Photo: UN/Stuart Price

How to work together for peace

Africa’s regional organisations play an increasing role in conflict management and peacebuildning. A recent policy dialogue in Morocco brought together researchers, policymakers and members of civil society to discuss experiences and challenges in Maghreb, Sahel and Central Africa.

Although Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs) were primarily set up to promote economic integration, they have increasingly taken a role in conflict resolution and peace support operations as evident in Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other countries.

A policy dialogue in Rabat, Morocco, 28-29 September was devoted to discuss the perspectives of the regions of Maghreb, Sahel and Central Africa.  

“It is not often you bring representatives from all North African countries to vision together their future options, but in Rabat we managed to do just that”, NAI director Iina Soiri says.

NAI director Iina Soiri. Photo: Mattias Sköld

The event was organised by NAI with partners Social Science Research Council-Africa Peacebuilding Network (APN-SSRC) and the African Institute for Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation (AIPECT).

“Added with diverse representatives from Sahel and Central Africa, countries such as Niger, Chad and DR Congo - to which we here in the Nordics listen too seldom – we can rate our event a success”, Soiri says.

She says that memorable and thought-provoking ideas came from civil society and especially youth representatives in the respective regions:

“It demonstrated how frustrated many young people are as regards to the capacity of current mechanisms – governments, their leaders and regional organisations – to ensure decent living to their citizens. African solutions to African problems can only be created with inclusive debate and responsible leadership.” 

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