designed to introduce business owners, business advisors, business aspirants, entrepreneurs and start-up owners, etc., to the various peacebuilding approaches and the analytical tools needed to understand, analyze and resolve conflicts. Offered in three cohorts, the Fellowship is deemed to be instrumental in allowing the business community to have a say in and foster local ownership of peacebuilding activities. It will also allow business owners to critically engage in peacebuilding processes with a clear understanding of the cycle of conflict and interventions designed at each state.
By promoting ownership and knowledge of peacebuilding, this fellowship is a timely investment in “peaceful means” to peace and security. It has the following interrelated objectives:
- To introduce the business community to key concepts of peacebuilding and promote effective participation through leadership training
- To boost the capacity of the private sector toward active participation in peacebuilding in Ethiopia
- To mobilize the business community to engage in peacebuilding and conflict resolution
The program’s contents are designed in various pedagogical formats. It follows hybrid modes of content delivery e-learning, in-person practicum, field visits and action learning for a duration of three months. Each month consists of a two-day in-person workshop with an intensive list of seminars. Besides, the program involves two field visits: one local and another international.
Initiative Africa officially launched the ‘Business for Peace Fellowship’ with eight fellows who have taken part in the First Cohort of the program. The three-month fellowship program was designed to introduce business owners, business advisors as well as business aspirants to the various peacebuilding approaches and the analytical tools they will use to understand, analyze and resolve conflicts.
The program is deemed to be instrumental in allowing the business community to have a say in peacebuilding activities and in fostering local ownership. The seminars of the First Cohort Fellowship Program have been implemented in partnership with the Institute of Security Studies (ISS).
Fellows have taken various seminars on such topics as conflict, violence, peace and business leadership, the economic cost of conflict, and doing ethical business as well as other supplementary workshops meant to boost fellows’ media and communications skills.
The Fellows also had a field visit to Arba Minch where they participated in a seminar held with Gamo elders who shared their traditional conflict resolution mechanisms followed by visits to Dorze Village, Crocodile Ranch, and the 40 Springs. The visit afforded fellows to get insights into the practical application and importance of knowledge and practices of customary institutions in conflict resolution and transformation.
Following the launching event, in collaboration with the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) Initiative Africa (IA) conducted the first Business for Peace Fellowship seminar for first cohort fellows. The seminar lasted for consecutive two days, August 1 & 2, 2022 at Hilton Hotel.
The two days allowed the fellows to gain necessary knowledge about Conflict, Conflict analysis, the Economic cost of Conflict, Gender Dimension of conflict, Peace and also opened the door for them to test their leadership and media skills and let them exchange experiences among their peers.