March 27, 2023
On 23 March 2023, a delegation from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) joinedLPI team members for a visit to LPI’s Ethiopia Programme sites at Hawassa University and Shashemene town. The intent of the visit was to observe what impact and results are being realised through our peacebuilding engagement in these locations and to meet with academic and civil society partners and other programme participants.
As part of the “Peaceful University Communities (PUC)” initiative, which aims to support universities in developing a Conflict Early Warning and Rapid Response (CEWRR) system to manage, resolve, or prevent violent conflicts, our partner Ethiopian Institute for Peace (EIP) organised a meeting with Hawassa University management, as well as students and community members engaged in the project. Senior university leaders who led the meeting included university president, Dr. Ayano Berasso, Yohanan Yokamo, Director for International Relations & Alumni Affairs Directorate, and Ayele Adeto, Head of President Office and the PUC project focal person at the university. Hawassa University participants briefed the visiting team on the PUC project and the outcomes to date of this intervention in promoting peace both at the university and in the communities and this was followed by questions from the visiting team.
In the afternoon of the same day, the team drove to Shashemene and visited our new partners Biftu Birra and I4Cwho are leading the implementation of a dialogue-to-action project using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology in West Arsi, Oromia region. This project: “Strengthening women-led community reconciliation in the Regional State of Oromia”, is supported by Global Affairs Canada and Sida. As part of the visit, we met with two community facilitators who were holding their first dialogue session with group of diverse women in Shashamene town. We then visited Biftu Birra’s colourful offices where we received a briefing on the organisation and met many of the volunteers who work there.
The following day, LPI team met with Sida representatives at the Embassy, where we had a fruitful discussion on our work over the past few years in Ethiopia, as well as sharing on the next phase of our programme strategy: “Sowing the Seeds of Peace in Ethiopia (2023 to 2026)”. Sida team are now carrying out an assessment of our proposed new strategy and we look forward to continued partnership with Sida over the coming strategic period.
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