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IGAD Youth Forum for Peace (2)

Interview with Azza Alazreg
© The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) / Saba Elbasha

A young diplomat from Khartoum, Azza Alazreg (32), had just finished a training workshop on strengthening the roles of youth in peacebuilding. 

“I realize that we are all one. Our experiences are similar but set in very different contexts. We are not alone in our suffering nor in our hopes and dreams.”
Azza Alazreg now back in Sudan speaks enthusiastically about her experience in the training program on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution and Transformation. 

Along with Azza Alazreg, 34 other young people from Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti, Somalia, and Ethiopia participated in the training. During the three-day workshop, the participants received tools for assuming greater roles in conflict management and, just as importantly, taking the next steps to support peace. The training was planned and facilitated by the office of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development´s (IGAD) Peace and Security Division in Addis Ababa. 

Youth building peace in their countries 

The IGAD member countries all support youth in their public policies but, according to IGAD, they have only limited scope when it comes to involving youth directly in peacebuilding efforts. The workshop participants are all active members of regional councils for peace and with 60 per cent of the population under the age of 25, the potential resources there are enormous. 

As an organization with peace and stability at the top of its agenda, IGAD has multiple challenges and conflicts to address in the region. Hence, it is imperative that IGAD involve the resources that the youth represent. 

“We worked in groups to analyze the situation in our countries. The questions from the other participants helped me to better understand the situation in my own country,” says Azza Alareg. 

As a diplomat in the Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Azza Alazreg frequently prepares analysis of the political situation. Now, she has not only increased her collection of tools for analysis but also has tools for supporting and managing peace. From Sudan, she was joined by another diplomat and three youths involved in civil society organizations.  

© The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) / Saba Elbasha

African Programme for Peace
The African Programme for Peace (APP) is a Danish flagship programme that contributes significantly to the strengthening of multilateral African institutions and think tanks working on peace, security, and good governance in Africa.

The programme is currently in its fourth phase (2018-2023), with a total budget of 225 million DKK.

The overall objective of the APP is to contribute to enhanced conflict prevention and good governance in Africa, particularly through strengthening the ability of the AU, ECOWAS and IGAD to engage in preventative diplomacy, mediation, and democratization engagements in Africa. 

The Royal Danish Embassy in Ethiopia has allocated 17.0 million DKK to IGAD under the APP IV framework. The overall objective of the support to IGAD is to enhance the organisation’s normative and institutional capacity in preventive diplomacy, mediation, and peacebuilding and to strengthened member states’ democracy and electoral systems.

© The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) / Saba Elbasha