Women- and Youth-Focused Peacebuilding Networks in Burundi


Ngubane, Senzwesihle, and Patrick Kanyangara. 2018. "Women- and-Youth-Focused Peacebuilding Networks in Burundi." In Local Networks for Peace: Lessons from Community-Led Peacebuilding, 11-20. New York: International Peace Institute.

Authors: Senzwesihle Ngubane, Patrick Kanyangara

Keywords: peacemaking, nongovernmental organizations, reconciliation, political conflict, civil society, economic coordination mechanisms, international cooperation, political security, peacetime


"This case study focuses on the experiences of two local networks in Burundi that are undertaking work in the areas of conflict prevention and peacebuilding. These networks focus on two stakeholders considered critical during a country’s post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding phases: women and youth. Whether it is the United Nations with its renewed focus on conflict prevention through “sustaining peace” or the AU’s governance architecture, the international community seems to largely agree that any process to advance peacebuilding requires specific engagement of women and youth. The networks chosen for this case study are the Réseau des organisations des Jeunes en Action pour la paix, la réconciliation et le développement (the Network of Youth Organizations Working for Peace, Reconciliation, and Development, or REJA), a network of organizations dealing with issues affecting youth, and the Association Dushirehamwe, a women’s network. Their programs focus largely on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, human rights, development, and social cohesion. Both networks seek to reposition their respective target groups—women and youth—as drivers and agents of change in Burundi, thus enabling them to find solutions to their own challenges rather than being led by external actors. These networks, like others currently operational in Burundi, find themselves working in a sociopolitical context that is both challenging and unpredictable. The relationship between the government, some of its international partners, and internal stakeholders, in particular some of the opposition political parties, is vexed. The two networks were selected as case studies on the basis of their ongoing engagement with youth and women from different political, social, and economic backgrounds who are actively contributing to peacebuilding and development at the local and national levels. The information on their organizational structure and activities was collected through desk research and key informant interviews conducted with the networks’ leaders and field staff. The case study outlines the genesis of these two networks, including their working modalities, programs, activities, and engagements, but without aiming to compare their work. It concludes with some recommendations for networks operating in Burundi, directed to other network organizations, as well as to international actors, including donors" (Ngubane and Kanyangara 2018, 12-13).

Topics: Age, Youth, Civil Society, Conflict Prevention, Conflict, Gender, Women, International Organizations, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Burundi

Year: 2018

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