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Africa Peace Fellows Program

Building the next generation of Africa peace leaders for a sustainable culture of peace.

Photo of Wendy Hannigan
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The Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) program addresses bringing both peace and prosperity to affected regions in Africa. Our goal is to create a cohort of "peacemakers" trained to address conflicts in African nations and prevent violence and war.

According to OxFam’s 2007 report, Africa’s Missing Billions, conflicts in Africa since the end of the cold war have cost over $184 billion dollars, the equivalent of all foreign aid received over the same period.  Almost half of the countries on the continent have been involved in some form of conflict since 1990 at a substantial cost to lives and development. This is money that could be used to provide education, water, build hospitals, schools, and roads - positively affecting millions of people. The long lasting effects of armed conflict undermine the ability to bring people out of poverty.  The report compares African countries afflicted by violence with those at peace.  Nations at war have, on average, 50% more infant deaths, 15% more undernourished people and life expectancy reduced by five years. Indirect deaths are 14 times higher than deaths in combat.

Explain your idea

The CAPCR Africa Peace Fellows project will provide training and support to create a cohort of “peace makers.” Experienced Peace Fellows will provide the leadership to identify peaceful solutions when and where conflict arises in Africa. Our goal is to: • Increase conflict prevention and peacemaking expertise • Develop skills for understanding and managing emerging issues such as violent extremism, just democratic governance, diversity and human rights, social justice, environment, and property issues • Reduce the need for military intervention in both frequency and level of response • Discover and document best practices from graduates and share that information across graduates and new trainees Project Details: We proposed to train a small group (12 – 15) of senior personnel including 3-4 business leaders (to fill current gaps in conflict resolution skills/knowledge and business leadership) and the remaining cohort coming from the criminal justice, security, human rights, and education sectors in Africa. For the pilot, we will focus on countries with emerging or persistent conflicts in East and West Africa. The program will be 18 months. The curriculum consists of courses on violent extremism, war & peace, security arrangements, elections, power sharing, corruption, human rights, diversity, gender inclusion, land /advanced topics, alternative dispute resolution, peace education, and restorative justice. The program will include: in-person training in the US and Africa, online modules, field study, role plays, exercises and peace projects in Africa. The combination of classroom training and in-country projects will provide the participants with both theory and hands on experience to ensure they are successful in the field. Follow up to the training pilot includes identification and collection of operational research data to evaluate best practices to be used for continuous improvement to the program.

Who Benefits?

The ability to successfully mediate peace before armed conflict arises benefits all citizens within the African region in conflict. Our first focus will be in countries in East and West Africa with emerging or persistent conflicts as the citizens of those countries will get the most immediate benefit. According to a 1997 Economist article (Benefits of Peace), four years after Mozambique ended its civil war, Mozambique's economy grew 7-8%, exports increased, and foreign companies were looking to invest over $6 billion in mining, energy, manufacturing, transport, farming and tourism. In 2016, growth remained steady, although lower, at 5.8%.

How is your idea unique?

Today, African Peacekeepers are deployed to regions where conflict has already led to violence and often war. We propose to build on previous CAPCR programs and create a group of Peace Fellows trained with advanced and specialized conflict resolution skills for the complex conflict scenarios that exist in Africa. We have a proven track record of successful conflict resolution programs in the United States and Africa. The training will create nimble conflict prevention and resolution experts. These Peace Fellows can be deployed to the region in conflict before the start of violence and disruption of the lives of citizens. Technology will be used to share communication, best practices and challenges across the network of Peace Fellows.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about you

The Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) (http://www.csus.edu/org/capcr/) was established in 1996 at California State University, Sacramento, to provide conflict resolution and reconciliation services for agencies, governments, institutions, businesses, civil society and community organizations and other groups through training, education, research, and intervention. The Director of CAPCR, Ernest E. Uwazie (http://www.csus.edu/hhs/cj/division%20faculty/ernest%20uwazie.html), is also a professor at the University. A link to current Board Members is attached. CAPCR develops curricular/materials and provides training on mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and other conflict resolution services for governmental and nongovernmental organizations, business and community groups, public and private agencies, educational institutions and allied professional associations (in America/Africa as well as her diaspora). Since CAPCR's founding, it has developed independently, and in conjunction with other agencies, numerous major initiatives on conflict resolution, alternative dispute resolution and peace education. Our partners include the U.S. State Department and Department of Education, the U.S. Institute of Peace, USAID, JAMS Foundation, World Bank, California Wellness Foundation, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies-Lagos, University of Ibadan-Nigeria, Nigerian Human Rights Commission, University of Ghana-Legon, Ghana Bar Association, Judiciary and Ministry of Justice, the Ghana Association of Certified Mediators and Arbitrators, Institute of Peace & Conflict Resolution-Nigeria, Federation of Women Lawyers(FIDA)-Kenya and Ethiopia, National University of Rwanda-Butare, The Gambia Judiciary, Addis Ababa University-Ethiopia, University of Liberia-Monrovia, University of Dakar-Senegal, African Center for Constructive Resolution of Disputes(ACCORD)-South Africa, Kaiser Foundation-Sacramento, among others.

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • No, but we are a formal initiative through a university.

3 comments

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

HI Wendy!

Thank you for sharing the great work you are doing. Could these peace fellows also help bridge divides to create collectively beneficial economic opportunities by bridging enterprises, entrepreneurs and small businesses from different tribal groups to create collective bargaining opportunities? (Or, have I gone completely off-tangent there. Will the peace makers be employed by the program or gain increases in salary for taking part?

What would the program look like for a peace maker? Would it be in addition to their existing work or a sabbatical program?

Would you be able to tell me more about the prototyping work you have done?

Photo of Wendy Hannigan
Team

Hi Kate,

Thank you for the great questions. You are not off tangent at all. Below are the answers:

Q: Could these peace fellows also help bridge divides to create collectively beneficial economic opportunities by bridging enterprises, entrepreneurs and small businesses from different tribal groups to create collective bargaining opportunities?
A: Yes—the curriculum will include collective bargaining and principled negotiation/consensus building models.

Q: Will the peace makers be employed by the program or gain increases in salary for taking part?
A: The target group will be working with the various organizations, and it’s expected their successful participation will yield promotions and other financial/inkind incentives.

Q: What would the program look like for a peace maker? Would it be in addition to their existing work or a sabbatical program?
A: Peace Fellows are selected from senior leadership within the country. It is envisioned that they will continue working within their organization which can provide the additional weight of influence and resources. The trainees are expected to be granted leave for the US training phase, as well as other training in Africa outside of their location. The pilot will help us to determine if this is the best approach.

Q: Would you be able to tell me more about the prototyping work you have done?
A: We have trained over 5000 people from various parts of Africa on alternative dispute resolution, notably legal professionals, human rights professionals, and youth/community leaders, etc; they serve as mediators or trainers at basic level skills. Many of our previous cohort have been elected to higher positions such as lawyers becoming judges.

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