The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), in collaboration with the West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE), held a two-day capacity-building workshop for Civil society organizations (CSOs) and Youth Groups in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions. The participants were selected from different backgrounds and mining communities to focus on engendering higher trust and stronger collaboration between mining companies and the local populations and improve social cohesion amongst community members.
The workshop aimed to equip CSOs, CBOs, and NGOs in the basics of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and P/CVE while actively working to minimize youth vulnerabilities to recruitment by VEOs.
The Executive Director of the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), Mrs. Theodora Anti, in her opening statements, indicated that the workshops were organized to provide a unique platform for CSOs to enhance their understanding of the root causes of violent extremism and to explore practical strategies for peacebuilding.
The workshops featured The National Youth Authority, NCCE, The Police, the Immigration, the Community Chiefs, District/Municipal Assemblies, and experts in counterterrorism, peace, and conflict resolution. These experts shared their valuable insights on the evolving landscape of violent extremism, emphasizing the need for young people to be actively involved in addressing these challenges.
Participants engaged in in-depth discussions on various aspects of violent extremism, such as radicalization, recruitment, and the impact on communities. These discussions provided a comprehensive view of the complex issue at hand.
Beyond theory and analysis, the workshop focused on building practical skills. Attendees participated in interactive sessions and exercises designed to develop their conflict mediation, peace advocacy, and community engagement abilities.
One of the workshop’s significant outcomes was the formation of collaborative networks. Attendees from different CSOs shared their experiences and best practices, fostering a sense of solidarity and unity in the fight against violent extremism. These networks will serve as platforms for future cooperation and knowledge exchange.
The CSOs reaffirmed their commitment to championing peace and building resilient communities after the workshop. They recognized that addressing violent extremism requires a multifaceted approach and a collective effort from all sectors of society.
In conclusion, the CSO Capacity Building Workshop on Violent Extremism and Peace Building represented a crucial step forward in the ongoing battle against violent extremism. It expanded the knowledge and skills of CSO participants and nurtured a sense of shared responsibility and collaboration. The call to action is clear: CSOs, along with other stakeholders, must continue their work in promoting peace and building resilient societies to counter the threats posed by violent extremism.