From 15th to the 16th of April 2015, a roundtable discussion on Liberia was organised by ACCORD, focussing on the current peacebuilding context in post-Ebola Liberia. The discussion aimed at assessing the impact of the virus and the responses of those on the ground. It also evaluated the effect on the Liberian government in regards to peacebuilding and reconciliation.
The discussion organised at the ACCORD's headquarter in Durban brought together various civil societies working on issues of peacebuilding in Liberia. The participants included Mr. Nathaniel Walker (Consultant and Programme Manager for the Strengthening Local Mechanism for Peace), Prof Sayndee Debbey (Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation, University of Liberia), Mr. Edward Mulbah (Senior Advisor at the Liberia Peacebuilding Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs), Mr. Roosevelt Woods (Executive Director at FIND- Foundation of International Dignity), Ms. Victory Wolile (Executive Director at West African Network for Peace), Ms. Carolyn Myers Zoduah (Executive Director at AGENDA) and Prince Kreplah (Team Leader at WASH Consortium Group).
The discussion was an opportunity for civil society to inform ACCORD about challenges facing the country and how it could engage the country in an effective manner in terms of national Peacebuilding and Reconciliation roadmap. The civil society discussed the current engagement of ACCORD and the African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme in Liberia.
The civil society emphasised the need to invest in the economy which was badly affected, engage with local partners, empower women and rebuild health facilities. The attention should be more on post-Ebola recovery by considering youth employment, social cohesion and provision of social needs of the population.
On April 16 2015, the civil society met with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)'s Deputy Director General of the Branch of Diplomatic Training, Research and Development, Ms Maud Dlomo in Pretoria. The meeting was an occasion for the Liberian activists to engage with South African diplomats in regards to the post-conflict reconstruction and development program and a sustainable collaboration with the South African government.
ACCORD's work in the area of peacebuilding is led by the Peacebuilding Unit, particularly through its engagements focusing on Liberia and South Sudan. For more information contact Ms Lesley Connolly, Senior Programme Officer in the Peacebuilding Unit at Lesley@accord.org.za.