US Embassy Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa – Last week, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a capstone activity to mark the successes of its three-year peacebuilding project known as the Ethiopia Support Program. USAID Ethiopia’s Mission Director Scott Hocklander attended alongside 50 of USAID’s partners including civil society organizations, media companies, faith-based organizations, government bodies, and youth and women’s organizations.
Participants visited an “Advocating for Peace” art exhibit as well as the “Bridging Communities through Photography” photo exhibit. Panel discussions highlighted constructive public discourse, the inclusion of women in political dialogue, and a retrospective on the project’s successes, challenges, and lessons learned. Over the past three years, this USAID project worked with 56 partners to promote sustainable peace and stability across Ethiopia by implementing 107 activities worth $7 million (386 million birr).
The project had countless achievements, including launching the first ever Ethiopian Women Peacebuilders Network, which continues to play a vital role in harnessing the influence of women in finding peaceful solutions to conflict. To counter misinformation, USAID supported the establishment of the Tikvah University Telegram channel, which delivers fact-checked content to over 160,000 subscribers.
As part of the project, USAID also helped develop a curriculum on dialogue facilitation at Addis Ababa University’s Institute for Peace and Security Studies. The program demonstrates how dialogues around sensitive issues can build respect and understanding, a critical resource that will help the country engage in its nationwide dialogue process.
All told, the USAID Ethiopia Support Program engaged over 20,000 people in 56,000 hours of dialogue on issues to foster an environment for sustainable peace. Throughout the program, decision-makers discussed contentious issues to arrive at consensus faster.
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