Violent Extremism in Africa: Challenges, Options and Opportunities for Response

Nov 11, 2015

Panellists included Usman Baraya, Amr Abdalla, Dr. Mustafa Ali, Dr. Anneli Botha and Mohamed Yahya. Photo: UNDP Africa

On 11 November 2015, the Regional Service Centre for Africa hosted a Maendeleo Policy Forum titled Violent Extremism in Africa: Challenges, Options and Opportunities for Response.

The forum was moderated by UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa Deputy Director Ms. Ruby Sandhu-Rojon and was attended by members of the diplomatic corps in Addis Ababa, research institutions, civil society and UN partners. Panellists included Nigeria's Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa H.E. Ambassador Usman Baraya, Senior Advisor on Policy Analysis and Research at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University Professor Amr Abdalla, Secretary General of the Global Network of Religions for Children and Director of Arigatou International in Nairobi Dr. Mustafa Ali, senior researcher at the Institute of Security Studies Dr. Anneli Botha, and head of UNDP Africa's Regional Programme Mohamed Yahya.

The panellists discussed the growth of violent extremism and its manifestations in Africa, including its causes and drivers. In addition, they looked at the role of information and communications technology (ICT), particularly the multiplier effects of social media. They identified the lack of research on human behavior, for instance, why members of the same family would take different courses of action in the face of recruitment to violent extremism. Amongst other conclusions, it was agreed that research is vital to identify the role families, communities, and institutions play in stopping violent extremism for evidence-based interventions.

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