May 25, 2019: JU’s Sustained Dialogue (SD) family has organized a two days’ Peace Festival in collaboration with TIKVAH-ETH. The festival was opened with the opening remarks of Dr. Jemal Abafita who warmly welcomed the guests to Jimma, the historic town of love, peace, hospitality and land of origin of coffee using the expressions from the indigenous blessings “Bunaaf Nagaa hin dhabiinaa”.
In his remark, Dr. Jemal appreciated the commendable efforts made by Sustained Dialogue family and associates in promoting the culture of dialogue, and the anti-hate-speech campaign by the TIKVAH family. The president emphasized that investing on building the culture of dialogue in higher learning institutions is important in sustaining peace and promised scale up the good practice to help all students engage in the culture of dialogue using the University’s Peaceful Campus Initiative (PCI) program.
Participants and stakeholders at the festival include delegates from USAID, Life and Peace Institute, Peace and Development Center, and TIKVAH family. The two days festival involves panel discussions, SD experience sharing, Dialogue about hate-speech, Arts performance, walk for peace and cleaning campus among others.
In the event held this morning, two panel papers focusing on challenges and prospects of sustaining peace were presented. The first discussion paper presented is titled “Current Reform in Ethiopia: Its Challenges and Prospects in Sustaining Peace” presented by Mr. Seyoum Adugna, Dean of College of Law and Governance at Jimma University. The second paper was presented by Mr. Abiyot Desta, a staff member of the Department of Governance and Development. His presentation focused on the topic “Freedom of Speech in the Emerging Democracy: Challenges and Opportunities.” The panel discussion was facilitated in the morning by Mr. Nigussie, who is program manager of Peace and Development Center. The peace action activities have continued in the afternoon with coffee ceremony.