“African Initiatives Toward Killing-Free Societies”
May 2011. An article highlighting the work of several of the Center’s affiliate organizations and Leadership Fellows in Africa was just published in “Conflict Trends.” The article, “African Initiatives Toward Killing-Free Societies,” by Center Co-Director Gregory Bourne, can be found at www.accord.org.za/downloads/ct/ct_2011_1.pdf. Conflict Trends is a publication of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in Durban, South Africa. The Introduction to this recent publication was contributed by Vasu Gounden, founder of ACCORD and a member of the Center’s Governing Council.
This article highlights recent trends on the African continent related to the burgeoning efforts to introduce nonkilling principles, practices and policies. Bourne summarizes Dr. Glenn D. Paige’s seminal book, Nonkilling Global Political Science (NKGPS), also highlighting the findings of the Center’s Neuroscience and Nonkilling Forum held in 2009 related to the lasting contribution of maternal care and early nurturing to nonviolent behavior. The article also underscores the critical role of individuals, communities, governments and non-governmental organizations in championing strategies supporting killing-free societies.
A rich array of examples across Africa is described. This includes publications, trainings, conferences, colloquia, community meetings, leadership development initiatives, schools, mentoring and policy initiatives. The potential for larger movements, such as Nonkilling Liberia and Nonkilling Rwanda are also mentioned. These efforts all intended to promote killing-free futures locally, regionally, nationally and across the continent. A multiplicity of different strategies and innovations driven by local needs and leadership are illustrated. “Throughout Africa, a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organizations are working to address conditions that can lead to violence and killing. Ultimately, the work will help prevent lethal conflict.”
Initiatives described include efforts by the Africa Great Lakes Consortium on Nonkilling involving more than 20 organizations and a local school/kindergarten in South Kivu in eastern DR Congo that teaches nonkilling. In addition, it chronicles the efforts of six Leadership Academy Fellows in Western Sahara, Rwanda, Liberia and Kenya. And in Nigeria, colleagues at an affiliate organization translated NKGPS into Ogoni and Ijaw and use it to train people and advocate nonkilling.