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The Political Economy of Democracy and Peacebuilding in Africa in the COVID-19 Era

Wilson Center Africa Program will host the 2021 Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding (SVNP) Virtual Annual Conference, “The Political Economy of Democracy and Peacebuilding in Africa in the COVID-19 Era,” from July 19-23, 2021.


Jul. 21 – 23, 2021
8:30am – 12:30pm ET


The first session will take place on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. See the schedule below.

As in other parts of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Africa, not only in the realm of health, but in the areas of peace, security, democracy, economy, and international relations. The Wilson Center Africa Program will host the 2021 Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding (SVNP) Virtual Annual Conference, “The Political Economy of Democracy and Peacebuilding in Africa in the COVID-19 Era,” from July 19-23, 2021. This conference will assess the impact of COVID-19 on democracy and peacebuilding in Africa, examine the crosscutting roles of gender, youth, technology, non-state actors, and international stakeholders on these issues, identify some of the challenges posed and opportunities created by the pandemic, and explore the way forward for U.S.-Africa relations in the COVID-19 era. The conference will also discuss best practices, concrete recommendations, and policy options for addressing challenges and strengthening democracy and peacebuilding in Africa.

The conference will feature a series of events that will include African and U.S. policymakers, practitioners, international stakeholders, and experts, and African heads of organizations and senior leaders from the SVNP.

Conference sessions:

  • COVID-19, Democracy, Development, and Peacebuilding in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities | Wednesday, July 21 at 0830-1000 EDT
  • Gender, Youth, Technology, and Democracy in the COVID-19 Era: Disruptions, Concerns, and Prospects  | Wednesday, July 21 at 1030-1200 EDT
  • The State of Peacebuilding in Africa: Lessons Learned for Policymakers and Practitioners  | Thursday, July 22  at 0830-1000 EDT
  • SVNP “Peacebuilding in Africa” Research Award Competition: Presentation from Winning Paper Authors | Thursday, July 22 at 1005-1020 EDT
  • COVID-19, Security, and Peacebuilding: Non-State Actors and International Stakeholders  | Friday, July 23 at 0830-1000 EDT
  • Beyond Silencing the Guns: Reflections on Challenges and Recommendations for the Way Forward  | Friday, July 23 at 1030-1200 EDT

This event will take place virtually via Zoom. Registration is required. To attend please register via the “RSVP” link above.

The Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding is a continent-wide network of  23 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 generate knowledge, engage with, inform, 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. More information about the SVNP can be found here:


Chukwuemeka Eze

Chukwuemeka Eze

Executive Director, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)
Nicholas Ozor

Dr. Nicholas Ozor

Executive Director, African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS)
Cheryl Hendricks

Cheryl Hendricks

Executive Director, African Institute of South Africa, Human Sciences Research Council 

Mvemba Phezo Dizolele

Senior Advisor, International Republican Institute 

Jon Temin

Director, Africa Program, Freedom House
Helen Kezie-Nwoah

Helen Kezie-Nwoha

Executive Director, Women's International Peace Centre (Uganda)
Fredrick Ogenga

Fredrick Ogenga

Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Professor of Communications, Rongo University and Founding Director, Center for Media, Democracy, Peace & Security (CMDPS)
Franklin Oduro

Franklin Oduro

Deputy Executive Director/Director of Programs , Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD)
Fritz Nganje

Fritz Nganje

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

Jok Madut Jok

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

Oge Onubogu

Director, West Africa, United State Institute of Peace (USIP)
Cyril Obi

Cyril Obi

Program Director, African Peacebuilding Network, Social Science Research Council
Anas El Gomati

Anas El Gomati

Founder and General Director, Sadeq Institute

Fr. Alain Nzadi-a-Nzadi

Director, Centre d'Etudes pour l'Action Sociale (CEPAS)

Max Amanu

Programs Officer, Northwinds Foundation 

Aïssatou Hayatou

Acting Head, AUDA-NEPAD Coordination Unit, African Union Commission

Thompson Ayodele

Director, Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (Nigeria)
Hannah Beckett Akuiyibo

Hannah Akuiyibo

Program Associate

Osei Baffour Frimpong

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

Arsène Brice Bado

Southern Voices Network Scholar;
Associate researcher, CERAP

Hosted By

Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, 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 U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more

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