At the initiative of UNESCO and the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for the Search for Peace, representatives of 26 foundations and research institutions working in the field of peace in Africa met on September 20 and 21, Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These organizations, with headquarters in some 20 countries on the African continent, have decided to form a network to coordinate their respective actions and implement common projects.
The meeting, organized jointly by UNESCO, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research and the African Union Commission, took place on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Peace (September 21). It is part of the follow-up to the Pan-African Forum “Sources and resources for a culture of peace”, held last March in Luanda (Angola). The Forum had led to the adoption of a Plan of Action for the Culture of Peace in Africa and the launching of a Pan-African Movement, raising awareness and mobilization campaigns at the national level under the motto “Take Action for Peace”.
It is in this context that the participants in this meeting decided to create the “Network of Foundations and Research Institutions for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace in Africa” whose objectives are to coordinate the respective actions in order to to ensure a common vision and practices and a pooling of resources and means of action, to increase the visibility of organizations and their activities among citizens and national and international institutions and to contribute to the implementation of the The Luanda Plan of Action and the African Union Agenda 2063 by developing and implementing joint programs.
Among the joint projects proposed during the meeting are: a research-action project on endogenous mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution in Africa (University of Peace / Africa Program and UNESCO Chair for the Culture of Peace of Africa University of Cocody, Abidjan), the setting up of a web platform for the creation of a community of practices among the member organizations of the network (UNESCO Chairs for Culture of Peace and Sustainable Florence) and the launch of an initiative for African youth and the culture of peace (Omar Bongo Ondimba Foundation).
A Provisional Secretariat of 12 participants, coordinated by the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, will be responsible for preparing the report of the meeting, studying the appropriate legal status, preparing the first meeting of the ” installation of the network, mobilizing resources and funds, creating a web page and establishing a directory of specialists in the field of culture of peace and potential network members.