Peacebuilding in Post Cold War Africa: Problems, Progress and Prospects

The research and policy seminar, discussed in this report, was held in Gaborone, Botswana from 25 to 28 August 2009 on the theme “Peace building in Africa”. The meeting discussed the interplay between local, regional and global forces in relation to peace building challenges in Africa. It focused on six key themes: the theory and practice of peace building in Africa; strengthening the security sector; justice and human rights; gender and peace building; pan African institutions; and global institutions and ideologies. Case studies were also presented on Central Africa and the Great Lakes; West Africa; Southern Africa; and Eastern Africa. The term “peace building” has gained currency in recent years especially since its entry into public use through the United Nations (UN). Egyptian UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s seminal 1992 report, An Agenda for Peace, defined peace building largely in relation to a conflict continuum. Peace building is increasingly seen and understood as a multifaceted concept that includes the process of strengthening the political, security, socio-economic and transitional justice dimensions of societies emerging from conflict.