Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations

Victor Ochen



Founder and Executive Director for African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET)

Mr. Victor Ochen is the Founder and Executive Director for African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET). Born in northern Uganda, he spent 21 years as a refugee and transformed his experiences into leading the anti-child soldiers’ recruitment campaign amidst the war in northern Uganda. He is one of the most important figures in Africa in the struggle for human rights and justice. Forbes Magazines named Ochen in 2015 as one of the 10 most powerful men in Africa, while Archbishop Desmond Tutu attested that “my heart swells with joy to see Ochen as one of the new hope for Africa”.

Through his initiative of societal healing and social transformation, he has provided reconstructive medical rehabilitation to 21,000+ war victims. Ochen’s life, work and his worldview are based on these principles of peace, morality and common humanity. He was appointed as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors for Peace and Justice representing SDG Goal 16. Ochen is also a member to the Global Advisory group to the UNHCR on Gender, Forced Displacement and Protection. He is the first Ugandan and the youngest ever African nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2015. 

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