Nigeria Hosts Rotary International Positive Peace Activators Training for West and Central Africa

The City of Lagos is currently playing host to over 44 Rotary Positive Peace Activators drawn from 13 countries across West and Central Africa under the auspices of the Rotary International.

The 3-day training which started on Saturday 1st of April at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos was packed through a collaboration between Rotary International Headquarters in Evanston, US, the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) headquatered in Australia and Rotary Districts in Nigeria.

In his address at the opening of the training, Past Rotary International Vice President, Yinka Babalola said that The Rotary Positive Peace Activator program, is the most comprehensive training and educational program hosted jointly by Rotary International and its strategic partner the Institute for Economics & Peace.

Yinka Babalola also stated that Peace Building and Conflict Prevention is an area of focus of Rotary International and the Positive Peace Activators Training is one of Rotary’s various initiatives, programs and activities to build capacity to foster world peace and international understanding.

He therefore urged participants to see their inclusion in the training as a unique opportunity, having been selected from among over 400 applicants.

In a Press Briefing during the training, the Rotary International Peace Area of Focus Manager, Crall Rebecca said that the essence of the training is to ensure that participants have basic understanding of peace building through a synergy between peace building experts and members of Rotary. “What we are looking for are people who are motivated to learn and spread the word so that Peace Building will no longer be the business of a small lead group but all of us”. She said.

Speaking on the role of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), its representative, Allen Charles said his organization, headquartered in Sydney, Australia is preoccupied with monitoring Positive Peace Index and is in partnership with Rotary International due to its global extensive reach which helps IEP to expand the impact of its operations in many parts of the world.

Also speaking, the District Governor, Rotary District 9110, Omotunde Lawson noted that hosting the training in Lagos could not have happened at a better time, given the present political atmosphere in Nigeria which tends to threaten peace and understanding among the people. Nigeria stands to gain a lot from such lofty initiatives like this, brought about by Rotary.

The District Governor said further that what is more interesting in the training is the inspiration it gives participants to go all out and replicate the skills and competencies acquired in promoting Peace Building and Conflict Prevention in their communities and their spheres of influence.

The training would flow into a Rotary Nigeria Peace *Activation* Summit on Tuesday which holds at the same venue where over 200 participants, especially past beneficiaries of Rotary Peace Scholarships would be in attendance to localise the gains of the training for the Nation’s benefits.

Lagos is hosting the sixth in the series of the training as the first edition held in North America, in 2020 followed by Latin America, 2020; Europe, 2021; Asia, 2022 and East Africa, 2022.

Samuel Ayetutu, fnipr

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