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KAICIID Hosts Country Experts for institutional Training

20 November 2016

The KAICIID Country Experts operate in four focus regions: the Central African Republic; Iraq and Syria; Myanmar; and Nigeria. They are highly experienced practitioners in interreligious dialogue and promoting social cohesion in their own countries and are supporting the country programmes to anchor KAICIID’s presence in the regions. 

“We are very happy to have such impressive practitioners as experts working with KAICIID,” said Fahad Abualnasr, Director General of KAICIID. “They have been fully operational since early 2016, which has been a major step in securing the effectiveness and sustainability of our country programmes.”

The Country Experts have proven to be invaluable assets to KAICIID’s work by networking and advocating for dialogue, as well as providing support for operations in the focus countries. They also provide unrivalled expertise and knowledge, which is key to understanding conflict dynamics to effectively promote social cohesion.

“IRD is very important in Nigeria right now at both the inter- and intra-religious levels, because it is needed to bring all parties together to talk about the issues,” said Joseph Atang, the Country Expert from Nigeria. “Religion is not the source of conflict in Nigeria, but conflicts are fought on the pedestal of religion.”

With their support, the Centre has begun implementing its programmes to build local capacity for interreligious dialogue through trainings and to establish platforms for dialogue. Each country programme is highly specific, and its design is based on extensive input from local stakeholders through conferences, field visits and feedback from the Country Experts themselves.  

Boris Modeste Yakoubo, the Country Expert for the Central African Republic, says that KAICIID’s role in promoting dialogue will be key in securing social cohesion, which is a necessary prerequisite for peace and development.

“The people need to be made aware; they need to rediscover their history even if that history is not going to challenge preconceived notions. Peace among the religions is a guarantee of peace for the country. Because of this, only the dialogue between men, women and youth of those religions may favor the return to a community and a tolerant life: the return to a definitive and long lasting peace.”


About the Country Experts

Cosette Maiky

Cosette Maiky is the KAICIID Country Expert for Iraq and Syria and is based in Beirut, Lebanon. Her professional experience consists of 10 years of hands-on work in conflict and post-conflict governance in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Philippines, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine and Yemen. She has worked with numerous international and humanitarian organizations (IOM, UNRWA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCWA, UNFPA, UNOPS, GIZ, World Vision, ISWAN, JRS, Save the Children, Danish Refugee Council, Oxfam), as well as national, regional and intergovernmental bodies. She holds a PhD and a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies in clinical psychology, in addition to an Executive Master of Education in Psychosocial Intervention in War-Torn Societies.


Boris Modeste Yakoubou

Boris Modeste Yakoubou is the KAICIID Country Expert for the Central African Republic (CAR). Boris contributed to the creation of the Platform of Religious Confessions in the Central African Republic where he worked for two years as an expert. He has been a member of the Peace Resources Group since 2009 and also works as an expert and consultant in social cohesion and reconciliation programs and on interfaith dialogue in CAR and the Central African sub-region on behalf of national and international NGOs. He has organized several interfaith conferences, forums and seminars for management and peacebuilding, human rights and good governance. He is a research professor at the University of Bangui, where he also conducts seminars on peaceful communication, management and conflict transformation.



Joseph Atang

Joseph Tanko Atang is the KAICIID Country Expert for Nigeria. He has been involved in interreligious peace work in Nigeria since 1999. He is an experienced mediator and facilitator who has worked with several national and international organizations in Nigeria such as Search for Common Ground, United Nations Development Program, the Nigerian National Peace Committee, Presidential Reconciliation Commission for the Ogoni/SHELL Corporation Conflict and the HD Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. The focus of Joseph’s work lies in conflict-sensitive approaches to reconciliation and peace efforts. He holds a master's degree in conflict resolution from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, U.S., and certificates in public information and personnel management. In addition, he has attended many academic and professional training workshops in the United States, Kenya and Nigeria.