Online Web Forum: Who Funds Instability in Africa?

Jul 24, 2018

On July 17th, 2018 The NATO Southern Hub and Three Stones International held an online chat forum to discuss "Who funds Instability in Africa?"  During the 90 min "live" chat session, Hub personnel directly engaged with community and civil society leaders from 12 African countries, many working daily on the front lines in conflict and post-conflict settings. The forum also included several NGOs and local and regional experts.  With the help of Three Stones International, the Hub was able to address topics on a wide range.  Many participants had similar questions regarding NATO’s intentions. Those questions can be distilled to the following, "NATO is military, and we do not need military solutions to our challenges.”  The forum allowed Hub personnel to address directly this type of question.  The Hub has been developed as NATO’s Article 2 organization and is trying to find better ways to engage with people to gain something very important; their perspective. Hub engagement specialist, LCDR Mike Nunziato said, "This type of forum can be a game changer for us. Through platforms like this, NATO, specifically the Hub, can hear the perspectives of people and organizations that live and work in the Middle East and Africa. Those perspectives can allow us to give the best possible advice to NATO while building relationships that can ultimately lead to peace and stability; this is NATO Soft Power.” To underscore this point and highlight NATO’s interest to better reach civil society and promote Soft Power, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Admiral James Foggo observed the "live chat” portion of the forum, taking the opportunity to directly engage with both Three Stones International and Mr. Jean De Dieu, the forum’s VIP moderator.  Cliff Lubitz, co-founder of Three Stones International said, "I was impressed to see how NATO NSD-S challenged their mindset and approaches to better predict and prevent instability and how they can effectively utilize soft power. NSD-S has demonstrated considerable willingness to seek creative ways to gain perspectives from community and civil society leaders in Africa. Utilizing Grassroots Virtuality is just one approach being used by NSD-S to bring local voices, context and perspectives otherwise not typically accessible to NATO. Fostering relationships and creating allies with youth, women's groups, grassroots leaders and local developing country organizations will help NSD-S fulfill its role and mission to connect, consult and coordinate." 

As this type of online tool grows, it will be important to continue engagement with IOs, NGOs and Civil Society to work on ways to improve collaboration and find better solutions to predict and prevent instability.   (Photo: NSD-S Hub and Three Stones International sponsored and moderated the Forum which can be visually represented by this Topology Chart that included the thesis on "Who funds instability in Africa?" and the subthemes and debate that stemmed from it.)

 

 



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