We work with women and youth in promoting peace, security and conflict resolution mechanisms both in formal and informal sector businesses.
There is a huge number of women and youth involved in informal businesses and are organized in groups. This provides a comparative advantage of leadership and ‘connector’ roles that business actors play in their societies which can be leveraged by the interest and incentive they have in a stable, peaceful operating environment conducive to business. As an organized group of business community, women and youth associations are a resourceful and influential lobby, with reach from the grassroots to the highest levels of government – the sector can lend support to or lead advocacy with government authorities and politicians to promote peace building goals.
we engage the youth and women entrepreneurs, Business Associations, likeminded CSOs and Government Institutions in creating a peaceful business environment. Our entry point is capacity strengthening and dialogue activities on conflict sensitive business practices and their involvement in the championing of, planning for, design, and implementation of conflict sensitive business practices, programs, policies and regulations that are gender sensitive. We also engage in research activities focused on conflict sensitive business issues and practices and sharing of this information with the public.
In partnership with International Alert, we conducted a mapping exercise of women and youth entrepreneur associations covering seven major towns of Arua, Gulu, Lira, Mbale, Jinja, Masaka and Kampala capital city; he study focused on women and youth entrepreneur associations in urban centers. The overall objective of the mapping was to deepen the peace and security partners understanding of the various associations of women and youth entrepreneurs, how they are organized, the entities they engage with and the role they play as agents of peace to leverage their influence to promote peace particularly in urban areas and broadly in Uganda. During the mapping, entrepreneur associations were keen about peace, understood the benefit of peace to business and expressed willingness to promote peace in their day to day business endeavor as a way of contributing to peaceful business environment.
In partnership with KACITA – Uganda, International Alert, Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD) and Open Space, we launched the Safer City Campaign targeting the urban context. The campaign looks at peace and security in Kampala City. It comes from the belief that the business community can play a significant role in promoting peace and sustainable conflicts resolution mechanisms in Kampala City. “ Safer City” means efforts made to invoke the role of business community, residents, city officials, security and law enforcement in Kampala City to collaborate to reduce crime, violence and conflicts and build a collaborative partnership to sustain awareness on maintaining mechanisms for ensuring peace and security in Kampala City.
Prior to the actual campaign, we carried out a baseline survey entitled “peace and security in Kampala city” to inform the campaign strategy and message; the survey was carried in 2014.
The highlights from the survey show that the safety of Kampala city is challenged by numerous social, economic and political issues. They include among others high cost of doing business, high rent, rent taxes and spaces for doing informal businesses and high rate of youth unemployment. Similarly highlights indicated existence of crime of theft, drug abuse and related mob justice and other violence. Others challenges are from land related conflicts, demonstrations by traders, transporters, politicians and striking university students which affect Kampala business and its people in many ways.