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Rwanda: 3rd African Alliance for Peace Summit
an article by Shalom Educating for Peace

"Promoting Peace Education in Our Communities" was the theme of the third African Alliance for Peace Summit. This Summit, hosted by Shalom Educating for Peace and in partnership with the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), took place in Kigali, Rwanda from the 16th to the 19th of February 2014.

Participants of the 3rd African Alliance for Peace Summit

click on photo to enlarge

The Summit brought together 62 participants from various organisations and 11 countries, each with their own character and agenda but with one common goal of exploring how we can promote peace education in our communities. The event highlighted participants striving for an Africa that moves from handling conflict with violence to one that solely use peace-building as the conduit of security – a vision of moving from action to prevention.

Participants shared their belief that peace education should involve the teaching of African values, allowing peace-building to become a unique and beautiful structuring of a new history for the African continent. The event was designed to enhance awareness and understanding of the various models of peace education and infrastructures for peace, with a particular focus on home-grown approaches.

The Summit was preceded by a pre-summit training focused on conflict analysis; peace and nonviolence theory; monitoring and evaluation of peace programmes; and an experiential training in Alternative to Violence Programme (AVP). The pre- summit event witnessed an adoption of Galtung‘s value of "if you want peace, make peace." The AVP training fostered in participants the principles of transforming power towards peaceful relationships and a commitment of handing over non-violent principles, communication, practices and strategies to the next generation.

Participants continually invested in the understanding of peace with the hope that it will grow – grow in our minds, in our communities and on the African continent. Participants established that in order to be impactful we need a joining of ideas, resources, experience and vision – moving as a diverse whole towards education for peace in our communities, infrastructures for peace in our countries and the valuing and practice of peace on our continent

The third African Alliance for Peace (AAP) Summit also witnessed some strategic events including the drafting of the Kigali Declaration to be presented to authorities in Rwanda, the members of the African Union (AU) and to various key stakeholders in the countries represented at the Summit. Also the event allowed for a meeting of the members of the AAP and the election of a new steering committee for the alliance.

The event also marked the launch of acknowledging peacebuilders in Africa, by presenting Geoff Harris with a peace award to honour him for the establishment of a Peace Studies Department at a tertiary institution in South Africa and his impact on Masters and Doctoral students from across Africa. In 2016, at the fourth AAP Summit to be hosted in Kenya, this award will be presented to a journalist illustrating exceptional efforts towards peace in Africa.

(Thank you to the Global Campaign for Peace Education for alerting us to this article.)


Question(s) related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace? ,

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For articles since 2016, click here .

This report was posted on May 24, 2014.