Representatives of the media in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, are invited to cover the opening ceremony of the 2nd General Assembly of the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise-Africa) to be held at the Nelson Mandela Plenary Hall, AU Headquarters. This will be followed by a press briefing at the Briefing Room 01.


The 2nd General Assembly of the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise-Africa) will be held from 29 – 30 November 2018 under the theme “Silencing the Guns by 2020: Women’s Role in Preventing and Resolving Natural Resource-Related Conflicts”.


This Femwise-Africa General Assembly will discuss modalities for the meaningful involvement of women in preventing and resolving resource-related conflicts; the challenges they face; how conflict prevention and resolution strategies applied in resource-based conflict can be further improved through inclusivity of women; and gender issues as a way to anchor even more the initiatives of FemWise-Africa in the ongoing preventive and peace stabilization efforts of the AU. 


The meeting aims to achieve the following:


-          Share experiences, raise awareness and increase understanding of women’s participation in a wide range of mediation and conflict prevention efforts in Africa, with a particular focus on resource-related conflicts;

-          Identify challenges and barriers hindering women’s effective participation in preventing and resolving resource-related conflicts;

-          Stimulate dialogue between AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs), regional intergovernmental institutions, Civil Society Organisations and international partners on the opportunities, gaps and solutions for enhancing women’s empowerment to respond to the resource-related conflicts in their communities;

-          Reflect on how conflict prevention and resolution approaches in Africa aimed at preventing and resolving resource-related conflict can be further improved through inclusivity of women and gender issues at all levels; and

-          In the margins of the General Assembly, document women’s experiences in preventing and resolving natural resource- related conflicts.

The General Assembly will be preceded by the 3rd Steering Committee Meeting of Femwise-Africa which will take place on Wednesday 28th November 2018 and by the Femwise-Africa 2nd Induction Training on Mediation and Preventive Diplomacy to be held from 27 – 28 November 2018, effectively delivering on Commissioner Smail Chergui’s promise to train at least 100 women mediators in the year 2018.



09:00 - 10:00 am EAT, 29 November 2018 – Opening Ceremony;


10:00 - 10:30am EAT, 29 November 2018 - Press Briefing

by: H.E. Amb. Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and H.E. Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, FemWise-Africa co-Chair, Panel of the Wise Chair, former Vice President of the Republic of Uganda.



Nelson Mandela Plenary Hall, AU Headquarters, Addis Ababa;


The Assembly  will bring together bring together around 150 participants, including AU officials, RECs/RMS, inducted new FemWise-Africa members, as well as leading women who hold or have held senior positions in their home countries or in international organizations, natural resource-based conflict prevention experts, women, peace and security practitioners, African academics, youth working on resolving conflicts, institutions that strengthen AU’s and Member State capacity in conflict prevention and mediation and representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs).


In order to promote the highly important role of women in peace-making efforts on the African continent, Femwise-Africa, which was officially established in line with decision Assembly/AU/Draft/Dec.21 (XXIX) of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government on July 2017, brings together women and girls from all regions of Africa and the Diaspora, involved in Tracks 1, 2 & 3 mediation processes, conflict prevention and social cohesion activities. The Network is located within the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) as a subsidiary mechanism of the Panel of the Wise. Furthermore, its location within the APSA places it in a strategic position for policy formulation and advocacy for narrowing the gap between the commitments for and actualisation of women’s inclusion in peace processes.


The network focuses on strengthening women’s capacities and participation in peace processes and conflict mediation initiatives in Africa, through the following priorities:


-          Professionalizing the role of women in preventative diplomacy and mediation at Tracks 1, 2 & 3 levels;

-          Ensuring a channel for women’s meaningful and effective participation in peace processes, including as heads of official high-level mediation missions;

-          Initiating women’s action that will catalyse and mainstream the engagement of women in mediation in line with the AU’s “Agenda 2063” and the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

-          Bridging the gap between Tracks 1, 2 & 3 mediation and synergizing efforts towards inclusive peace processes with sustainable outcomes; and

-          Strengthening the mediation interventions of FemWise-Africa through Quick Impact Projects and the establishment of local and National Peace Infrastructures as launch-pads for medium to longer-term initiatives that will ensure that stability and development take root.


From its official inception in July 2017 to November 2018, FemWise-Africa has undertaken several initiatives towards supporting peace processes. These include critical operationalization aspects, including: FemWise-Africa membership and accreditation; outreach strategies to enlarge the pool of African women mediators at Tracks 1, 2 & 3; training and capacity-building; popularization and outreach strategies and initiatives; international networking and strengthening collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs); and, finally, FemWise-Africa deployments. Further, the Network remains committed to ensuring that the private sector and other stakeholders are involved in supporting FemWise-Africa’s long-term and quick impact initiatives (social and economic projects) on the ground.


During the 19th statutory meeting of the Panel of the Wise, last October in Accra, Ghana, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) presented a report on improving the mediation and resolution of natural resource-related conflicts across Africa. The 2nd General Assembly will therefore build on this and discuss women’s role in preventing and resolving resource-related conflicts, in the context of the African Union’s policy of Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020.



For more information please contact:


Ms. Nancy Tolentino

Focal Point



Mr. Paschal Chem-Langhee

Communication Officer

African Union Commission



African Union (AU)

Peace and Security Department

Conflict Management Division

Tel. No. : +251-115-513 822

Fax: +251-115-519 321

E-mail: or



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Posted by Lulit Kebede

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