African Working Group

January 2017 in Kampala, Uganda

The African Working Group (AWG), established at GAAMAC II, held its inaugural workshop on 17 – 18 January 2017 in Kampala, Uganda. The AWG's main objective is the drafting of a "Manual on Best Practices in Strengthening National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities." The workshop convened 16 practitioners working in the fields of atrocity prevention and Responsibility to Protect (R2P) from Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya and Uganda.

Amongst other issues discussed, participants approved the thematic areas and the draft table of contents for the Manual. Thematic areas shall include: management of national mechanisms, understanding the Responsibility to Protect, localizing prevention and response and conflict analysis and management of prevention. Others may be added depending upon the experiences and needs expressed by stakeholders.

Participants identified and assigned coordinating roles and responsibilities to members of the African Working Group and also set a concise time line for the production of this Manual, which aims to be completed by early 2018. Data collection, analysis and the writing of the manual is already under way. Regional virtual meetings are also being held with practitioners across the continent. A survey to collect best practices will shortly be sent to key interlocutors around the continent. All GAAMAC partners are invited to submit information.

This meeting represents a critical milestone in cementing the commitment made by members of the AWG during the GAAMAC II conference that was held in Manila, the Philippines in February 2016. The workshop ended on a high note with participants resolving to move genocide prevention from “theory into action” on the African continent. The AWG’s production of such a manual will be a key step toward the realization of this goal.