YOLA – A peace and development conference, which aims to chart new paths to increased access to education, better security, and youth employment, kicks off at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) Yola, Adamawa State, on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
Tagged the First AUN-API International Peace & Development Conference, the project is being promoted by the Adamawa Peacemakers Initiative (API). According to a statement made available to SundiataPOST, API is an organization of community, religious, and business leaders partnering with AUN in peace building and educational development in the conflicted northeast region. The conference will be drawing more than 100 participants from civil society groups, security organizations, academia, and other key stakeholder groups.
Several major highlights of the conference will be the presentation of certificates to 260 young women and men who recently graduated from the University’s free ICT (Information and Communications Technology) training program for at-risk youth in Adamawa State. Since its inception, this program has provided training to more than 2,000 local youth. In addition, the conference participants will hold a town hall meeting with 50 local youth to discuss their needs and concerns, and visit the local village of Bole to meet with internally displaced people and distribute food and seeds.
Discussants at the three-day conference, which will take place at the University’s Dr. Robert A. Pastor Library and e-Resource Center, are expected to offer new strategies, insights, and solutions for security programmes that can guarantee peace and security, especially in the North East. The conference will be considering what support or reforms are needed in Nigeria, the role of religious leaders in conflict resolution and promoting understanding and tolerance, and how education and gender equity can promote peace and development.
Other topics slated for discussion include the contribution of good governance and democracy to accountability, peace, employment and development, and the role of the national media in promoting alternative viewpoints and galvanizing citizens towards national development.