By Bai-Bai Sesay, Freetown – Forty three participants drawn mainly from West African countries recently ended a three days 2nd Regional Conference on the theme- Peacemaking in West Africa: Faith Communities and their role in conflict organized by the West Africa Research Association (WARA) and the West Africa Research Center (WARC) with financial support from the U.S State Department. The conference took place at the Taia Resort Hotel,
Lumley Beach Road in the capital Freetown.
Addressing participants, Prof. Osumane Sene of WARC said the peace initiative is a three years programme funded by the U.S State Department to promote peace building and conflict prevention through the exchange of ideas and experience within the sub-region.
He pointed out that the project directly benefit key scholars, activists and journalists from the various countries in the West Africa sub region as well as selected US academicians who are also participating in the event noting that it will help them to build their knowledge on peace and conflict resolutions in their various countries.
He said WARC is committed to the principles of transparency and equity noting that they also deals with programmes like hosting conferences, workshops, fellowship programmes and cultural events both national and regional levels.
Dr Jennifer Yanco of WARA said they are focusing on three main areas such as peace and conflict resolution in historical and contemporary context, role and participation of various faith communities in conflict and peace and also reporting on conflict dialogue among journalists and academicians.
Project Coordinator, Henri Pierre Koubaka said 43 people participated in this year’s conference noting that ten were drawn from the United States of America, seven from Nigeria, Nine from Senegal, Two from Cameroon, Three from Burkina Faso ,One from Liberia, Two from Benin, One from France, One from Cote d’ivore and the host country Sierra Leone has only two representatives.