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GPLC Virtual Conference demonstrates Resilience amidst a Pandemic

By Daniel Juma Omondi

On July 30-31, 2020, the Global Peace Foundation in conjunction with the Standard Group, the National Cohesion & Integration Commission (NCIC) and other partners will convene a virtual Global Peace Leadership Conference (GPLC)–Africa 2020. The theme “Transforming Societies for Sustainable Peace and Development: Through Moral and Innovative Leadership in Education and Peacebuilding” has never been more relevant.

The 2-day online convening brings together over 1,000 multi-sector participants and has over 56 speakers and thought leaders representing the public, private and civil society sectors. including peace practitioners and experts, educators, religious leaders, governmental stakeholders, NGOs, school administrators, and media representatives from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, African, India, USA, UK, European Union, and other countries. The rich combination of experts and practitioners from diverse backgrounds will discuss solutions for transforming education and promoting sustainable peace during the pandemic and to begin preparing for the recovery.

The GPLC is a strategic high-level convening of the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) and partners, bringing together leaders from government, business, academia, non-profit sector, and faith communities to work toward solutions to critical issues within the frame of moral and innovative leadership.  GPLC’s are held as private public partnerships with hosting governments and multilateral agencies with participants coming from the region and various parts of the world.

In the 2018 GPLC held in Uganda, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta sent CS Eugene Wamalwa to represent him at that major event held at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort in Kampala under the patronage of President Yoweri Museveni. The Uganda Conference saw the launch of the Turkana-Pokot-Karamoja peace talks that led to the signing of the Kenya-Uganda cross border initiative in September 2019 witnessed by Kenyatta and Museveni. Earlier GPLCs in Africa were convened in Zanzibar (2015) and Abuja, Nigeria (2013).

The event comes at a time when the covid19 pandemic has almost brought life to a standstill and affected humanity in unprecedented ways, imposing lockdowns and forcing us to live closer together with some people and further apart from others.  Herbert Marshall McLuhan argued in the 60s that the application of the new communication media in people’s lives would not only bring changes in the way people communicate with one another, but would also bring radical changes in all human affairs.

And indeed in the midst of a global pandemic, digital technology has been a silver lining that is helping humanity reach out to one another, communicate and conduct business. We had made elaborate plans for a physical conference but due to the ongoing pandemic resorted to a virtual conference which has become a global new normal and we see this as an innovative solution to enable humanity to reach out to one another amidst a pandemic to conduct business because life must continue.  We have also seen how most schools other than those with challenges of adequate digital equipment embrace online learning a way of engaging students and teachers during the pandemic and GPF has been holding monthly Transforming Education Webinars bringing together stakeholders in education to discuss critical issues and learn from innovative models.

This year marks exactly 11 years since the establishment of the GPF in Kenya and 10 years since Kenya’ 3rd President Mwai Kibaki hosted the Global Peace Convention at the KICC in Nairobi on 18th November 2010.  Since its Nairobi convention in 2010, GPF Kenya has been advancing its peacebuilding work with a focus on transforming education, partnering with stakeholders in the education sector to develop relevant solutions to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  We are implementing four major education programs, Character and Creativity, Entrepreneurship & Science Incubators (Leap Hubs), Smart Workforce Readiness, and the Great Places to School.  These programs each contribute to the overall goal of the foundation by developing a workforce that drives employment and economic development, societal and political stability, and ethical societies free from corruption.

Founded by Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, the Global Peace Foundation employs a values-based approach to peacebuilding, guided by a vision of our common humanity that uplifts the shared heritage, rights, and inherent value of all people within the human family. The foundation which is a non-sectarian, non-partisan US registered nonprofit with branches in 24 countries convenes Moral and Innovative Leadership programs and implements development projects on grassroots peacebuilding, education, entrepreneurship, youth leadership development, and empowering women and families.

GPF is in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and in association with the UN’s Department of Global Communications (DGC), contributing to the development, implementation, and monitoring of agenda items agreed on by UN member nations.

Thanks to the support of our valued partners, we are able to offer free registration and welcome everyone to join us in this exciting virtual convening and gain in-depth information and insights, solutions, working models and inspiration and be able to network globally. For information and to REGISTER go to: https://www.globalpeace.org/event/global-peace-leadership-africa-virtual-conference-2020

The writer is the Executive Director of the Global Peace Foundation Kenya. Email djuma@globalpeace.org Twitter @realdanieljuma

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