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African Coalition for D&D Launched at C2D2

Tokunbo Awoshakin, NCDD member, former Kettering Foundation Fellow and founder and convenor of the new African Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation (www.africancdd.org), has just formally announced the birth of ACDD. Here is Tokunbo’s report:

On October 30, 2005, at the end of the Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) in Ottawa, Canada, the African Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (ACDD) was formed. The formation of this coalition was inspired by participation in an open space forum, convened to explore the possibility of convening dialogue and deliberation practitioners in a summit in Africa while focus on uniting and growing this community of practice. African participants were from Rwanda, Zambia, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. Other participants were from Canada and USA. The African Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation was subsequently formed.

The African Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation brings together people and groups who actively practice, promote and study inclusive conversations. Collectively, we seek to nurture justice, innovation and democracy throughout society through the widespread use of transformational communication methods such as dialogue and deliberation. Convinced that dialogue and deliberation are powerful group processes that help people bridge gaps, make better decisions, take collective non-violent action, resolve conflict and become more active citizens, ACDD will provide resources, networking opportunities and programs for a growing African community of practice dedicated to solving group and societal problems through honest talk, quality thinking and collaborative actions.

Energized by a growing network of African D&D practitioners, the important work of National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation and the success of convening a dialogue and deliberation summit in Africa might provide an opportunity for dialogue and deliberation practitioners to meet together with one another and with decision makers, policy developers, and researchers from the public, voluntary and private sectors including practitioners and researchers from Western countries to learn and share information and skills as well as develop capacity for this practice and contribute to the growth of D&D work in Africa. Opportunities to submit concerns and information on how to complete a “needs assessment” will soon be circulated among D&D networks and also made available online.

To continue this initiative, a database of dialogue and deliberation Practitioners living and/or working in Africa, is now being compiled. If you or your organization is based in an African country or works at least in part in Africa, please send your contact info to Programs@civiclifeint.org

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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