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Workshop on the African Solutions (AfSol) Journal volume 2(1)

On 30 October 2018, IPSS held a workshop on the African Solutions (AfSol) Journal Volume 2(1) entitled “State, Non-State Actors and the Emerging Trajectories of Conflict in Africa”.

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07 November 2018

The workshop was moderated by Dr. Kidane Kiros, the Director of IPSS. The panel constituted of Dr. Pamela Mbabazi, Head of the Research Department of IPSS/AfSol Journal editor-in-chief; and Prof. Charles Ukeje, a Professor in the Department of International Relations at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. Prof. Charles and Dr. Cyril Obi, the Director of the African Peacebuilding Network (APN) program of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) are co-editors of the Afsol Journal Vol.2(1).

  

Dr. Kidane emphasized that the AfSol Journal embodies the pursuit of African-centred solutions to African problems. He introduced the panellists who analyzed the topic at hand and contextualised the AfSol journal Vol. 2(I) to the state of peace and security on the continent.

 

Dr. Pamela stated that “moments like these define the actualization of AfSol. AfSol is one of the research products of IPSS that serves as a platform for critical debate as we focus on the ethos of African solutions to African problems from both an academic and practical point of view”.

 

The AfSol Vol. 2(I) highlighted the following changing patterns in the conflict trends in Africa and how state and non-state actors have responded to these conflicts.

  1. Increased levels of intra and trans-state violence, case of Ethiopia among others.
  2. The emergence of new conflict actors, the case of Nigeria.
  3. Growing connections between local, national and regional conflicts like in the case of the Horn of Africa.

 

Dr. Pamela also mentioned that although armed conflicts and violence in Africa differ, some of the captured similarities include:

  1. Structural weaknesses (i.e. the youth bulge and unemployment…etc.)
  2. Environmental factors
  3. Poor governance
  4. Horizontal and vertical inequality
  5. The spread of small arms and radical ideologies

 

Prof. Charles stated that “the AfSol Journal is not just for scholars but for all persons who are at the frontier of peace and security issues in Africa; Both scholars and practitioners.” He highlighted how responsive the articles in the AfSol journal Vol.2(1) are to the changing dynamics of peace and security on the continent. They mention how those in power have captured the state and that power has become the basis of conflict and violence today. The journal addresses the diverse tensions that exist today between state and non-state actors. Prof. Charles commended the authors for featuring the local and traditional actors and their response to peace and security challenges.

 

Considering that no single African state is in perfect health, Prof. Charles called for the need for rigorous engagement between state and non-state actors in order to fill existing gaps within peace and security in Africa. Recommendations included:

  • The need to reimagine states in Africa and their response to pressures faced;
  • Reflection on the new normal of state actors as a violent agent.
  • Deliberation by scholars on how the changing trajectories in Africa are contributing to global challenges and vice versa.
  • Solving African problems as a global collective.

In conclusion, AfSol journal vol. 2(1) edition is a scholarly contribution to African-centred solutions. The workshop highlighted the urgent need to include non-state actors into AfSol and ensure the local and regional non-state actors are not left disadvantaged.

 


 

The AfSol Journal aims at meeting peace and security as an intellectual challenge and avails theoretical and practical knowledge to academia and policymakers.

 

Click here to view the event photos.

 

Click here to download Afsol Journal Vol. 2 (I)

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