Innovators for Peace in the Sahel 2020-2021

From 2020-2021, Build Up supported teams of young innovators from Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali to implement a peacebuilding initiative using digital technology. 12 teams of peacebuilders were trained on digital skills to use technology to solve a problem related to youth participation in peacebuilding in their community, region or country. After the course, 6 teams received mentoring and financial support to implement their idea over the span of a year. Pilot projects included a digital conflict training for bloggers in Burkina Faso; an online platform to foster youth entrepreneurship in Diffa (Niger); a GIS-based app to address conflicts between artisanal miners and mining companies in Burkina Faso; the use of WhatsApp to connect herders and farmers in Timbuktu (Mali); participatory video to amplify the voices of displaced people in Mali; and a process to make existing research on peace and conflict more accessible to people from the three countries. In October 2021, the teams met in Niamey to jointly review the impact of their interventions and present it to a broader audience of peacebuilding organizations and donors, organized with our project partner Oxfam IBIS.