By Joshua Pwalia, Accra-Ghana
Riding on the crest of its impressive “Youth Beyond Covid-19” webinars, the Ignatian Youth Networks Initiating Generational Outcomes (IYNIGO), the youth leadership development scheme of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute (AJI), has given birth to another fascinating project. Dubbed Pax Africana with the theme African Youth sowing seeds of peace, this initiative provides a virtual platform for education on peace, targeted principally at young people across the African continent.
It represents IYNIGO’s determination to complement the efforts of the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network’s (JENA) “Silencing the Guns” campaign launched in Accra in March earlier this year. Speaking on that occasion, the JENA Director, Fr. Charles Chilufya SJ, expressed the firm resolve of Jesuit NGOs and Social Justice Centres in Africa to promote the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2020 of ending gun violence. Bearing this undertaking in mind, IYNIGO is packaging a programme of webinars whose content will be made accessible in other forms with the basic aim of advancing the peace agenda in Africa.
The Pax Africana series of virtual talks on peace and related issues is particularly timely given that several African countries go to the polls this year. All too often, general elections in Africa are characterized by violence. It is hoped that efforts such as the Pax Africana series, by the light it will shed on issues such as peacebuilding, will contribute to stemming the tide of violence in Africa and usher in a new dispensation of peace and development.
The first in the series of talks will be delivered via Zoom by a Kenyan Jesuit, Fr. Augostine E. Ekeno SJ on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. GMT/12 noon EAT. Fr. Ekeno, who holds an MPhil in Peace Studies from Trinity College, Dublin, is currently the Director of Multi Agricultural Jesuit Institute of Sudan (MAJIS) in Rumbek, South Sudan. For details on how to participate, kindly see the flyer below.