Tag Archives: Africa

Fifteen films bid for top prize in Africa’s premiere film fest


An article from France 24

Fifteen feature-length movies are vying for the top prize in next month’s FESPACO festival, Africa’s top cinema event, the organisers announced Friday.

Launched in 1969, the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) draws thousands of movie fans and professionals from across the continent.

The Golden Stallion of Yennega, the top award in the FESPACO movie festival, is named after a creature in Burkinabe mythology © ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

It is also closely followed by the US and European movie industries, which scout the event for new films, talent and ideas.

A total of 170 films are competing across 11 categories in the February 25-March 4 event, including short film, documentaries, TV series and animation, FESPACO said.
Under festival rules, films chosen for competition have to be made by Africans and predominantly produced in Africa.

This year’s theme is “African cinema and culture of peace” — an invitation, say the organisers, to reflect on how movies can encourage reconciliation in troubled times.

FESPACO’S host country Burkina Faso is in the grip of a seven-year-old jihadist insurgency that has killed thousands of people and driven around two million from their homes.

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(Click here for a French version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Film festivals that promote a culture of peace, Do you know of others?

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Following are the feature films vying for the Golden Stallion of Yennenga — a trophy named after a beast in Burkinabe mythology:

– “The Planters’ Plantation”, directed by Dingha Eystein Young (Cameroon)

– “Our Father, the Devil”, Ellie Foumb (Cameroon)

– “Ashkal”, Youssef Chebbi (Tunisia)

– “Under the Fig Trees”, Erige Sehiri (Tunisia)

– “Sira”, Appoline Traore (Burkina Faso)

– “Abu Saddam”, Nadine Khan (Egypt)

– “Bantu Mama”, Ivan Herrera (Dominican Republic)

– “Mami Wata”, de C.J.”Fiery” Obasi (Nigeria)

– “Maputo Nakuzandza”, Ariadine Zampaulo (Mozambique)

– “Our Lady of the Chinese Shop”, Ery Claver (Angola)

– “Shimoni”, Angela Wamai (Kenya)

– “Simin Zetwal”, David Constantin (Mauritius)

– “The Blue Caftan”, Maryam Touzani (Morocco)

– “The Last Queen”, Damien Ounouri (Algeria)

– “Xale, Les blessures de l’enfance”, Moussa Sene Absa (Senegal)

Africa Well-represented in Catholic Non-Violence Initiative on “just peace” in Rome


An article from ACI Africa

Africa was well-represented at a recent Rome conference that explored the concept of the gospel of nonviolence and “just peace”, interrogating Catholic “just war” teaching in the present day as an example of Vatican II’s call to “scrutinize the signs of the times” referenced in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 4.

Credit: Martin Pilgram/Pax Christi International

Members of the Clergy, women, and men Religious, and Laity from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda were among the participants in the three-day conference that concluded on December 7.

Organized by Pax Christi International under the theme, “Pope Francis and the Fullness of Pacem in Terris”, the conference that brought together some 70 activists, peacebuilders, theologians, academics, war victims and survivors, Clergy, Consecrated, and Laity was a follow up to previous meetings in 2016 and 2019.

In a reflection shared with ACI Africa following the conference in Rome, John Ashworth who is part of the Catholic nonviolence Initiative says that for decades, the Catholic Church has sought to find out the possibility of having a “just war”, amid growth in scale and destructive power of modern weaponry.

“Beginning with Pope St John XXIII, through Paul VI, St John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now Francis, there has been a trajectory of recent Papal teachings questioning whether there can ever truly be a ‘just war’ given the scale and destructive power of modern weaponry, and returning us to the nonviolent teaching of Jesus who taught us to love not only our neighbor but also our enemy, and not to return a violent slap on the cheek with a similar slap but to offer the other cheek,” Mr. Ashworth says.

He adds, “On the one occasion in the gospels when we might have thought that violence could be ‘justified’ to prevent the unjust arrest of Jesus, Our Savior’s command to St Peter was, ‘Put away your sword!’”

“The early Church took this seriously, and Christians refused to fight for the Roman Empire even if it led to them being imprisoned, tortured, and martyred. It has been said that as Christians we should be prepared to die for our beliefs, but not to kill for them!” Mr. Ashworth says in his reflection shared with ACI Africa December 10.

The retired Catholic missionary who has spent forty years working with the Church in Sudan and South Sudan refers to the invitation of Pope Francis who has challenged the people of God to rethink the concept of a “just war”.

The Holy Father says, “A war may be just; there is the right to defend oneself. But we need to rethink the way that the concept is used nowadays… Every war leaves our world worse than it was before.”

According to the Holy Father, war is “a failure of politics and humanity, a shameful capitulation, a stinging defeat before the forces of evil.”

“War is the negation of all rights and a dramatic assault on the environment. If we want true integral human development for all, we must work tirelessly to avoid war between nations and peoples,” Pope Francis says.

In his reflection following the Rome conference, Mr. Ashworth notes that deeper than simply avoiding war (and other forms of institutionalized violence such as capital punishment), nonviolence calls the people of God to a new spirituality, a new way of life that respects the human dignity of every individual, whichever side of a conflict they are on.

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Question(s) related to this article:

Religion: a barrier or a way to peace?, What makes it one or the other?

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“As Christians, we do not have enemies – all are our sisters and brothers, created in the image and likeness of God, and in whom we see Christ! And as the Holy Father’s namesake St Francis of Assisi taught us, all of creation is also our sisters and brothers, so that nonviolent respect must also be extended to our environment, which is in crisis at this moment,” the author says.

He describes nonviolence as a broader concept than pacifism, saying, “It is much more than the absence of violence and it is never passive. Violence is utterly opposed to the Gospel; nonviolence is at the heart of the Gospel.”

“Nonviolence is a paradigm of the fullness of life. It is a spirituality, a constructive force, a method for social transformation, and a powerful way of life committed to the well-being of all,” Mr. Ashworth says.

Active nonviolence works, he says, adding, “Many people perhaps feel that it would be a good thing but they don’t believe that violence can successfully be countered by nonviolence.”

The Kenya-based retired Catholic missionary refers to an evidence-based study, “Why Civil Resistance Works” by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, which he says found that nonviolent resistance is twice as likely to succeed as a violent struggle.

Non-violence, He says, is far more likely to produce a peaceful, stable, democratic, human rights-respecting post-struggle society than a violent liberation struggle.

Mr. Ashworth says that it was nonviolence that overthrew a brutal military dictatorship in Sudan in 2019, adding, “Although the military eventually launched a fresh coup d’etat, the nonviolent struggle continues.”

He recalls that South Sudan, on the other hand, attained its independence after a violent 22-year civil war, but that the violence did not produce a just and stable society because a mere two years later, the new country relapsed into a fresh fratricidal conflict.

He notes that many African countries have experienced violent liberation struggles, whether from the evil of colonialism or the excesses of military regimes, as well as ethnic and religious conflicts. In all this, Mr. Ashworth says, there is an increasing awareness that responding to violence with violence does not bring peace.

“Violence begets more violence in an endless cycle which needs to be broken,” the Catholic author says, adding that in South Sudan, church leaders within both the Catholic Church and the council of churches have included quotes from Pope Francis’ 2017 World Day of Peace message “Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace” in their pastoral messages.

The Church leaders, he says, have been constantly appealing for peace.

Ashworth acknowledges that training for nonviolent resistance is beginning little by little in many African countries.

A nonviolent movement, he emphasizes, must be committed, organized, disciplined, and trained.

“There will be casualties… but the nonviolent activists hold the moral high ground and gradually their numbers are swollen by ordinary people, young and old, female and male, across the divides of religion, ethnicity, and politics, people who simply want a just and peaceful society in which to raise their children and grandchildren,” he says.

In his reflection shared with ACI Africa, Mr. Ashworth urges the people of God to reflect on non-violence, now that most places in the world are experiencing war of one kind or another.

“A brutal war between nations is waged in Ukraine, and no less brutal civil wars continue across Africa and many other parts of the world. Pope Francis has described the current situation as ‘a third world war being waged in installments’. Now is surely an opportune moment to reflect on nonviolence,” he says.

The retired Catholic missionary says that the importance of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative for the universal Church was brought to the fore at the closing Mass of the conference that ended on December 7 in Rome.

Robert Cardinal McElroy and several Bishops and Archbishops from France, Germany, Italy, the Philippines and the USA participated in the conference, while South African Bishop Kevin Dowling was unable to attend due to ill health but followed closely on WhatsApp.

Two senior Vatican officials also participated in the conference. These were Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Sr. Nathalie Becquart, and Prof. Emilce Cuda, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, along with staff of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development whose Prefect is Michael Cardinal Czerny.

Chad: the provinces of Lac and Hadjer-Lamis come together for a sports cultural festival


An article from Al Wihda Info (translation by CPNN)

Focused on the culture of peace and living together, this festival brings together the provinces of Lake and Hadjar-Lamis. It will take place from December 15 to 17, 2022.

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Question related to this article:


Can festivals help create peace at the community level?

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For the president of the organizing committee, Dénénodji Marylène, the festival aims to strengthen the bonds of fraternity through sport and culture in order to consolidate social peace and living together. It is organized by the province in partnership with the Project for the recovery and development of the Lac region (PROLAC) and financed by the World Bank,

The president stresses that it is an opportunity for citizens to celebrate unity towards the peaceful rebuilding of the Chadian nation.

Activities on the program include: folk dances, theatrical performances, exhibition of objects for sale and football.

(Click here for the French version of this article)

World Cup 2022: The beautiful image of Mbappe and Hakimi at the end of the match


An article from Africa Foot United (translation by CPNN)

Teammates on the French squad Paris Saint Germain, Achraf Hakimi and Kylian Mbappe exchanged a few words after Morocco’s defeat yesterday in the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup. The video in this image, which is a reminder that sport is just a game, has traveled around the world.

 (Photo by Manuel Reino Berengui/DeFodi Images) 

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Question for this article:

How can sports promote peace?

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There will be no first final for Africa in the World Cup. Morocco failed this Wednesday in the semi-finals against France. The Atlas Lions, weakened by numerous withdrawals, especially in defense with the absences of Romain Saïss (captain and touchdown in the first half), and Nayef Aguerd, were beaten by a French team that was realistic, but not very flamboyant.

The score at the end was 2-0 in favor of the Blues. At the end of this meeting, the two Parisians who played the match, Achraf Hakimi and Kylian Mbappe, met to exchange a few words. The two club partners put aside their rivalry of the day, the defeat of Morocco for Hakimi, in order to spread the spirit of sport which is the culture of peace.

After a few words exchanged and a small hug, they changed their jerseys. A classy gesture full of fair play from the two players who once again displayed all their good friendship in front of the world.

(Click here for the article in French.

Main Recommendations of the 6th Edition of the African Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting Local Governments


An article from United Cities and Local Governments of Africa

The 6th edition of the African Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting Local Governments was held over 6 days, from November 28th to December 03rd, 2022 at the Training Center of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Ibn Zohr University in the city of Agadir, Morocco.
The theme chosen for this edition was: “The challenge of training and capacity building of Local Elected Officials and Local Government Staff in Africa in Climate Action”.

This important annual meeting of Territorial Managers, held just one week after COP27, was organized by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) through its African Local Government Academy (ALGA), in partnership and with the support of the European Commission, the Directorate General of Local Authorities of the Ministry of the Interior of Morocco, the Region of Souss-Massa, the Prefectural Council of Agadir Ida- Outanane, the Provincial Council of Tiznit, the Provincial Council of Taroudant, the Ibn Zohr University and the Training Center of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Agadir, the National Agency for the Development of Oasis and Argan Zones (ANDZOA), the National Associations of Local and Regional Governments of Morocco (namely ARM, AMPCPP and AMPCC), the Ecological Transition Agency ADEME of France, the 4C-Maroc Center, the Office of the United Nations Project on Governance, Directorate of Public Institutions and Digital Governance (DIPGD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNPOG/ DPIDG/ UN DESA), as well as the Ministry of Energy Transition, and Sustainable Development, and the Municipal Council of Agadir.

During the six days of proceedings, more than 300 participants attended the Forum from 40 countries, including 33 African countries. These delegations took part in and contributed to the work of:

– An official opening ceremony, under the chairmanship of the Honorable Mr. Karim ACHENGLI, President of the Souss-Massa Region Council and the Honorable Mrs. Jeannette NYIRAMASENGESHO, President of the Rwandan Association of Local Authorities (RALGA) of Rwanda , President of the Ngororero District Council of the Western Province, President of the Association of Local Governments of East Africa, having represented the Honorable Mrs. Fatimetou ABDEL MALICK, President of UCLG Africa, President of the Permanent Gender Committee of UCLG, President of the Region of Nouakchott, Mauritania;

– Four (4) Plenary Sessions on issues related to Climate Action;
– Eight (8) parallel workshops on climate challenges and capacity building challenges;
– Three (3) Master classes having focused on the concepts and approaches of Climate Action, Decentralized Cooperation and e-Learning;
– One (1) Training of Trainers Seminar on Climate Action for the benefit of 26 beneficiaries from different African countries, within the framework of the Partnership Agreement with ADEME;
– Three (3) field visits.
– South-South partnership and Decentralized Cooperation agreements, discussed and signed;
– A closing, recognition, and certification ceremony;
– A tree planting by the African Delegations.

The discussions held during the proceedings focused on the challenges related to climate change for local governments, in particular:

– How can we create an enabling environment for the Localization and Territorialization of Climate Action?
– What has COP27 generated for Local Governments?
– How to enable Local Governments to benefit from Climate Finance?
– What are the challenges in terms of education, training, and capacity building?
– How to promote decentralized multi-actor cooperation that can be at the service of climate action?…

The takeaway from these debates is that we find ourselves in a turbulent context as well as a deep world division generating crises; that only 10% of climate finance benefits to the local and territorial levels; that the challenges in terms of training and capacity building are enormous and that it is time to act to enable Local Elected Officials and their civil servants s to take ownership of Climate Action, and integrate it into their Governance and planning.

The proceedings and contributions led to the following 20 main recommendations:

1) Need to increase public funding in terms of volume and as a share of adaptation and resilience funding (Need to mobilize the 140 to 300 billion US dollars needed annually by 2030).

2) Need to strengthen and make more coherent the architecture of concessional climate finance, which includes the Green Climate Fund, the Global Environment Facility, the Climate Investment Funds, the Adaptation Fund as well as the concessional windows of the multilateral development banks, as well as the Global Infrastructure Fund.

3) Need to become aware of and know how to take advantage of the many opportunities for financing climate action.

4) Need to increase local climate finance for localized climate action, to better understand the role of the local and territorial dimension of climate action in Africa, if we are to thrive as a community of nations, with local governments as a driver of sustainable development.

5) Need to localize and territorialize NDCs, because everything is done in cities; concrete actions must be taken at this level.

6) Need to raise awareness and territorialize political actions related to climate change and involve women and young people in Climate Action.

7) Need to give more space and importance to cities in the context of the localization of the Climate Agenda and put in place mechanisms to facilitate access to international climate finance, because only 10 % of climate finance is found locally.

8) The diversification of energy sources (highlighted by COP27, starting from the importance of the mix of clean energies).

9) Need to take Africa to the next level and provide incentives that leverage innovations already underway in the region that will have greater impact (e.g. acting for the informal sector and encouraging youth participation).

10) Need to prioritize financial innovation (80% of climate finance in Africa comes from public resources) and therefore there is an urgent need to increase private sector finance in climate action.

11) A paradigm shift is needed in Africa’s climate narrative; the continent’s current narrative must shift from projecting responsibility and risk to projecting investment and opportunity.

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Question for this article:

Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

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12) Need to transform Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Commitments into clear investment plans with a clear return on investment in the different areas prioritized in the NDCs.

13) The urgency of harnessing empirical evidence on key gaps and opportunities to be filled to scale up these successes and create targeted incentives that will need to be applied to enable them to progress.

14) Need to increase support for holistic capacity development assessments at the national, subnational, and local levels.

15) Need to apply a multi-stakeholder approach by involving a wide range of actors and stakeholders, at all levels of governance (national, subnational, and local).

16) Develop long-term capacity building interventions.

17) Need to strengthen international, regional and national knowledge networks, platforms, communities of practice as well as peer-to-peer learning and support.

18) Developed countries should ensure that more climate finance is available for stand-alone capacity building programs at the national, subnational, and local levels and to increase coordination among entity capacity building service providers of developed and developing countries.

19) Need to invest in conflict prevention through a supportive and facilitating environment.

20) Capacity building for the promotion of the Culture of Peace and the art of negotiation.

“We attach importance within UCLG Africa to the efforts of our Academy: ALGA. We will try to follow up on the implementation of all the recommendations that will come out of this important meeting”, declared, through a video intervention, the President of UCLG Africa, the Honorable Mrs. Fatimetou Abdel Malick.
The Forum also served as a framework for the holding of the meetings of three Professional Networks of UCLG Africa, namely:

– The meeting of the Network of Human Resources Directors (Africa Local RHNet);
– The African Network Meeting Permanent Secretaries/Executive Directors of National and Regional Associations of Local Governments;
– The meeting of the African Network of Territorial Directors in charge of Decentralized Cooperation and International Action of Territorial Governments (RAMCD).

Field visits were made to 3 cities in the Souss-Massa Region to inquire about transformational projects and cultural heritage as a vector of peace and development. The Delegations were divided into three groups:

– Group 1 visited the Province of Taroudant and was received by the Honorable President of the Provincial Council of Taroudant. The participants had the opportunity to discover the ancestral Walls of the City of Taroudant, as well as Cooperatives which promote and market local products, such as Argan Oil, Saffron, Honey, Olive Oil, etc.

– Group 2 visited the Province of Tiznit where the Delegations were welcomed by the Governor of the Province and the Honorable the President of the Provincial Council of Tiznit. Participants discovered part of the city’s cultural heritage, transformational projects linked to climate action, cooperatives promoting and marketing local products, as well as shops that market silver jewelry in addition to other reputable products from that Province;

– Group 3 visited the City of Agadir where the delegations were received by the Honorable Vice-President of the Municipal Council. They had the opportunity to visit two transformational projects in connection with Climate Action, namely the Chtouka -Aït Baha water desalination station intended for the drinking water supply of the Greater Agadir area, as well as the wastewater treatment plant.

To materialize their ecological commitment, the African Delegations present at FAMI6_2022 planted thirty (30) Argan trees, provided and offered by the National Agency for the Development of Oasis Zones and the Argan Tree (ANDZOA) in the premises of the Ali Ben Chekroun High School and College in Agadir. The delegations also discovered the creative genius of the students of these two institutions, as well as their mastery of Moroccan, patriotic, and modern music and songs.

The closing ceremony was moderated by Dr. Najat ZARROUK , Director of Development and of the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of UCLG Africa, member of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration of the United Nations, and President of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA), representing Mr. Jean Pierre ELONG MBASSI, Secretary General of UCLG Africa who was during the same week attending another mission in Brazil to promote relations between Africa and this Latin American country.

This ceremony was marked by the presence of:

– The Honorable Madam Jeannette NYIRAMASENGESHO, President of the Rwandese Local Government Association (RALGA), President of the Ngororero District Council of the Western Province, President of the Association of Local Governments of East Africa, who said in her speech: “I would like to thank the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting us throughout this week. The theme of this Forum reflected the firm commitment of Local Authorities to the implementation of the Climate Agenda, but above all our commitment to support the roadmap for COP 28 scheduled to take place in Dubai in 2023”;

– Mr. Morris MBOLELA, Deputy Secretary General of UCLG Africa; The Vice-President of the Council of the Region of Souss-Massa, representing the Honorable Mr. Karim ACHENGLI , President of the Council of the Region of Souss-Massa,
The Honorable Mr. Lahcen AMROUCH, President of the Communal Council of Argana, Vice-President of the Provincial Council of Taroudant, and Vice-Treasurer of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC),
The Vice-President representing the Honorable President of the Prefectural Council of Agadir Ida-Outanane.

The participants in FAMI 6_2022, finally sent a Message of Gratitude and Thanks to the High Attention of His Majesty King MOHAMMED VI of the Kingdom of Morocco -May God Assist him- .

PJ: Photos of days :
1 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/196672214@N05/sets/72177720304050556/
2 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/196672214@N05/sets/72177720304095249/
3 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/196672214@N05/sets/72177720304161662/
4 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/196672214@N05/sets/72177720304251154/
5 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/196672214@N05/sets/72177720304258583/

Video of the Best of days:

1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwM1xm2fuHs

2 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFicOVMrglA

3 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i21ctlwOhR8

4 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFX0Hzwnaxs

5 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnmlMw-HQ_Y

Report of the Forum:

For more information, please contact:
Gaelle Yomi: Phone: + 212 610 56 71 45
e-mail: gyomi@uclga.org; UCLG Africa website: www.uclga.org
ALGA website of UCLG Africa : www.uclgafrica-alga.org

Burkina Faso: FESPACO will take place in February with the theme “African Cinemas and Culture of Peace”


An article from Libé (translation by CPNN)

The Director of Cabinet of the Burkinabe Ministry of Communication, Culture, Arts and Tourism, Atéridar Galip Somé, announced on Thursday the holding of the 28th edition of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou “FESPACO” from February 25 to March 04, 2023.

“It seems appropriate to announce to you, officially and solemnly, the organization of the 28th edition of FESPACO to be held from February 25 to March 04, 2023”, declared Mr. Somé, according to the Agency of Information from Burkrina (AIB).

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(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Film festivals that promote a culture of peace, Do you know of others?

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Adressing the national and international press, he indicated that “the decision has been taken by the president of the Transition, the captain Ibrahim Traoré, who observes significant progress in the preparations”, adds the same source, emphasizing that this 28th edition will take place under the theme: “African Cinemas and Culture of Peace”.

The Minister of Communication, Culture, Arts and Tourism, according to his chief of staff, invited “cinema and audiovisual professionals to take ownership of this theme and above all to make their cinematographic works a a factor of cohesion and integration for the construction of a stronger and more united Africa”.

The general delegate of FESPACO, Moussa Alex Ouédraogo, taking stock of the preparations, indicated that at the current stage, the delegation has recorded 1142 registered films, including 84 Burkinabe films.

According to him, Burkinabé films are classified in the categories feature film, documentary, short fiction, short documentary, school film, TV series and animation.

Unlike FESPACO, several other cultural events have been postponed, in particular the Ouagadougou International Crafts Fair (SIAO) and the National Culture Week (SNC-Bobo 2022) for difficulties related to the national context.

The Gambia: WANEP stages youth leaders ‘bantaba’ on peace-building 


An article by Jankey Ceesay from The Point

West Africa Network for Peace Building-The Gambia (WANEP) recently convened a day’s ‘bantaba’ (group discussion) on youth participation in decision-making and peace-building processes at Metzy Residence in Kololi.

WANEP-The Gambia is a registered not-for-profit organization with a membership of 20 civil society organizations working towards strengthening the capacity of peace building practitioners, governmental and non-governmental institutions, and developing conflict prevention networks and mechanisms to promote the culture of peace.

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Question related to this article:
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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Addressing the gathering, Ms. Salama Njie, the National Network Coordinator West Africa Network for Peace Building-The Gambia (WANEP), reminded that youth are mostly used by politicians to win positions and neglect them afterwards.

“The vulnerability of young people to political exploitation and election related violence in an already fragmental society could with growing ethnic diversions and political party disputes cause concern for all of us and we are used by political leaders to gained their posts,” she pointed out. 

She explained that youth consist 64% of the country’s population, yet meaningful participation of young men and women in governance system, remains a challenge. 

She advised them to desist from being used by political leaders to disturb the country’s peace by attacking their opponent and inciting violence, rather they should be involved in politics, decision-making and promote peace ahead of the local election.

Tijan Bah, the assistant national early warning systems manager at WANEP, expressed optimism that the forum would produce a road map for young people to be involved in decision making levels and be agents for peace in their various communities.

3rd ECOWAS Forum on Education for the Culture of Peace ends in Lomé, Togo


An article from News Ghana

The 3rd edition of the ECOWAS Forum on Education for a Culture of Peace through Intra and Inter-Religious Dialogue was held in Lomé, Togo, from 27 to 29 October 2022, under the theme: “Communities, violent extremism and social cohesion in West Africa”.

Participants at the closure of the forum

Co-organized by the ECOWAS Commission and the Togolese Republic, the Forum was held under the chairmanship of HE Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE , President of the Togolese Republic , represented by Mr. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional integration and Togolese Abroad, and under the triple sponsorship of Cheikh Serigne Babacar Sy Mansour, Caliph General of the Tidhianes of Senegal, His Excellency Monsignor Edward Tamba Charles, Archbishop of Freetown, and His Highness Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Zone of Ghana.

The meeting was attended by Professor Fatou SOW SARR, Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs of ECOWAS, HE Mr. Barros Bacar BANJAI, Resident Representative of ECOWAS in Togo and HE Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, former President of the ECOWAS Commission, as Presenter of the Inaugural Conference.

Also taking part were religious and community leaders, peace and conflict resolution experts, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), technical and financial partners, young people, women’s groups and media professionals.

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(Click here for a French article on this subject.)

Question related to this article:
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

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The main objective of the Forum was to strengthen the mechanisms of dialogue within the communities in order to cultivate mutual understanding, the spirit of tolerance and peaceful coexistence between religions, through education in the culture of peace, while highlighting the role of communities in countering violent extremism, as well as their contribution to peace and social cohesion.

The Forum took place in 4 essential phases: (1) The opening ceremony punctuated by speeches and the inaugural conference; (2) The ministerial session which made it possible to present the situation of inter-ministerial dialogue in the Member States, highlighting the role of communities and religious and customary leaders in the fight against violent extremism and their contribution to peace and social cohesion. (3) The discussion panels which were articulated around the following 3 axes: Axis 1: Communities and Resilience with the target of religious, customary, ethnic, socio-professional communities; Axis 2: Education and Prevention targeting young people, women, media; Axis 3: Communities, territories and vulnerabilities; (4) The plenaries which allowed the restitution of the work of the panels.

In her speech at the forum’s closing ceremony, Commissioner Fatou SOW/SARR “reiterated the clear will of the political authorities of the Region to emphasize crisis prevention, raising awareness among young people, that of actors in the civil society and of course political decision-makers and religious leaders”.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Togolese Abroad, both in his opening and closing speeches, expressed his thanks to the ECOWAS Commission for having chosen his country to host such a meeting. He also reiterated “the commitment and determination of HE Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE , President of the Togolese Republic, in favor of the values of peace, harmony and mutual respect. It is through his benevolence and the interest given to the issue of social cohesion that he accepted that Togo host this important forum”.

At the end of the work, a so-called Lomé Declaration and recommendations were adopted. Among other recommendations to ECOWAS: i) Support Member States in developing National Policies for the Development of Border Areas to build the resilience of communities in the face of violent extremism; ii) Put in place a multi-stakeholder strategy (religious, women, youth) in the fight against violent extremism; iii) Strengthen the ECOWAS early warning and conflict resolution system, highlighting the contribution of communities to peace and social cohesion; etc

For the ECOWAS Commission, also taking part in the Forum under the Department of Human Development and Social Affairs (DHDSA), Prof. Abdoulaye Maga, Director of Education, Science and Culture, Dr. Raguidissida Emile, Head of Culture Division and Mrs. Aïsha USMAN, Head of Education Division, and under the Department of Political Affairs (PAPS), Peace and Security, Colonel Abdourahmane DIENG, Head of Regional Security Division and Mr. Constant Cocou GNACADA in charge of the conflict prevention program.

Economic Commission of Central African States: First biennial for a culture of peace


An article from Digital Congo

The College of Advanced Studies in Strategy and Defense (CHESD) has been hosting since Friday, October 14, 2022, the biennial of the Economic Commission of Central African States (ECCAS) for a culture of peace.

Placed under the theme: “APSA@20: challenges and prospects for silencing the guns in Central Africa: Retrospection and prospective analysis”, this conference is organized in partnership with the Government of the DRC, the United Nations Development Program ( UNDP) and with the support of CHESD led by Major General Augustin MUBIAYI MAMBA, the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Conflicts (ACCORD), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), UNESCO, the ‘OIF, CICIBA, CERDOTOLA.

It also provides an opportunity for participants to reflect on better coordination of efforts at continental, regional and local level for the realization of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 on democracy, good governance, and a peaceful and secure Africa. .

In her speech, the Resident Representative ai of the UNDP, Mrs. Rokya Ye NDIENG indicated that:

“The theme of this conference, namely ‘Culture of Peace’ presents three essential opportunities to participants. First, it is the opportunity to assess existing approaches, tools and systems for conflict management at all levels, then, the need to propose concrete recommendations to improve strategies for strengthening peace and security and finally, the imperative to formulate a roadmap to “Silencing the guns” by 2031, in Central Africa (…)”.

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(Click here for a version of this article in French.)

Question for this article:

Can the African Union help bring a culture of peace to Africa?

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She continued: “The dynamics of conflicts on the continent have changed in recent years. New threats have emerged, such as climate change, pandemics and cybersecurity. They require adapted, coherent and concerted responses. these conflicts have also evolved and their modi operandi have changed, such as pirates, terrorists and criminal organizations (…)”

“(…) the African peace and security architecture created by the African Union in collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities must respond to these challenges which are becoming increasingly complex in order to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts on the continent (…) the UNDP supports the strategic vision of the African Union declined through the 2063 Agenda for a prosperous and peaceful Africa.

This vision contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 aimed at “promoting the advent of peaceful and inclusive societies for the purposes of sustainable development, ensuring access to justice for all and establishing, at all levels, effective, accountable and open institutions (…) there can be no sustainable development without peace and stability. The prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts are therefore necessary conditions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable Development, particularly in the context of the Central African sub-region marked by political, economic, social and security fragilities (…)”, she specified.

Additionally: “(…) a holistic approach to conflict prevention is essential if we want to build and root a culture of peace on the continent and more particularly in Central Africa. Building peace through building inclusive, peaceful and resilient societies presupposes the establishment of functional conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms at all levels with a view to strengthening the African peace and security architecture. youth to continental, regional, national and local peace efforts is an imperative (…)”

In addition, the President of the Commission, Gilberto da Piedade Verissimo, for his part, welcomed the holding of these meetings which is in line with finding a lasting peace in Central Africa.

It should be noted that this first biennial, the closing of which takes place this Saturday, October 15, 2022, brings together high-level participants from the region and around the world, youth and women’s groups, civil society organizations, NGOs and Representatives of various United Nations entities.

Mali: Culture of Peace and Living Together: Contribution of teachers


An article from Maliactu

The Ministry of National Education, through the Project to improve the quality and results of education for all in Mali (Miqra), in response to the multidimensional crisis that has been shaking our country for more than a decade, has decided to implement teacher training activities in the Culture of Peace in all teaching academies. Thus, the Bamako Left Bank Teaching Academy initiated the training of 20 teachers through a five-day workshop held from September 5 to 9, at the Bamako Technical High School.

Since 2012, Mali has been going through a major security, political and institutional crisis that has disrupted social structures, exacerbated social divisions, aggravated social and economic inequalities and undermined the authority of the State.

This crisis, initially limited to the regions of northern Mali (Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal), has since 2017 spread to the regions of Koulikoro, Mopti and Ségou in the center and to Sikasso (circles of Yorosso and Koutiala), in the south of country. Thus, serious violations of children’s rights, including rape and attacks on schools, have been reported in the regions of Koulikoro, Sikasso, Mopti and Ségou like those of Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal, Taoudéni and Ménaka. . Entire villages have been attacked, directly targeting schools, some of which have been set on fire.

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(click here for the French original of this article)

Question for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

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The education sector has been severely affected by the security crisis, the consequences of which are reflected in the threat to access to education for thousands of school-age children; particularly in the north of the country, due to massive population displacements and school closures; the destruction of school infrastructure and equipment in the affected regions and the deterioration of the learning environment in the host regions in the south of the country; the exacerbation of the shortage of teachers and the difficulties related to their management; the demobilization of educational personnel, etc.

These situations have created favorable conditions for the resurgence of dropouts and absenteeism of students and teachers. In response to the complex crisis and post-crisis, the Ministry of National Education, through the Project to improve the quality and results of education for all in Mali (Miqra) initiated the training of Culture of Peace teachers in all teaching academies. Indeed, the persistent crisis situation means that today each region is affected by the crisis. In addition, the culture of peace is a cross-cutting theme that can and should be taught in all EAs from a conflict prevention perspective. This is why, rather than being limited to conflict zones, the action is extended to all teaching academies with a view to the resilience of the education system, in line with sub-program 5 of Prodec II.

In the long term, the reinvestment of the achievements of this training in teaching/learning activities will contribute to a change in behavior among school actors, in particular teachers and children in the sense of living together.

This training session aims to build the capacities of teachers in education for the culture of peace; understand the key concepts of peace, culture of peace, peace education, culture of peace education; determine the causes and consequences of conflicts; identify the phases in the development of a conflict.