African Leadership for the Culture of Peace

Africa is featured again this month on the CPNN bulletin, as it has been numerous times before, because of its leadership for a culture of peace.

The recent articles illustrate what I wrote recently in the article Africa’s Contribution to the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace for the African journal, The Thinker.

Culture of Peace Consciousness

“Africa is the leading continent of the world for peace education and media for peace.” This is exemplified by actions described in articles this month from Cameroon, Mali, Tunisia, Congo and Ethiopia.

Culture of Peace Methodologies

Africa has shown its leadership in culture of peace methodologies that promote reconciliation and solidarity “with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and the Gacaca in Rwanda, enabling Africans to overcome bitter conflicts and enter a path of reconciliation.” Recently we see movement towards African solidarity in Morocco, Sierra Leone, Chad and the Gambia.

As we have often seen at CPNN, it is often the women of Africa who take the lead in culture of peace methodologies.

Culture of Peace Institutions

“During the transition period in South Africa following Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, as part of the National Peace Accord, a broad set of regional and local peace committees were established that united representatives from political organizations, trade unions, business, churches, police and security forces to resolve disputes at local and regional levels.”

Culture of peace institutions are once again beginning to develop thanks to initiatives of the African Union, as indicated by their most recent assembly, their delegation to Burundi and their meeting of the Pan-African Network of the Wise, as well as their support for the UNESCO initiatives such as the African biennial for a culture of peace and the networks for African youth and women for culture of peace.

Conclusion

Historically, Africa may be in a good position to take a leadership role in the global movement, because in the course of history, with the exception of the ancient empires of Egypt, Africans did not develop culture of war empires and states to the same extent that they were developed in other continents. And the rich tradition of Pan-Africanism provides an alternative model to that of empires and states. A Pan-African union could be based on a culture of peace rather than culture of war. It would be within the tradition of peace-building by Nelson Mandela. And it would fulfill the dream of that great African-American, W.E.B. Dubois, which he shared at the end of his life with Kwame Nkrumah and the people of Ghana, an Africa at peace with itself and the world.

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