The World's First Grassroots Peace Index

The African Peacemaking Database (APD) is a collection of knowledge intended to catalogue and nourish, for the very first time, traditional and daily practices of positive peace throughout the African continent.

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. 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 the institutions of government, uses data sources and definitions of peace established in the Global North (click here for a map of conflict data headquarters), and is concentrated on measurement and analysis of existing practices. However, there is no peace database with definitions created by Africans, nor an index to-date which shares existing peacemaking tools, practices, philosophies, and cultures found among everyday people. The APD fills these significant gaps by partnering with the African Leadership Centre & the United Religions Initiative so local, intercultural Pan-African leaders can lead peace mapping workshops in existing multicultural circles on a country-by-country basis. We use an Indigenous Methodology, created by Dr. Bagele Chilisa of the University of Botswana, centered on local knowledge from women, youth, and elders so community strengths of reconciliation, daily peace practices, and rituals of music, dance and storytelling are shared with the wider world. Let’s give the power back to the people and share the wisdom of Africa with the world, and complement this existing institutional work with a catalogue that exists at the community level.

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 bottom-up into national policy, teaching materials, and the African Union early warning framework (CEWS) to manifest the AU 2063 agenda of a free, prosperous, and united continent.

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 hope to expand our peace mapping to 5 new countries in late 2023 by hosting our first annual Indigenous Peace Mapping Retreat at the University of Uyo, Nigeria.

For more information, to collaborate, or to offer support, contact

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Live Research Updates

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July, 2023: Finishing Certification as Company Limited by Guarantee with the Malawi Government. Next steps are registration as Malawi NGO and signing of the MOU with Ministry of Culture, Dept. of National Unity to establish our headquarters in Malawi.

May, 2023: Continuing government meetings with Malawi Ministry of Culture – Department of National Unity, for singing MOU to incorporate peace findings into National Peace Architecture. We’re working on finding the appropriate fiduciary that fits Malawi government structure, between URI, TPADI, and APD. 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, Chichewa, Lomwe, Ngoni and Timbuka 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.


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 an MOU, 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 Ethopian Reconciliation Commission. Over 370 papers were submitted documenting traditional reconciliation mechanisms throughout Ethiopia.


Operating Alongside the The Pan-African Dialogue Institute and
the United Religions Initiative

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Geoffrey Manasseh
African Communities

Seth Kinzie
Project Design

Dr. Bagele Chilisa
Indigenous Research

Dr. Effiong Udo
Executive Oversight

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African Advisory Panel


Mussie Hailu
UN / AU / URI liaison 

Chaplain Mwagomba
Karonga Traditional Leader

John Mugisa
Peace & Development Foundation

Youssef Mahmoud
International Peace Institute

Paul Mdumi
Zanzibar Interfaith Centre

Teshome M. Marra
Makerere University

Sarah Oliver
United Religions Initiative

Gerald Chigona
Malawi Ministry of Culture

Bhante Buddharakkhita
Uganda Buddhist Centre

Shuvai Busuman Nyoni
African Leadership Centre

Belaney Zelelew
Ethiopia People’s Friendship 

Mutombo Nkulu-Nsengha
Bumuntu Peace Institute 

Abdulaahi Yaasin
Mustaqbal Somali Youth

Mulatu Alemayehu
University of Addis Ababa

Nyasha Mukaratirwa
URI – Southern Africa

Edmond Kposowa
Future in our Hands