Preventing Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in Zanzibar

Tanzania has for a long time been viewed as a stable country in a region where civil wars have ravaged countries. The country has remained peaceful and stable even when some of its neighbours descended into civil wars. In fact, Tanzania has for many years hosted refugees from its war-torn neighbours. However, the rise of incidents of violence and terrorism-related attacks in the last seven years in both mainland and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba have raised fear that Tanzania could become a new frontier of radicalisation, extremism and terrorism in Eastern Africa. Indeed, it is this problem of religious radicalisation and violent extremism which the Communities Richer in Diversity project is addressing. Faith to Action Network’s partner in Tanzania is the Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar (ADZ) and their project is titled Preventing Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in Zanzibar. The project aims to build on the Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar’s previous interventions on these issue. The project’s goal will be to increase religious and cultural harmony among the communities in Zanzibar. Its activities will be implemented in North A, South, Urban and West Districts, and Pemba Districts, where the incidents of radicalisation and extremism are more prevalent.

While implementing the project, Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar will rely on its experience and lessons learned from previous interventions on similar projects. When Tanzania started witnessing violent attacks related to religious radicalisation and violent extremism, Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar started implementing projects which aimed at preventing radicalisation and violent extremism in the islands of Unguja and Pemba. For example, in 2016, ADZ ran a project which used education and research to prevent violent extremism. The project sought to produce a clear understanding and guidelines about violent extremism and radicalisation for educators in schools and colleges. The work was then adopted by colleges as part of their topics when teaching on violent extremism. One of those colleges is Morogoro Bible College.

Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar also took part in a one-year training project namely Community Awareness Program to Prevent Violent Extremism in Tanzania funded by The Green Light Project. The project involved numerous civil society organizations from Tanga, Morogoro, Arusha and Zanzibar. Each region was represented by 10 participants. Out of 40 participants, 10 were female. The project enhanced competence, understanding and skills of the concerned individuals on causes of radicalism and violent extremism and how to solve disputes through peaceful methods. In essence, therefore, Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar will use the CRID project to consolidate the achievements of the previous projects. The project will further the Diocese’s goal of promoting religious harmony and peaceful con-existence in Tanzania by reducing religious radicalisation and violent extremism in Zanzibar.

As part of project preparations, a team from African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace and Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa travelled to Zanzibar from 16-24 July 2018 to orient the Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar team to the grant requirements and EU rules and principles. Faith to Action Network provided additional technical assistance on the post-mission review, quality and standards of documentation and the contracting process in August and September 2018. Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar signed the subgrant agreement in September and started implementing the project in October 2018.

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