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Assessing the inclusion of youth and women in, and its impact on, the implementation of the Africa union post-conflict reconstruction and development initiatives in Monrovia; Liberia.

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The conflict in Liberia had an enormous impact on the country's social, political, and economic landscapes, affecting especially women and youth. Studies highlight the youth’s and women's role in peace building and post-conflict reconstruction processes of society as a cross-cutting issue crucial to sustainable peace. Therefore, this study investigated the inclusion of youth and women in, and its impact on, the implementation of African Union’s (AU’s) Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) policy in Monrovia, Liberia. The study's main goals were to contextualise the Liberian conflict, analyse the AU PCRD Framework, identify the contributions made by youth and women in implementing PCRD initiatives in Monrovia, and identify the challenges faced by both youth and women in Monrovia, as well as how these challenges influence their participation in PCRD initiatives and their implementation. While there are abundant documents, reports, and studies that focus on the conflict in African countries, particularly in Liberia, there is a research gap regarding the inclusion of youth and women in, and its impact on, the implementation of the AU PCRD initiatives. Based on various experiences gained thus far in managing peace processes on the continent, the AU crafted the PCRD Policy Framework. The Policy Framework was developed, mindful that each conflict is unique, as a guide to consolidate peace processes, as a conflict prevention measure, and as a mechanism to promote sustainable development. Using the mixed research method of quantitative and qualitative research designs, the study examined the extent to which the youth and women have been actively participating in the implementation of PCRD programmes in Liberia. Drawing from data collected, the study established that the participation of the youth and women in peace building processes and the conceptualisation and implementation of PCRD initiatives is critical in addressing physical, cultural, and structural violence, and in building post-conflict societies. However, as research findings suggest, there is no evidence of women and youth's effective participation and representation in crucial decision-making structures, and in the implementation of PCRD initiatives. Hence, women and youth remain underrepresented and overlooked. This study thus concludes that it is essential that youth and women become part of the PCRD processes at all levels and dimensions as stakeholders who are directly affected by the civil war. Their involvement can strengthen local peacebuilding institutions and re-affirm the value of inclusive stakeholder participation.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.