The African Union (AU) Youth for Peace Africa Programme, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Pan Africa Gaming Group (PAGG), and the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) have launched a Mission55 Conflict in Anaka, a game, to commemorate the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) 2022.
The game, developed by the AU, GIZ, and PAGG, aims to raise awareness, educate and inform the public, particularly youth, on the mandate of the AU to promote good governance, peace, and security in Africa. It exposes participants to the AU governance, peace, and security architecture (AGA-APSA) tools used to prevent, manage and mitigate conflicts. It also aims to enhance the agency of peacebuilders within their communities.
The game targets youths in conflict and warzone areas who are between the ages of 16 and 34.
Speaking at the opening ceremony last week on Wednesday, Patience Chiradza, Director for Governance and Conflict Prevention, on behalf of Amb. Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, lauded the AU-GIZ-UN partnership. She called on African youth to continue to leverage new technologies in deepening their knowledge and understanding toward meaningfully contributing to sustainable peace in Africa.
Further, she underlined the significant contributions of the African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAPs) in advancing the implementation of the youth, peace, and security agenda in close collaboration with the AU Member States, particularly the Peace and Security Council. In her words, a key milestone is “The adoption of the continental framework on youth, peace and security and its 10-year implementation plan in 2020.”
On his part, H.E. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of UNOAU, reiterated the UN’s commitment to promote human dignity, end racism and build peace, in line with the Peace Day 2022 theme and the Joint UN-AU Framework for an enhanced partnership. He stated that education is critical in promoting harmony in our communities and applauded the use of technological innovations for inclusivity in peacebuilding.
According to H.E. Stephan Auer, German Ambassador to Ethiopia, “This game will reinforce outreach efforts as youth can now connect through smartphones and be more aware of the work of the African Union in crisis prevention, conflict management, and peacebuilding.”
Following the launch, the AYAPs convened a Youth General Assembly to update young people on the status of the implementation of the youth, peace, and security agenda in Africa.
Commenting on the game design, Jay Shapiro, Chairman of the Pan Africa Gaming Group (PAGG) said “We’re delighted by how Mission 55 – Conflict in Anaka is a powerful example of the power of gamification to create meaningful social impact in the community. Today’s youth love playing video games. Our #GamingForGood mission turns that passion into positive changes.”
These activities to mark Peace Day 2022 at the AU headquarters brought together representatives from the AU and partner organisations, AYAPs, and other young people from across the continent, including digital media practitioners and social media influencers.