AFRICAN PEACEMAKING DATABASE
The African Peacemaking Database (APD) is a collection of knowledge intended to catalogue and nourish, for the very first time, indigenous practices of positive peace and reconciliation throughout the African continent.
Existing peace and conflict databases focus on peace within the context of the government and its institutions, uses data sources and definitions rooted in Western ways of knowing, and concentrates on measurement and analysis. Through research and partnership over the past two years, we are creating the first Afro-centric peace index, so that community strengths of reconciliation, communication, daily peacemaking, and rituals of music, dance, proverbs and storytelling are shared with the wider world.
We achieve this by implementing an Indigenous Methodology, via United Religious Initiative interfaith circles and the decolonized research paradigm created by Dr. Bagele Chilisa of the University of Botswana. It is rooted in local knowledge, on a continental scale, to harvest peace practices and traditions from women, youth, and elders. This combines new and old wisdom in a setting that strengthens communities on the margins and facilitates knowledge transmission.
Why a Peacemaking Database in Africa?
There is already impressive, groundbreaking work undertaken by the United Nations and private thinktanks, which focuses on the levels of conflict and inequality found in the structures of a nation’s institutional building blocks. However, existing database research, such as the Human Development Index by the UNDP and the Global Peace Index of the Institute for Economics & Peace, highlight peace within the context of top-level institutions, uses data sources and definitions of peace all established in the Global North (click here for a map of conflict data headquarters to notice Africa’s omission), upholds the outdated, normative conflict management paradigm, and is concentrated on the measurement and analysis of peace, rather than the application.
-There is no database which uses the local people’s knowledge as the source;
-There is no database which catalogues peace practices;
-There is no database with sources rooted in Africa;
-Databases currently all measure violence, conflict, and inequality, rather than the presence of peace and reconciliation.
Create Africa’s first peace database headquarters in LILONGWE, using the Indigenous Methodology to highlight reconciliation and relationship practices of the local people, and expand to the rest of the continent.
Western knowledge is widespread and has run its course in trying to solve the world’s conflicts and divisions. It is time to highlight the African we-not-I ways of knowing with global consciousness for the sake of balancing our approaches to maintaining peace, harmony, and security in Africa and beyond. Also, this work is important to institutionalize peacemaking technology from the local level to manifest the AU 2063 agenda of a free, prosperous, and united continent. We are happy to partner with government in each region to encourage strengthening and shepherding of existing peace mechanisms in Africa.
We are currently working in Malawi on a comprehensive indigenous peace mapping program, and we are working in Ethiopia on cataloguing 200 youth papers on traditional forms of reconciliation with the Ethiopian Reconciliation Council. Initial database findings will be released at the end of this year. We will expand our peace mapping to five (5) new countries every year, starting in 2024, by hosting our first annual Indigenous Peace Mapping Retreat. APD is expected to be finished in 2034.
For more information, to collaborate, or to offer support, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
September, 2023: Meeting between Global Staff and Ethiopian Ministry of Peace, presenting the project and sharing objectives; meeting between Global Staff and African Union Civil Society (AU CIDO) to discuss access to online platform and liaison to Peace and Security sector for Early Warning/Early Action integration.
August, 2023: Added Addis Ababa traditional reconciliation practices, and updated the 12 regions of Ethiopia to include new Central Ethiopian region.
July, 2023: Hiring of Ugandan IT Developer to finish digital database of Ethiopian Reconciliation Practices. Connecting to Dr. Awoke Atinafu Adam, Director of Ministry of Peace, to draft partnership agreement.
May, 2023: Begin conversations with Ethiopia Ministry of Peace, to disseminate findings using government methods to local populaces, and encourage policy to strengthen traditional ways of solving conflict. Our next step is a formal letter to the Ministry, after encouraging conversations, to draft MOU agreement, led by our advisor Belaney Zelelew.
March, 2023: The Ethiopian Peacemaking Database is summarizing the approximately 80 traditional reconciliation practices, by our Ethiopian volunteer peace team of youth peace leaders and university academics. An online reveal will be available shortly showcasing practices in Afar, Amhara, Benshangul-Gumuz, Dire Dawa, Gambella, Oromio, Sidama, Somali, South Nations, South West, and Tigray.
February, 2023: We are beginning work on an interactive, online template, to share what the reconciliation methods will look like when presented to the public.
December, 2022: Formation of Ethiopian youth and academic research team to categorize, summarize, and present the Reconciliation Methods as part of the Ethiopian Peacemaking Database. 7 teams are organizing the papers found in Amhara, Southwest, South, Oromia/Dredewa/Somali, Sidama, Tigray/Gambella, and Afar/Benshengul.
March, 2022: Meeting with former Truth & Reconciliation Council Members, Tikvah Media, United Religions Initiative head offices, and Positive Peace for Ethiopia
June, 2020: Launch of “I Have a Reconciliation Idea”, by Tikva Media and Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission. Over 370 papers were submitted documenting traditional reconciliation mechanisms throughout Ethiopia.
September, 2023: Meeting between Global Staff and Department of National Unity, Ministry of Local Government, Unity, and Culture, to share 2024 roadmap and possible funding options.
August, 2023: Final MOU in review by Ministry of Justice, via Department of National Unity for review and signing ceremony meeting. It lists our 8 objectives for establishment of Lilongwe as headquarters for APD offices in Africa, and incorporation of indigenous data into National Peace Architecture.
July, 2023: Finished Certification as Company Limited by Guarantee with the Malawi Government.
May, 2023: Continuing government meetings with Malawi Ministry of Culture – Department of National Unity, for signing MOU to incorporate peace findings into National Peace Architecture. We’re working on finding the appropriate umbrella organization that fits Malawi government structure, between URI, TPADI, and APD. The likely future is to register ourselves as a private company limited by guarantee. In the meanwhile, we will work on small programs together to connect with our grassroots Peace Explorers, and connect with the Malawi NGO Board to talk about registering our initiative.
March, 2023: Our Peace Explorers, from the 6 regions of Malawi, have come together for an online call to talk about fine-tuning their traditional research, using the Indigenous Methodology.
Areas to include for future research include: linguistics, traditional reconciliation, art, gender roles, and peace symbols. Each group is also highlighting challenges to peace in their area.
Feb, 2023: We have received the first round of all Peace Exploration research. This is between youth and elders, of the Nkhonde, Tonga, Chewa, Lomwe, Ngoni and Tumbuka peoples of Malawi.
The next step is analyzing and categorizing the findings for the sake of an APD presentation template with Malawi peace practitioners, and hosting the 6 research communities in a co-learning seminar with the Ministry of Civic Education, in Lilongwe, which will come from a team of 9 indigenous youth and women leaders. The purpose of the seminar is to finetune indigenous research methods so they can continue chronicling song, dance, cultural roles, botanical wisdom, etc. as cultures deem appropriate until it is comprehensive.
June, 2022: Peace mapping complete, for sharing of daily practices, in our 2,000 tour of the country, via URI cooperation circles.