Djibouti (Djibouti): The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Djibouti, H.E Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, and the Acting Assistant Secretary-Bureau of African Affairs of the US Department of State, H.E Donald Yamamoto, yesterday evening officially inaugurated the IGAD Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE) in Djibouti. The Regional Strategy for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in the Horn and Eastern Africa Region was also launched on the same occasion.
Among the numerous dignitaries who attended the ceremony were: the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, the Minister of Defense of Djibouti, State Minister of Women’s Empowerment of Djibouti, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Djibouti, members of the diplomatic corps to Djibouti and to Ethiopia, UNDP Regional Coordinator.
The commonly shared views during the various speeches by the prime officials were the necessity for soft power in the fight against extremism and the many achievements by the Center during the one year and a half it has been operating with limited resources.
The IGAD P/CVE Center of Excellence is a premier institution that is offering a dedicated platform to institutionalize the prevention and countering of violent extremism in the Horn and Eastern Africa Region. This Center of Excellence is intended to serve as a resource for governments, civil societies, youth, religious leaders, experts, practitioners, business people, and others interested in addressing violent extremism.
Specifically, the Center will endeavor to empower youth, women, religious leaders and civil society, among other P/CVE actors; enhance their resilience and capacity in countering violent extremist ideology; message audiences both online and offline; generate positive alternatives for young people vulnerable to violent extremist recruitment; improve law enforcement and security-force engagement with local communities; amplify influential religious voices and critical thinking skills; prevent radicalization to violence in prisons; and rehabilitate and re-integrate disengaged fighters, including foreign terrorist fighters.
The Center’s focus areas include but are not limited to:
Training and Learning: providing training and practical tools to enhance the capacities of government and non-government stakeholders to design and implement effective programs and policies to counter violent extremism.
Convening and Connectivity: providing a dedicated platform to facilitate focused discussion and collaboration among national and local actors, civil society, researchers and community leaders involved in CVE.
Counter-Messaging: focusing on building the capacity of credible local partners and potential partners to develop and disseminate their own counter-messages and alternative narratives, and to amplify existing ones.
Research and Innovation: catalyzing more research to gain a deeper understanding of the localized drivers of violent extremism, and developing new ways to effectively counter it.
Source: Inter Governmental Authority on Development