ACCORD, in collaboration with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), organised a Training of Trainers (ToT) on mediation for women leaders in Bangui, in the Central African Republic (CAR) from 9th to 11th August 2017.
Following the presidential elections in 2016, efforts to restore and consolidate peace and security in the country have gained importance. Constructive engagement between different quarters of the Central African population is fundamental to this vision. In this regard, ECCAS has started engaging with different stakeholders in the country and building their capacity in dialogue and mediation. In July 2017, a workshop on ‘Reinforcing National Mediation and Dialogue Capacities for Peace in CAR’ was held for government representatives, armed reel groups and civil society. Building on the momentum created by that workshop, ECCAS and ACCORD conducted this ToT programme in mediation exclusively for women leaders. The workshop trained 13 women leaders to be trainers in mediation. Most of these women leaders were already trained in basic mediation in December 2015. This ToT aimed at enabling them to train more women in mediation, thus creating a cadre of women mediators capable of effectively intervening in disputes and preventing violence, especially in the city of Bangui.
The training was a combination of seminars, facilitated discussions, experience-sharing, group work and simulations that provided the participants with practical tools to facilitate constructive engagement in violent and hostile environments. The training focussed on conflict and stakeholder analysis, designing of dialogue and mediation processes, and conducting to effective training programmes.
CAR has experienced unprecedented security and humanitarian crisis since March 2013. In the peace processes and negotiations that ensued, women had often been excluded, despite being distinctly impacted by the crisis and constituting the majority of the displaced population. In 2015, in the run-up to the National Bangui Forum which as an attempt at national reconciliation, women in the country mobilised and demonstrated their willingness and commitment to participate in the reconciliation and decision-making processes that will facilitate the reconstruction of the state. This training was an attempt at building their capacities so as to help them effectively engage in such efforts.