Tools for peacekeeping
A deeper understanding of democracy, and concrete tools to analyse and find solutions to problems - these are two of many eye-opening insights that Nancy Annan and Bonaventure Guedegbe have gained while attending a training programme for peacekeepers in Uppsala.
Annan, from Ghana, and Guedegbe from Benin, participate in the Peace and Security in Africa (PASA) seminar for African peacekeeping professionals. The three week training programme is jointly organised by the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, ACCORD peace centre in Africa and the Swedish consulting firm Indevelop. NAI researcher Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs is Programme Director and the seminar participants recently visited NAI.
“This is a great way for us to network and cooperate across borders. I like the open discussions and the focus on concrete results,” says Annan, a researcher at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Ghana.
Religion as pretext
Guedegbe works for the African Union and welcomes the opportunity to share views with Nordic Africanists interested in African peacekeeping.
“We lack some of the academic skills necessary for analysing what’s going on. For myself, I now have new insights into Boko Haram - that its leaders use religion as a pretext for political goals,” he says.
All participants at PASA have their own peace project to work on, and have to be “realistic, targeted and smart,” according to Annan. To both her and Guedegbe the recent elections in Nigeria are an inspiration. Nigeria is “big brother” in West Africa and a model for other countries in the region, says Guedegbe.
The PASA participants will spend three weeks in Uppsala with a follow-up in South Africa in November.