Mount Kenya University (MKU) will host the second international conference on peace, security for social enterprise (ICPSSE) from May 18 – 20 this year.
The conference, which comes approximately three months to the Kenya’s general election, will be held at the Mwai Kibaki Convention Centre, MKU Thika main campus.
According to a communique on the upcoming conference, there are underlying issues that require monitoring.
“Clashes between members of different communities or ethnicities over limited resources such as water and pasture remain a disruptive challenge.
“Cultural practices including cattle rustling often result in internal displacement of the attacked communities and disrupt their social-economic activities. These practices undermine normal livelihood activities and fuel poverty within communities,” read the communique.
It will serve as a platform for academia and different sector players to discuss peace and security matters for social-economic development.
The first ICPSSE conference was held in the run-up to the general election in 2017. Graced by among others the late Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Interior Joseph Nkaiserry, the conference played an invaluable role in championing peace and diffusing politically-inspired inter-tribal tensions.
This second edition of ICPSSE recognises the importance of a peaceful electioneering period in catalysing social enterprise as well as entrenching good democratic and governance practices.
The ICPSSE’s founding principle is rooted in the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goal (SDG) 16, which “aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.
The communique notes that achieving this goal has remained elusive as evidenced by the rising number of forcefully displaced persons due to conflict. The UNHCR 2021 mid-year report indicates that the number of displaced persons rose from 82.2 million in 2020 to 84.4 million in 2021.
This continuous rise was fuelled by years of unrelenting persecution, violation of human rights, conflicts and other events that lead to serious disruption of public order.
This worsening trend in number of both in-country and internationally displaced persons emanating from community conflicts and other acts that infringe on basic human rights calls for multi-pronged approaches to resolve conflict and enhance peace and security so as to ensure social development.