ECOSOCC holds training of trainers for conflict prevention and mitigation in West Africa


The African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), hosted a Training of Trainers on Information-gathering, conflict analysis and early warning/response under the EU-African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) IV Program. The training, in collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), was officially opened by Sierra Leone’s Minister of Political Affairs and Public Administration, Hon. Amara Kallon.

In recent times, the west African region has faced numerous challenges, ranging from unconstitutional changes of government and violent conflicts to epidemics, climate change effects, terrorism, economic crises, national and transnational crimes, and governance-related issues. These threats significantly jeopardise peace, security, and stability in the region. Recognising the urgent need to address the root causes of these conflicts, there is a growing imperative for early response and warning to foster consensus and dialogue between the people and the state.

In response to the continent's peace and security challenges, the African Union (AU) established the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in 2002. This framework comprises five fundamental pillars, one of which is the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS). Embedded in Article 12 of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) Protocol, the CEWS plays a crucial role in ensuring the functionality and operational efficiency of APSA.

It serves as a tool to promptly identify potential conflict triggers, enabling African member states, particularly within the PSC's purview, to respond swiftly and mitigate conflicts across the continent.

Aligned with the AU's efforts and the PSC initiatives to address insecurity, Article 8, sub-articles 10, 11, and 20 of the PSC Protocol, along with the principles articulated in the Livingstone Formula and the Maseru Conclusions, emphasise the essential role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as strategic partners in achieving a peaceful and secure


In this regard, ECOSOCC as the civil society policy organ of the AU, has played a pivotal role through the fourth European Union Support Programme to the APSA (EU APSA IV) in highlighting the importance of CSOs in conflict prevention, management, resolution, and peacebuilding.

Officially opening the training, Hon. Kallon, said there are systems that need to be dismantled in Africa to address the root causes of UCGs, one of those being the Public Service Architecture (PSA).

Hon. Kamara noted the importance of having an efficient and non-bureaucratic PSA as one of the best ways to nip the root of UCGs in the bud.

He further recognised the critical importance of CSOs in championing the efforts of a peaceful and secure Africa and applauded ECOSOCC for the training.

ECOSOCC Presiding Officer, Khalid Boudali said the west African region faces challenges including violent conflicts, epidemics, terrorism and economic crises, all jeopardizing regional peace and stability.

“Recognizing the urgency to address these conflicts' root causes, early response and warning systems are imperative to foster dialogue between citizens and governments, he said. “The CEWS established within APSA plays a critical role in identifying conflict triggers promptly, enabling swift responses across the continent. CSOs are recognized as vital partners in achieving peace and security, as emphasized in the AU's protocols and initiatives.”

 “ECOSOCC has notably highlighted and prioritized CSOs' role in conflict prevention and resolution, further underscoring their importance in regional stability efforts,” Mr. Boudali further added.

ECOSOCC Head of Secretariat William Carew said, “We are here to equip ourselves with essential skills & knowledge and to reaffirm our commitment to principles of conflict prevention, peace-building and stability. Through our collective efforts, we aim to contribute meaningfully to the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS), critical frameworks for promoting peace and security on our continent.”

The opening ceremony was also graced by Amb. Duwai Lungay, Deputy Head of Mission of Sierra Leone in Ethiopia and Raymond Kitevu, COMESA Early Warning Expert.

The training equipped the ECOSOCC Peace and Security Cluster and National Chapter members, with national and regional reach in West Africa, on early warning tools including information-gathering, conflict analysis, and the Structural Vulnerability/ Resilience Assessment (SVA) process for the west African region. The training sensitized the CSOs with the necessary knowledge and skills for early warning enabling them to advocate for its importance within their respective member states contributing to effective conflict prevention.