The Management Team of Africa Centre for Peace & Conflict Research, from L to R
Abala Ouma (Director Training & Program),
Mpore lioba (Executive Director), Julius Rwabutomize (Director Planning & Publicity)
and Dismas massawe (Director of Administration).
The Africa Center for Peace and Conflict Research was founded in 2012 by experts in Peace and Conflict Studies, who had worked and researched in this area for a number of years in Africa at the University level as both teachers and peacebuilders. These are University teachers and students of Peace and Conflict studies witnessing Africa torn into pieces by endemic conflicts and war, hence developing interest in ending them by in-depth research, databasing and publication, as well as training, negotiation and mediation.
The center cannot have come at any other point in time, than now when many African states, apart from being categorized as failing or failed states,are caught up in intractable intra-state conflicts of ethnic as well as political nature, with no creativity among leaders to resolving, managing and transforming them into sustainable peace.
There are several compelling reasons why conflict,war and peace constitute major concern for ACPCR and experts in peace and conflict management in Africa.First, the number of conflicts and wars that occur in Africa is overwhelming. Compared to other regions, Africa has continued to experience too many conflicts and wars. Some of these wars are traceble to colonialism. Second, some of these wars are protracted. This was the case for example with the civil war in Sudan. This war had been going on since the 1950s. Third, These conflicts and wars have led to massive lose of life and property. Fourth, while these conflicts wars start as domestic, they end up as regional and international. They thus have the potential to destabilize neighbouring countries.Fifth, the horrow of terrorism within the region and continent as a whole.
Africa Center for Peace and Conflict Research brings to light reasons, efforts,and interventions initiated at both national and international levels towards ending these conflicts and wars on the continent focusing on what needed to be done towards lasting peace at all levels of life. Hence the center was established with the following Mission and Vision:
Founded on the values of peace, justice and diversity, Africa Center for Peace and Conflict Research(ACPCR) is an instrument with a mission to pursue avenues for sustainable peace in Africa,East and Central generally,and Tanzania in particular. It exists to serve the needs of peace on the continent that has, for decades, been engulfed in endemic conflicts and wars. ACPCR is an alternative form of forum for dialogue, negotiation, mediation, and peace activities in all communities.
Based on high standards of professionalism and expertise, ACPCR aspires to be the best center for providing peace education, research and publication, training, negotiation, mediation a and conflict transformation services.
The Mission and vision of ACPCR will be achieved through among others, the following objectives: (i) To build the research capacity of African communities especially those ravaged by wars and those that enjoy peace through peace building activities; (ii) to offer training and services in non-violent conflict management and transformation through mediation,negotiation and counseling as well as enhancing the capacity participants in understanding and transforming conflicts into opportunities for growth, healing and reconciliation.
THE IMPOTANCE OF ACPCR IN TANZANIA
Tanzania remains a relatively peaceful country within the region and Africa generally. Tanzania’s history before and even after independence has been characterised by true struggles for socio-political and economic liberation; but also Tanzania has neither had dictatorial autocractic political leadership nor military rule. Therefore Tanzania is in a good position to ensure peace and conflict management mechanisms are in place for early warning and pre-emptive reasons. However, recent events in the country suggest the need to safeguard and maintain peace enjoyed now at all cost BUT non-violently. To ensure continued peace in the country, the following msut be fundamentally taken into consideration:
First, there is need for sobriety in politics to avoid violence. If what has been happening during political rallies is something to go by. Second, natural resources remain major causes of war and conflict in Africa e.g.The Great lakes region, the Horn of Africa, east Africa etc. Resource-based conflicts are real and could be witnessed at the family, community, national as well as international levels. In this country, there have been several indications pointing into that direction-Mtwara conflict. Third, the conflict between farmers and pastoralists require immediate mediation and management at the community level. Fourth, religion has not been a major issue and remains so in Tanzania. But recent events in the country could be a wake up call and red signs pointing to religious conflict.
Africa Center for Peace and Conflict Research pursue its mission and vision by operating four broad programs:
1) Peace Education
2) Research,Documentation, and Publication
4) Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Transformation
- Training and education
- Seminars, workshops and conferences
- Research and Documentation
- Lobbying and Advocacy
- Interniship and Mentoring
- Staff capacity building
- Engaging the media in peacebuilding & conflict transformation
For the love of Africa, East Africa and Tanzania in particular, ACPCR will do everything possible to ensure that peace becomes a must be item on our radio stations, televison and newspapers. It is on this basis that ACPCR is collaborating with Center for Legal and human rights to share with Tanzanians the link between peace and human rights through various radio and televison programmes. ACPCR hopes to collaborate with UNESCO Tanzania to introduce peace education in institutions of learning. We have already been instrumental in the introduction of a Masters degree program in “Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution” at the University Bagamoyo,which commences next month(October). Media practitioners are encouraged to pursue this program for their own good and the communities they serve as they will be able to cover peace and conflict events well and authoritatively.
Together with other stakeholders, ACPCR plans to craft awards yearly for the following categories:
(i) A peace award for the best Journalist of the year and the best media house for covering peace and conflict issues, knowing that the media remain key actors in peace and conflict management.
(ii) A peace award for the best Musician of the year with a good production on peace.
(iii) A peace award for the student of the year in essay writing on peace and conflict issues.
These awards are to presented during world peace day celebrated on September 21st every year.
ACPCR wishes every African, East African and Tanzanian PEACE.
A section of journalists from different media houses during the press conference