International Virtual Colloquium on the Role of African Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Security
The African Institute in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIIKS), a consortium of more than 20 African Higher Education and autonomous research institutions, with its hub at UKZN, in collaboration with the Forum for Former African Heads of State and Government (the Africa Forum), in the framework of their ongoing initiative towards a New Approach to Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA) is jointly convening an international high-level virtual colloquium on 2 December.
The colloquium will interrogate the role of African indigenous knowledge systems (AIKS) and gender dimensions towards conflict resolution, peacebuilding and security for sustainable development in Africa. It is a response to the continental call to support and build on efforts to bring peace, stability and prosperity to Africa.
The African continent is facing protracted conflict in all its regions. While women, children and the youth are the worst affected, there have been no concerted efforts to solicit their community-based knowledge and lived experiences on how these conflicts affect them, or their perspectives on sustainable solutions. In most marginalised communities in Africa, especially in rural areas, women are the custodians of community-based or indigenous knowledge systems and languages for sustainable community livelihoods. The youth, including girls are recruited as soldiers in conflicts and the deterioration of national economies negatively impacts their employment and other life opportunities.
Furthermore, there have been limited efforts to solicit the views of the substantial number of former African heads of state and government who have left office democratically as well as elders on the role of African indigenous home-grown approaches, including gender dimensions in addressing contemporary conflicts and conflict resolution. It is imperative to create platforms for intergenerational dialogue to address these issues. Active participation of Africa’s youth in partnership with the elders and former heads of state and government will facilitate the search for and development of inclusive and strategic mechanisms to articulate Africa’s indigenous home-grown philosophies of “Africanness” and African dignity within the context of conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and security for sustainable development.
The following dignitaries will constitute the high-level panel of the interactive international colloquium:
• Her Excellency Joyce Banda, Former President of Malawi
• His Excellency Armando Guebuza, Former President of Mozambique
• His Excellency Cassam Uteem, Former President of the Republic of Mauritius
• His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania
• Honourable Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director United Nations (UN) Women
• Her Excellency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Republic, South Africa
• Her Excellency Dr Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, Former Vice President of Uganda and UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa; (to be confirmed by Africa Forum)
• Honourable Professor Palamagamba John Kabudi, Minister, Constitutional and Legal Affairs, United Republic of Tanzania, Tanzania
• Professor Nana Poku, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UKZN
• Professor Cheryl Hendricks, Executive Director, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, South Africa
• Professor Khabele Matlosa, Former Director for Political Affairs, AU Commission
• Professor Eddy Maloka, Chief Executive Officer, African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)
• His Excellency Dr Bobby J Moroe, Deputy High Commissioner, South African High Commission, Nigeria
• Professor Samuel Kale Ewusi, Director Africa Regional Programme, United Nations-University for Peace, Ethiopia
• Mr Zolani Mkiva, Chairperson of Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings, National Council of Provinces, South Africa
• Ms Aya Chebbi, African Union Special Envoy on Youth
The colloquium will identify prospects and challenges for the development of strategic programmes to promote the use of African indigenous home-grown philosophies and gender dimensions in conflict resolution, peacebuilding and security for sustainable development in Africa. It will advance the philosophy of building on the indigenous, which emphasises that the indigenous is not necessarily what is traditional but whatever African people in their specific cultural and local communities consider an authentic expression of themselves.