“Business for Peace: Nation Building for Positive Peace”

Initiative Africa (IA) believes that business plays a crucial role in fostering peace and nation-building. In collaboration with the Addis Ababa Chamber of Sectoral Association (AACSA), IA organized a thought-provoking panel discussion under the theme “Business for Peace: Nation Building for Positive Peace.”
This enlightening event was made possible through the generous support of the Swedish Embassy, which provided a grant through the Business for Peace project. At IA, we recognize the importance of creating platforms that bring together key stakeholders to foster dialogue, share ideas, and create sustainable solutions for peacebuilding.

During the panel discussion, esteemed experts and leaders from various sectors came together to discuss and explore innovative ways in which businesses can contribute to building positive peace in our nation. Through engaging conversations and insightful presentations, the panel delved into the role of entrepreneurship, economic development, and corporate social responsibility in advancing peace and stability.

With a focus on practical strategies and real-life examples, this event aimed to inspire and empower individuals and organizations alike to embrace their role as agents of change. By harnessing the power of business, we can drive social impact, promote inclusivity, and contribute to a more peaceful society.
IA remains committed to promoting peaceful coexistence through our diverse range of initiatives. From empowering youth and women to fostering dialogue between communities, we strive to create an enabling environment where everyone can thrive.

A consultation meeting with the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission (ENDC)

The Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission (ENDC) held a consultative meeting on Friday 26 August 2022 at its headquarters with Initiative Africa (IA) and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations on the role of the private sector in National Dialogue.IA presented to the ENDC some of the various activities it has been undertaking to date in collaboration with multiple stakeholders: business for a peace fellowship, national business-peace index, intensive peacebuilding course for business executives, capacity building for women business leaders, awareness-raising dialogues and e-learning packages for regional and national chambers of commerce and sectoral associations on National Dialogue.

IA also presented key information in the online resource center (National Dialogue Resource Center) it has exclusively built for National Dialogue-related matters in Ethiopia. Ready to be officially launched soon, the virtual center is designed to be a go-to hub of National Dialogue-related resources that will be freely accessible to the Commission, would-be dialogue participants, facilitators, the media, the public, researchers, etc. who want to access information, knowledge, and facts, etc. on National Dialogue in various formats and packages.

Webinar session held

Initiative Africa, through its Business for Peace Project, is committed to fostering peaceful and economically stable communities by promoting responsible business practices that can contribute to creating peaceful societies. In today’s globalized world, businesses have a crucial role to play in contributing to sustainable development and promoting peace.

Initiative Africa (IA) organized a webinar session via Zoom video conferencing. The session aimed to give a Brief description of the upcoming Executive training by Kebour Ghenna, Executive Director of IA on August 18, 2022.

In collaboration with Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), IA organized intensive Short courses for business owners & Business operators on Peace Building and Conflict Transformations.

Fellowship launch

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.

The Private Sector, National Dialogue and Peacebuilding in Bahirdar and Adama

Initiative Africa was part of an event organized by the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) together with Bahirdar University under the theme “Importance, Process, Stakeholders’ Role, and Scenario Analysis of the National Dialogue for Ethiopia’ (አገራዊ ምክክር ለኢትዮጵያ አስፈላጊነት፣ ሂደት፣ የባለድርሻ አካላት ሚና እና የቢሆን ትንታኔ) at Bahirdar Kuriftu Resort on June 29, 2022. As part of its initiative to engage the private sector in peacebuilding and National Dialogue, Initiative Africa (IA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Peace has organized a half-day dialogue forum in Adama city on July 26, 2022, for businesses operating in the Oromia region including business owners, and business chambers.
Initiative Africa in its part believes that the private sector can help to preserve the social and civic fabric by continuing to do business across different conflict lines and work together with other civil society groups. The sector can, at both the macro and micro levels, be a catalyst for positive change in the relationships between conflicting factions; act as a facilitator of constructive activities with other actors that have an interest in peace; and be an influencer of actors who, by virtue of their official position or informal authority and legitimacy, can say “yes” or “no” to peace. Initiative Africa takes this as an opportunity to support the flourishing of dialogue culture within the private sector, on the one hand, and the latter’s role in the upcoming National Dialogue, on the other. Initiative Africa (IA) will thus work closely with the Ministry of Peace, the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, regional chambers, associations, and like-minded organizations towards boosting the sectors’ role and potential in peacebuilding.

Public Private Dialogue (PPD) conducted by Oromia Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association

Oromia Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, with the financial support from Initiative Africa, has conducted a Public Private Dialogue (PPD) on Thursday February 10, 2022, at Future Park Hotel.

Regional Government representatives from Oromia Revenue Authority, Oromia Investment & Industry Bureau, Oromia Transport Agency and Oromia Trade Bureau and members of the Oromia Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (OCCSA) have attended the PPD.

During the PPD, Afro Universal Consult & General Trading PLC presented a research paper pinpointing the challenges of the business environment in Oromia Region. The presentation was followed by Q & A session where the business community forwarded its questions on good governance, illegal trade, access to land for investment, challenges of organizing trade exhibitions as well as its concerns over tax related issues. The respective concerned regional government officials responded to the questions and concerns raised by the business community. 

The participants from the business community reflected their frustration over the inability of the Oromia Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association to do follow up on challenges identified by studies saying, “There are many instances where funds were raised from different sources to conduct studies on the drawbacks and challenges of the business environment. On many occasions, irrespective of studying and identifying the issues and challenges, there has never been any actual measure taken from the government side or other stakeholders to alleviate the challenges and offer solutions to the issues.”  

Finally, the participants requested the Oromia Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association to take a responsibility to organize another workshop that will evaluate the actions taken over the issues identified from the PPD. The meeting adjourned with consensus from both sides (regional government and business community representatives) to continue with the discussion to improve the business environment. The Oromia Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association promised to do the follow up and come back with the solutions organizing a workshop.

Internship Opportunity at Initiative Africa

Business for Peace Project

Duration: 6 months

We are looking for an energetic, motivated and diligent Intern with exceptional writing and communication skills to work alongside our Project Management Team on our Business for Peace project at Initiative Africa. We offer the opportunity to assist in coordination and management of a varied portfolio projects in a dynamic working environment with high professional standards.


  • Excellent command of English and Amharic (both written and spoken)
  • Knowledge of another local language is an advantage
  • Graduate University degree( preferably MA) in International Relations, Political Science, International Business, Economics, peace and security, development ,  or related subjects
  • Strong interest in  economic development, business and, peace and poverty reduction
  • Modest experience in development or business /peace sector is a plus.
  • Academic level writing and research skills
  • High computer literacy (MS Office)
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, self-directed environment under deadline pressures
  • Ability to manage own workload independently, time, multi-task and prioritize effectively
  • Detail oriented and proactive
  • Team oriented and keen to collaborate

Main duties:

  • The intern has a primary responsibility to assist in managing administrative, technical and financial aspects of assigned projects.
  • Do advanced research work related to the project ( web search ,consult key publication etc)
  • Assist in the drafting of  project reports ,working documents, concept notes etc
  • Assist in organizing logistics related to travel, workshop and contracts of project participants
  • Assist in the drafting TORs for experts , researchers and consultants
  • Upon approval from management, communicate with relevant stakeholders about the project and expectations
  • Upon approval from management  attend meetings and briefings related to the project
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the program Manager and management team of IA

What we offer:

  • 6 months internship trial period
  • Monthly transportation and communication stipend
  • Opportunity to rapidly learn and acquire skills in high demand in the world of international development
  • Transition to full employment upon successful completion of a trial period
  • Exceptionally good interns might be offered the opportunity to travel and gain more experience in the world of business and peace.

 If interested please send your CV and motivation statement to dalayaashenafi@gmail.com with the title “Internship opportunity with Initiative Africa”

  • We strongly encourage women candidates to apply.

Debre Birhan University Gender Audit Workshop

Initiative Africa with Debre Birhan University and support of the @swedenembassy, conducted a Gender Audit assessment which held its assessment report discussion workshop at the university on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. As the Audit Assessments is the first of its kind for the university since its establishment, the representatives from it’s different department and colleges were present and added their feedbacks on the presentation points. As the Gender policy for the university has been in development, this assessment served as its baseline for the revision of its many policy points.