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Management

Management Report 2011

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Peace does not come from knowing how you will find the answer, or where to look for it, or when it will come, or what it will be. Peace comes from simply knowing you will find the answer”. Anonymous

Peacebuilding efforts in West Africa and particularly the contribution of Civil Society Organisations over the past decade are promoting and consolidating peace and political stability in the sub-region. While the level of collaboration between governments and civil society organisations in building peace has increased, there are also visible efforts to institutionalise peacebuilding by creating national structures for peace in various West African Countries. The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding [WANEP] during the period under review in 2011 continued through its unique network structure to be at the forefront of mobilising civil society efforts for building peace and promoting human security at national and regional levels in West Africa. This report is a narrative of the salient highlights of our work in the past year, 2011.

WANEP acknowledges the very important recognition of the Alfred Nobel Peace Prize awarding committee in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize of 2011 to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Ms Leymaa Gbowee, a former staff member of WANEP. WANEP warmly congratulates the women of Liberia for the achievement of winning the Nobel Peace Prize. WANEP shares with a sense of pride the achievement of Ms Leymaa Gbowee as her recognition is attributed to her role in WANEP – Liberia as the Desk Officer of the Women in Peacebuilding Network [WIPNET] program where she demonstrated courage and conviction in the mass mobilisation of women in Liberia for peace. The women of Liberia are ever more inspired to be at the forefront of bringing justice, healing and peace not only to communities in Liberia devastated by war but also reaching out across the sub-region to be true examples of women efforts and leadership in peacebuilding.

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Management Report 2010

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The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) continued in 2010 with determined efforts to sustain itself as a viable and credible Civil Society Peacebuilding Organisation in West Africa. These efforts increased WANEP’s leverage and capacity to enhance and contribute to Peacebuilding initiatives across the sub-region. In line with WANEP’s principle of accountability, I am delighted to present to you, a summary account of our contribution to Peace and Human Security in West Africa in 2010.

At the Regional Secretariat, Chukwuemeka Eze, the former National Coordinator for WANEP-Nigeria replaced Takwa Suifon as Program Director. Mr Suifon joined the African Union Peace and Security Commission at the end of 2009. In 2010, WANEP’s strategic plan was revised and rationalised at the regional level while maintaining core program objectives and enhancing their implementation at national levels. The benefits of such reorganisation are remarkable as regional programs have impact in a vertical capability from community to national and regional levels. National Networks are now optimising responses to national specific issues informed by peacebuilding practice experiences of other national networks. Such cross fertilisation and exchange is contributing enormously to the promotion of human security in the sub-region from the generation of local knowledge and practice. There is huge satisfaction of increasing capacity at national level. WANEP’s presence is therefore manifested more in local communities and national levels while coordination from the regional level provides professionalism and efficiency. A direct outcome is increasing complimentary support and work with National Governments and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In some countries, WANEP was invited to play intermediary roles and provide mediation in sensitive internal political and inter-communal conflicts.

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Management Report 2009

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[Extracted from WANEP Annual Report, 2009]

2009 was a signifi cant milestone for the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP). At the regional level, WANEP concluded the celebrations of its 10th anniversary with a special General Assembly. The opportunity to celebrate also provided space for institutional introspection. At the time of its founding, West African civil society peacebuilding practitioners engaged in working with conflict were very few. While a few international organisations mainly operating from Europe worked on West African conflicts, the programs designed where unsustainable as there was little local ownership, expertise and institutional capacity of West Africans to sustain peacebuilding efforts. The story today is different. Peacebuilding in West Africa is largely locally driven. West African Governments have now integrated peacebuilding in some of their departments and ministries. From both the national to regional levels, responding to conflicts has been significantly transformed with more emphasis on prevention. 

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