Africa’s mutual understanding and coexistence imperative

The necessity of establishing and sustaining the culture of mutual understanding and coexistence was loudly noted at the 2nd Dialogue Africa forum held yesterday May 11at the African Union Commission (AUC) Headquarters in Addis Ababa. Conflicts as a result of occupation, fundamental rights, freedom, and dignity are reportedly happening, while there are still conflicts caused by deliberately constructed hatred of the other in the basis of religion, belief or ethnicity and lusting after privileges and power. Individuals’ racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and hatred have often been found to be roots for potential turmoil.
According to the organizers of the dialogue forum under the theme “Establishing and Sustaining the Culture of Coexistence and Mutual Understanding,” religious perceptions are not sources of conflict within communities. “Rather non-contextual interpretations of religious views, misunderstanding of religious doctrines, and/or manipulations of religious principles are sources of conflict and violence,” they stated. Organizers also appealed to leaders from all part of the society to nurture and promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
The forum was organized to discuss different issues including the modern human condition in which people face many questions and challenges as to how they can coexist in peace, how to achieve mutual understanding, transforming peoples’ encounters with one another into enriching experience rather than a negative one, and the spirit of understanding the “other” and the culture of empathy.
The 2nd Dialogue Africa forum was also seeking ways of educating the youth in order to get them to understand the importance of holding dialogues, love, mutual understanding and respect, among others. How other countries could learn from Ethiopia, a country with many nations and nationalities as well as different religions, about tolerance, respect and peaceful coexistence was also discussed.
The dialogue was attended by representatives of Ethiopian federal and regional ministries , African Union Commission, Embassies, Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa University, Women and Youth organizations, local and international NGOs and charities, Ethiopian and Turkish business community, and international academicians, among others.
Nejash Ethio-Turkish School, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Federal Affairs, Political Affairs Department of African Union Commission, Inter-religious Council of Ethiopia, Writers Federation of Turkey, organized this vital dialogue forum. The school facilitated the logistics covering all expenses for the event while the Political Affairs Department of the African Union Commission and other partners were responsible for the program and documents.
Nejash Ethio-Turkish School believes such conferences stimulating love, mutual understanding and dialogue between cultures should be organized in all levels of the society, so as to ensure the establishment and sustainability of the culture of coexistence.