URI Africa has been a cornerstone region for our global network since URI’s inception.

Africa - peace through sports

URI Cooperation Circles in Africa are actively engaged in: peace-building, social development, access to healthcare, education for girl children, environmental protection, promoting the teaching of the Golden Rule “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” good governance, reconciliation, social justices, human dignity and empowerment of youth. They address the issues of HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, violent extremism, radicalization, and hate speech. They encourage dialogue among different religions, cultures & ethnicity groups.

The Regional Director of URI Africa, Ambassador Mussie Hailu, fosters ongoing partnerships between URI and policy-makers in Africa. URI Africa works in close partnership with the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union and the Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) of the African Union Commission, and has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the African Union Commission, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) and African Media Initiative (AMI), among many other organizations.

Since 2007, URI’s Africa Peace Award has recognized exceptional leaders in sustainable peace, development, environmental protection, democracy, reconciliation, inter-religious and inter-cultural harmony, and peaceful co-existence. The award helps create role models of non-violence and peace-builders throughout Africa.

Regional Support Staff

URI-Africa: Africa Continent

  • Mussie Hailu, Global Envoy of URI and Regional Director for URI-Africa
  • Meredith Beal, Media/ Technology Advisor for URI-Africa
  • Biniam Tassew, Accountant

URI-Africa: Great Lakes

  • Despina Namwembe, Regional Coordinator
  • Sylvia Nazziwa, Office Assistant
  • Zaria Ddamulira, Legal and Human Rights Officer and Assistant to the RC
  • Hannington Wako, Youth Officer
  • Edith Ayapo, Accountant
  • Nakyejwe Maywood, CC Liaison

Read newsletters from this region.

URI-Africa: The Horn

  • Mahamoud Sougueh, Regional Coordinator
  • Abdiwasa Jelle, CC Contact in Somalia

URI-Africa: Southern Africa

  • Yara Costa, CC Liaison Officer/PA Administrator
  • John Ngoma, Country Coordinator for Malawi

Read newsletters from this region.

URI-Africa: Western Africa

  • Emmanuel Ivorgba, Regional Coordinator
  • Tina Hassan Abeku, CC Liaison/Communications Officer
  • Korsi Senyo, Country Contact for Ghana
  • Peter Ijigue Monkom, Office Assistant

Here’s one example of URI’s work in this region:

In Malawi, prisoners endure horrific conditions in congested cells, with many dying daily from inhumane treatment and lack of basic medical care. It is so bad that, in some prisons, 1 in 20 prisoners die annually due to disease, overcrowding and bad nutrition. In response to this crisis, five local URI groups coordinated with each other to organize a prison visit. Together with a medical volunteer, they provided basic healthcare and distributed supplies the prisoners needed to live.

Search for Cooperation Circles (CCs) in Africa

Stories From URI Africa

Consultative Meeting To Be Held Virtually On Protection Of Sacred Sites And Cultural Heritage

Drawing on the African Union theme of 2021, ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want’, the AU-CIDO, AU-Interfaith Dialogue Forum, International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) and United Religions Initiative-Africa in collaboration with UNESCO will discuss the theme and the role of religious leaders, faith based institutions and interfaith organizations in the protection of sacred sites and preservation of African cultural & Traditional heritage.

Report of the G20 Interfaith Forum

Young leaders from North America/Multi-Region (Erin Adarve and Vasu Bandhu), Europe (Mirjona Hoxhallari and Emina Frljak), and West Africa (Clement Awanfe Ngueto) represented URI, along with Regional Coordinator for North America Tahil Sharma and member of the URI UN team Audrey Kitagawa, at the G20 Interfaith Forum in Bologna, Italy from Sept 11 - 14th. Read about their experiences here!