Workshop 3: “Community responses to stability challenges”
The Ebola and COVID 19 crises have highlighted the weakness of institutional health arrangements in Africa and affected the internal stability of several states. Many other political, economic and social factors continue to make the continent fragile and lead several states to neglect and marginalize peripheral regions, particularly border areas. In most countries, an increasingly young population is demanding greater social integration, jobs and opportunities. Finally, in several places, the mode of political governance and exploitation of public natural resources has led to the gradual establishment of rent-seeking situations, thus accentuating the breakdown of trust between the governors and the governed. In addition, violent extremism persists and is on the rise, as well as a resurgence of unconstitutional political changes and
intra-African migration, which is often perceived as a source of conflict and fuels frequent struggles for land, resources and jobs. Sustainable and inclusive development is the most effective way to address the root causes of instability. Indeed, to prevent conflict and build resilient communities and societies, it is essential to address poverty and inequality, strengthen public institutions and civil society, and promote human rights, goals that figure prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. In this indispensable effort to achieve or strengthen the conditions for sustainable stability on the continent, communities have a crucial role to play, particularly in the development of mutual trust between the various components of the population and, above all, in the prevention and resolution of ongoing or latent conflicts.
It is therefore important to place communities at the heart of the search for solutions, and to promote and rehabilitate the virtues of inter-community dialogue as an irreplaceable tool in conflict management in Africa.
Identify the major challenges to stability on the continent and propose realistic community-based responses to these challenges, in addition to the efforts of States.
Issues to be addressed
- What are the roles of communities in strengthening national unity and promoting living together in Africa?
- What community responses to recurrent social conflicts, particularly between sedentary and nomadic populations, indigenous and non-indigenous populations?
- What community and inter-community approaches to improve the prevention and fight against insecurity, particularly in border areas?
Timbuktu Institute (Senegal)
Dr. Fatima Akilu is the Executive Director of Neem Foundation. She is a trained psychologist with over 25 years’ experience in the field of mental health, psychology, Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and communications. Dr. Akilu holds a master’s degree and PhD in Psychology from University of Reading (UK), and was a Former Head of Communication to the Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Akilu served as the Director of Behavioural Analysis and Strategic Communications at the Office of the National Security Adviser where she pioneered Nigeria’s first Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programme. Dr. Akilu is a seasoned educationist with over 12 years lecturing experience as an Adjunct Professor of General Psychology at Broome Community College (USA). She is responsible for the implementation of programmes and strategies as the Executive Director of Neem Foundation and determining the direction of focus of the projects implemented by the organisation. She has overseen psychological support services to over 30, 000 survivors of the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast of Nigeria, a region that has been significantly affected by climate change. Alongside this, she currently oversees several conflict responses programmes across various lake Chad basin region and other parts of the globe.
Director, Centre for Peace Mediation
Katja Ahlfors is the Director of the Centre for Peace Mediation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Prior to her current position, she served as the Senior Advisor on Horn of Africa to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland. She has served at the Embassy of Finland to Addis Ababa and at the Embassy of Finland to Stockholm. Ahlfors has also worked as a Senior Advisor with CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation and as the Focal Point for Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Mediation at the European Commission in Brussels.
Mrs. Ndioro Ndiaye is a full professor at the University. She was Minister of Social Development of the Republic of Senegal and then of Women, Children and Family from 1988 to 1995.
She was elected Deputy Director General of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva from 1999 to 2009. Today, she manages the NGO “Alliance for Migration, Leadership and Development” (AMLD) and she is the coordinator of the “Francophone Network for Gender Equality” RF-EFH, a privileged tool for evaluation, monitoring, and accountability of the implementation of commitments made by member states and governments of the Francophonie in terms of gender equality. As Minister of Women, Childhood and Family, she chaired in Dakar (Senegal) the regional conference of African women in preparation for the Beijing International Conference on Women in 1994; she played a major role in the World Conference on the Rights of the Child in 1992. In 2019 her last position in the Senegalese government was that of Minister Counsellor to the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal.