INTERFAITH DIALOGUE ON VIOLENT EXTREMISM (IDOVE) YOUTH FORUM
The first Interfaith Dialogue on Violent Extremism (IDOVE) Youth Forum was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from February 21 to 23, 2017. The forum was organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) in partnership with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).
The participants were drawn from Africa (Algeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and Europe (Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and United Kingdom). There was a total of 40 youth from over 32 countries in Africa and Europe who have demonstrated leadership in the field of Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in their respective societies.
The Youth Forum is part of a bigger project called “the Trans-continental Dialogue Programme on Preventing Violent Extremism through the Soft Power of Religion” aimed at creating a transcontinental platform that will bring together stakeholders from Africa and Europe to deliberate and come up with contemporary recommendations and activities on how to counter violent extremism.
The rationale behind this initiative was to establish a counter movement which emphasizes:
- Peaceful and educational messages, touching upon contentious religious matters;
- The root causes emanating from different countries, regions or continents, i.e. on development and socio-political issues.
The objectives of the Forum were as below:
- To develop strategic directions for the iDove project based on principles and methods of interfaith dialogue on preventing violent extremism and de-radicalization.
- To develop suitable concepts and applications for the iDove website which will be launched at the Forum.
- To develop concepts and mechanisms to support small-scale youth-run projects to be implemented in Africa and Europe within the project objectives.
- To design plans for a monitoring and evaluation system to monitor the implementation of those small-scale projects and for follow up meetings annually.
The outcomes are:
- Launch of the iDove website where participants can showcase their programs, activities, share articles, pictures and videos on their work in Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE).
- Building of an intercontinental network known as iDove Network.
- Networking through social media channels i.e. WhatsApp group (iDovers) Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/iDove00) and Twitter(@idove)
- Empowerment of Youth through the development of a framework for the iDove small scale initiatives i.e. communication and virtual Initiatives and innovative community based initiatives.
- Launch of youth run projects and training of respective stakeholders.