Peace building is of special relevance to Africa: nearly half of the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions since the end of the Cold War have been in the continent. The term “peace building”, which entered public use some time ago in UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s seminal 1992 report An Agenda for Peace, has gained currency in recent years. The policy seminar took a fresh look at the current peace building challenges confronting Africa and the responses of the main regional and global institutions that are mandated to build peace. The seminar was organised around the premise that a better appreciation of the interplay between local, regional, and global institutions and ideologies can lead to more effective peace building in Africa.