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The State of Peacebuilding in Africa: Lessons Learned for Policymakers and Practitioners

The State of Peacebuilding in Africa


Palgrave Macmillan, 2020


The State of Peacebuilding in Africa



Peacebuilding has been near the top of the global agenda for a quarter of a century. Funding for peacebuilding activities has grown year after year, decision makers and practitioners can access a vast literature on peacebuilding policy and experiences, and the reasons why societies relapse into conflict are well known. Despite this, the challenge of how to rebuild societies following conflict has not become easier.

The State of Peacebuilding in Africa: Lessons Learned for Policymakers and Practitioners analyzes the last 30 years of peacebuilding in Africa and brings together the work of distinguished scholars, practitioners, and decision makers to analyze critically the evolution and current state of peacebuilding in Africa. The book features key lessons learned, best practices, and creative solutions that address varying dimensions of peacebuilding, including conflict prevention, mediation, management, and post-conflict reconstruction. In addition to six country and regional case studies on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan/South Sudan, Mozambique, and the Sahel/Mali complement the analysis. Each chapter concludes with a set of key recommendations to inform the building of a more sustainable peace in Africa. 

The book is available via Open Access.

The State of Peacebuilding in Africawas born out of the activities of the Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding (SVNP). The SVNP is a continent-wide network of African policy, research and academic organizations that works with the Wilson Center’s Africa Program to bring African knowledge and perspectives to U.S., African, and international policy on peacebuilding in Africa. Established in 2011 and supported by the generous financial support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the project provides avenues for African researchers and practitioners to engage with and exchange analyses and perspectives with U.S., African, and international policymakers in order to develop the most appropriate, cohesive, and inclusive policy frameworks and approaches to achieving sustainable peace in Africa.


Paul D. Williams

Paul D. Williams

Former Fellow;
Professor of International Affairs and, Associate Director, M.A. Security Policy Studies Program, The George Washington University

Vera Songwe

Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution

Ludovic Lado

Former Southern Voices African Research Scholar;
Director of Institute of Human Rights and Dignity, Center of Research and Action for Peace

Betty Bigombe

Former Distinguished African Scholar;
Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace; Formerly served as Ugandan Minister of State, Deputy Minister and Project Manager for the African Development Bank

Ibrahim Wani

Independent Consultant and former Director of the Human Rights Division at the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of South Sudan
Lisa Sharland

Lisa Sharland

Deputy Director of Defence, Strategy & National Security and, Head of the International Program, Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)
Fritz Nganje

Fritz Nganje

Former Public Policy Scholar;
Researcher, Institute for Global Dialogue, South Africa 

Anatole Ayissi

Chief of Staff, UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA)
Franklin Oduro

Franklin Oduro

Deputy Executive Director/Director of Programs , Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD)
Chukwuemeka Eze

Chukwuemeka Eze

Executive Director, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)

Osei Baffour Frimpong

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Lead Regional Researcher and Conflict Analyst, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Ghana
Gilbert Khadiagala

Gilbert Khadiagala

Professor of International Relations and Director of the African Centre for the Study of the United States (ACSUS) at the University of the Witwatersrand

Dimpho Deleglise

Associate Research Fellow, United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)
Phil Clark

Phil Clark

Professor of International Politics, SOAS University of London

Jens Pedersen

Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), South Africa

Ibrahim Gambari

Former Head of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur, and Founder and Former Chairman of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development (Nigeria)

Rachel Sweet

Assistant Professor of Politics and Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame

Alex Vines

Research Director and Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House

Adekeye Adebajo

Director, Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation, University of Johannesburg (South Africa)
Jok Madut Jok

Jok Madut Jok

Former Fellow;
Professor, Syracuse University and Senior Researcher, The Sudd Institute
Terence McNamee

Terence McNamee

Global Fellow;

Paul Melly

Consulting Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Monde Muyangwa image

Monde Muyangwa

Former Director, Africa Program

Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and US-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial US-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in US-Africa relations.    Read more