By Nekesa Were
  Published 21 May 2018
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#SawaSouthSudan is an opportunity for women leaders from South Sudan, Africa, and the world to celebrate Africa Day, May 25th, by coming together and co-creating solutions for a lasting peace in South Sudan. The Virtual Summit will be an online conversation that people can easily engage with on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or on www.sawasouthsudan.com. It’s an event that anyone can participate in, a democratic and innovative approach to reaching solutions for an entranced problem. It's being led by the Women's Coalition for South Sudan.

The iHub, with support from our infrastructure partner Fireside Communications, is proud to host the distinguished panels and participants who will congregate in Nairobi and connect to the rest of the world. The iHub thrives on openness and so we are elated to be part of this inclusive virtual summit.

‘Sawa’ encompasses everything South Sudanese women want this Virtual Summit to be. In Juba Arabic, it means ‘solidarity’; in Swahili, it means ‘ready’ or ‘ok’. The event will be produced out of the iHub in Nairobi and will be live-streamed via social media around the world, with major events in South Sudan. Everyone will have the chance to join together and be ready to say what needs to happen for peace to arrive in South Sudan.

The virtual summit will take place on Africa Day, an international day that marks the founding of the OAU/AU and evokes the action of solidarity of the people of Africa to work together to free themselves from domination and exploitation. It is a day of solidarity that will see women from all over Africa and the world show their solidarity by lending their voices and using their platforms for the people of South Sudan. To enable as many women from across the world to participate – the virtual summit will start at 11:00am GMT, which will be day time for every country in Africa; most countries in Europe, evening time for Asia, night time for Asia Pacific and morning times for the Americas and Canada.

The panelists will be subject experts, South Sudanese and highly influential women leaders from business, politics, government, civil society, athletes, celebrities and media amongst others. They will join the event via live broadcast and/or be enabled to deliver pre recorded keynote speeches on agreed topics.

The discussions will centre around the conflict’s human impact and the urgent need for action, how to end the impunity for sexual and ethnic violence in South Sudan, how business and political calculations act as drivers of the conflict in South Sudan, what more the governments can  do to help the South Sudanese shape a better future for their country and how African solidarity and the international community can support those living with war in South Sudan.

Participants will be drawn from the South Sudanese peoples spread across the world by the war; men and women like you from across Africa and the world who wish to show their solidarity with the people of South Sudan. Participants can join the summit online. We will share the live stream link on all our social media channels. There will be multiple gatherings across the continent and around the world including in refugee camps in neighbouring countries and IDP camps in South Sudan.

We encourage everyone to participate. Host a viewing party at your office or hub or university and let us know you are tuned in by using the hashtag #SAWASouthSudan. For the people in South Sudan in particular, the summit will be aired via radio broadcast and listeners will be able to participate via SMS. Find out more about how to participate in the event here.

Speakers will include Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 24th President of Liberia, H.E. Moussa Faki Chairperson of the African Union Commission & Mary Robinson 7th President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Look at the detailed agenda here.

Got questions? Email us on [email protected]

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