African Alliance Summit 2010
Building Institutional Capacities and Partnerships in Africa for a Culture of Peace: The Second Regional Summit of the African Alliance for Peace
The Africans who attended the Third Global Summit of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace in Japan in 2007, inspired by the Summit and its call for ministries and departments of peace, formed the African Alliance for Peace (AAP). The AAP has since expanded from the four countries represented at the Japan Summit (Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda, and South Africa) to also include members from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and the constantly growing alliance. The vision of the African Alliance for Peace is to support the creation of a culture of peace and nonviolence in all African countries, including calling for structures in government and civil society to support a culture of peace.
The AAP held its First Regional Summit in Accra, Ghana, in May 2008, where the theme was “The African Alliance for Peace: Moving it Forward.” The Second Regional Summit of the AAP was held 22-25 October 2010 in Abuja, Nigeria. The theme of the Second AAP Summit was “Building Institutional Capacities and Partnerships for a Culture of Peace.” Twenty people attended, mostly from Nigeria and South Africa plus one each from Australia and the United States representing the Global Alliance. Many more Africans wanted to attend but were unable to due to funding limitations.
The papers presented covered prevention of political and electoral violence in Africa, interfaith peace, the role and importance of institutionalizing peace through the establishment of ministries of peace in governments and of national peace academies, and next steps for peace in Nigeria. The presentations included much discussion, inquiry, and interactive exercises. The complete program agenda and communiqué of the Summit are attached.
A highlight of the Summit was the showing of the film Soldiers of Peace: Stories from 14 Countries around the World and the ensuing discussion of it lead by two of its featured “soldiers,” Pastor James and Imam Ashafa. The Imam and the Pastor both presented papers of their own the following day.
More about the film can be found at http://www.soldiersofpeacemovie.com/. That website says the following about the Imam and the Pastor:
Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye are religious leaders who live in Kaduna, a city in northern Nigeria. Today, they work together to teach warring religious youth militias to resolve their conflicts peacefully. But they did not start out as peacemakers. [In the early 1990s], Imam Ashafa and Pastor James were mortal enemies, intent on killing one another in the name of religion. In 1995, Ashafa and Wuye formed the Interfaith Mediation Centre, a religious grass- roots organization that has successfully mediated between Christians and Muslims throughout Nigeria. Together, Imam Ashafa and Pastor James demonstrate extraordinary courage and dedication every day. Through their commitment to dialogue with their adversaries, and using religion as a resource, they leave us with a compelling example of what it takes to achieve peace and coexistence.
For another documentary about the inspiring story and peace work of Imam Ashafa and Pastor James, see http://www.iofc.org/imam-pastor. Also, the Imam and the Pastor have founded the Interfaith Mediation Centre in Kaduna, Nigeria, whose vision is “Interfaith coexistence towards a developed society free of violent ethno-religious and socio political conflict” (http://imcnigeria.org/).
The Summit events concluded with a visit by four Summit organizers and attendees (Oseremen Irene, Victor Ogunmakin, Biannca Pace, and Mike Abkin) to the offices of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (http://www.ipcr.gov.ng/). Billed as a courtesy call on IPCR’s Director General, Dr. Joseph Golwa, the meeting developed into a two-hour exchange with the Director General and several of his division directors, recounting stories and plans about peacebuilding activities of our respective organizations. Established in 2000, the IPCR is a Nigerian government think tank that conducts peace research, policy analysis, and interventions, including early warning and response in crisis situations both inside Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. IPCR is also developing peace education curricula for dissemination to primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
In conclusion, the next step for the African Alliance for Peace is attendance at the next Global Summit of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace, being held in October 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. That venue will be an opportunity for the AAP to gather and chart its course for the coming years.
SECOND REGIONAL SUMMIT OF THE AFRICAN ALLIANCE FOR PEACE
NIGERIA ALLIANCE FOR PEACE (Peace Service Academy, regd.)
October 22-25, 2010
Theme: Building Institutional Capacities And Partnerships For A Culture Of Peace
Day 1: Friday 22 October 2010
0900-1000 Introduction of Attendees
1000-1015 Welcome Address (Prince Oseremen Irene, Chairman, Nigeria Alliance for Peace)
1015-1030 Opening Address (Dr. Joseph Golwa, Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution)
1030-1200 Prof. Geoff Harris- School of Economics UNI Kwa-Zulu-Natal, “Building a Sustainable Democracy; the Imperative of a Ministry of Peace”
1200-1330 Lunch Break- At Conference Venue the La Don Hotel
1330-1430 Biannca Pace- Chair, Ministry for Peace Australia, “Institutionalising Peace”
1430-1530 Dr. V.A. Isumonah- Dept of Political Science UNI Ibadan, “Preventing Political and Electoral Violence in Africa”
1530-1645 FILM: SOLDIERS OF PEACE
1645-1730 Film Debrief with Pastor James & Imam Ashafa
DAY 2: Saturday 23 October 2010
0900-1030 Imam (Dr.) Muhammad Ashafa- Co-Executive Director, Interfaith Mediation Center, “Next Step to Peace for Nigeria”
1030-1200 Pastor (Dr.) James Wuye- Co-Executive Director, Interfaith Mediation Center, “Would a Multi Faith Approach to Peace Succeed”
1200-1330 Lunch Break – La Don Hotel
1330-1500 Dr. Mike Abkin- National Peace Academy USA, “National Peace Academies around the World”
1500-1530 CLOSING CEREMONY
Osereman Irene: Appreciation to Delegates and Presenters for attendance
Biannca Pace: Appreciation to Host Country on behalf of Global Alliance
DAY 3: Monday 25 October 2010
1130-1400 Visit to Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution and meeting with its Director General, Dr. Joseph Golwa, and division directors 4
2010 Global Alliance Regional Peace Summit:
The African Alliance for Peace International Peace Summit
Being a communiqué presented at the end of the 2010 Global Alliance regional Peace Summit, hosted by Nigerian Alliance for Peace/Peace Service Academy(regd.) between the 22-25 October, 2010, at La’ Don Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria, with the theme: ‘building institutional capacities and partnerships for a culture of peace’ under the auspices of African Alliance for Peace.
The Global Alliance was established in 2005 in London at their first summit. Other summits have been held in Canada in 2006, Japan in 2007, and Costa Rica in 2009, with the next summit slated for Cape Town, South Africa, in 2011.
As a result of these summits, two Ministries for Peace have been established in two countries- Nepal and Costa Rica. The Japan summit had seven Africans in attendance, which inspired the creation of the African Alliance for Peace during the summit.
Nigeria Alliance for Peace was founded in 2007 by Oseremen Irene who is currently spearheading the Organization with a group of Nigerian Peace studies graduates and professionals. The Organization hosted the 2010 AAP summit.
The Nigeria Alliance for Peace had caught the vision for the establishment of a Ministry for Peace in Nigeria in the nearest future, in line with the Global Alliance’s goal of working for the establishment of Ministries and Departments of Peace in all countries of the world to work towards the entrenchment of a culture of peace in the world.
This vision was inspired by the United Nations declaration of the decade of the 2000s as a “Decade for the establishment of a global culture of peace for the children of the world”.
The summit which was declared open by the representative of Dr. Joseph Golwa- the Director General of Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nigeria, was eventful and epochal in its hosting, and had reached the following conclusions, presented as follows:
- That the Africa Alliance for Peace should work assiduously towards implementation of the ethics of a culture of peace in Nigeria and African as a whole.
The approaches suggested in actualizing this goal include:
- To network with national, governmental and non-governmental agencies, civil society groups and community based groups in building infrastructures that would facilitate the establishment and entrenchment of a culture of peace and to eliminate the existing culture of violence in all its ramifications, as well as the violent approach to resolving conflicts in our society.
- To clamour for and support the development of National Peace Policy that is expected to appreciate and lead to the establishment of a government level Ministry of Peace.
- To work towards an Act of the National Assembly establishing a government level Ministry of Peace.
- To emphasise more stridently, the need for constructive engagement in inter-faith dialogues, human rights, free flow of information and sustainable development.
- To promote the emphasis of restorative justice approach over retributive justice system in the conflict transformation framework.
To convene a stakeholders summit to envision and design a National Peace Academy.
Participants heard from Prof. Geoff Harris –University of Kwazulu Natal South Africa, Biannca Pace – Ministry for Peace Australia, Dr. Victor Isumonah – University of Ibadan Nigeria, Dr. Mike Abkin – National Peace Academy United States, Imam Ashafa and Pastor James, on the topics building sustainable democracy the imperative of Ministries of Peace, Institutionalizing Peace, Peace Academies, Preventing Political and electoral violence in Africa, Next step to Peace in Nigeria,