From 19 to 21 June 2014, the first of a series of six workshops to be implemented under the project title “Building and Managing Consensus”, that aims to build national consensus towards establishment of an inclusive national security sector transformation (SST) process by both state and non-state actors took place in Troutbeck Inn, Nyanga (Zimbabwe). The workshop focused on the role of civil society in building national consensus on SST. Twenty-five participants from civil society and academic institutions participated. The goal of the workshop was to increase civil society’s understanding of their role in SST, and to develop a civil society strategy on SST in Zimbabwe.
The workshop consisted of the following learning blocks:
1) Provision of a historical overview of the development of civil society in Zimbabwe and a look at the challenges facing civil society from an internal perspective, to start a process of reflection and introspection.
2) An overview of SST experiences in other African countries and information on the AU SSR framework, to provide an African perspective on SST and to highlight opportunities and strategies of engagement.
3) Introduction of skills and methods for negotiation: conducting
4) Introduction of the basic skills and phases of mediation
5) Exposure to the perspectives of traditional leadership, as an important element of an African approach to SST.
6) Reflection on civilian-military relations in Zimbabwe from the perspective of the military, with the aim of increasing mutual understanding and developing strategies for engagement.
7) Brainstorming on a strategy for civil society’s role in SST in Zimbabwe, by identifying challenges and action points.
The project on “Building and Managing Consensus” was developed by the ZPSP and is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Human Security Division. The Centre for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich is also partnering in this project and gives technical support in the implementation of project activities.