Recognizing the contagious nature of conflict has been instrumental in the establishment of West Africa Network for Peacebuilding WANEP–The Gambia. WANEP Gambia is a legally registered non-profit organization created in August 2003. It has a membership of 30 civil society organizations spread across the country with various mandates ranging from peacebuilding human rights and development. WANEP maintains focal points in each of the 5 regions coordination and directly implementing programmes and activities with the communities. The growing need for conflict prevention initiatives for sustainable peace and development confirms WANEP’s presence and relevance.
WANEP The Gambia is the leading and nationally recognized peace building organization promoting a culture of peace within a framework of human rights, democracy and governance. In any case, sustainable peace is the bedrock of democratic governance, human rights, justice and long-term development.
Over the years, WANEP-The Gambia successfully built a track record of providing tailor-made training programmes for government stakeholders, security forces, civil society including grassroots communities. WANEP-The Gambia has been providing capacity on peace education, early warning and early response and peacebuilding monitoring and evaluation.
Furthermore WANEP-The Gambia has been part of national and international advocacy campaigns like Control Arms Campaign, Cluster Munitions and small arms and light weapons. Serving as the focal point organization for the implementation of the two-year sub-regional pilot project on SALW conducted in four countries; Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea and Senegal, WANEP Gambia successfully collected illicit arms surrendered and conducted an arms destruction exercise for the first time in the Gambia and also registered 100% arms registration in the target area.
Lobbying and advocacy is an integral part of the programmes and activities of WANEP. The ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Cluster Munitions Conventions, United Nations Resolution 1325, Arms Trade Treaty are among the international campaign instruments.
WANEP Gambia for the first time in the history of the country mobilized more than 20 civil society organizations and created the Coalition on Elections to undertake election observation and monitoring of the 2006 -2008 electoral process cycle thereby enhancing civil society participation and ensuring free and fair elections.