ACPR Volume 1 Issue 2 is a special issue showcasing the works of African-based scholars. It is unique not only for its rich and diverse voices of young and emerging African scholars who directly experience the everyday African realities but also for their refreshing perspectives on how old African ways of making peace at the inter-personal and communal levels can provide real lessons for addressing some of the conflicts we face today in the continent.
The essays in this issue were presented in Dakar, Senegal, in December 2009 at the “Peacemaking in West Africa: Historical Methods and Modern Applications” conference, a part of the Peace Initiative in West Africa project of the West African Research Association (WARA). The conference brought together young scholars from Africa (especially across West Africa), Europe, and America and provided a unique opportunity for American and European scholars and policy experts to hear authentic African intellectual and scholarly voices; it also provided promising young scholars in Africa with an opportunity to make their mark on Western intellectual and policy debates on peace and conflict in Africa.
It is this spirit of making African voices on African issues heard beyond Africa that fostered the strong collaboration between Johns Hopkins University Professor Emeritus I. William Zartman, Co-Academic Coordinator of the WARA conference in Dakar, and several young emerging scholars based in Africa that resulted in this issue, and ACPR is honored to have Professor Zartman serve as guest editor of it.
Each of the articles included in the issue address traditional methods of peacemaking rooted in the rich and ancient cultures of the peoples of West Africa while also bringing unique perspectives to the conversation. The essays by Ken Ahorsu and Robert Ame, Tanto Richard Ndi, Henry Kam Kah, Moses Aluaigba, and David Udofia describe the peacemaking activities of senior councils among the Ewe in Ghana, the Bagam, and Bamenyam in Cameroon, the Cross River peoples in Nigeria and Cameroon, and the Tiv and Ibibio regions of Nigeria, respectively. The two-part paper by Felicia Ohwovoriole and Oluwaseum Foluso Phillips addresses micro and meso level marital conflicts among the Urhobo and Yoruba peoples of Nigeria. Three other papers examine present-day national level conflicts where traditional peacemaking practices are relevant. Kim Mahling Clark, an American-based Africanist, addresses Senegal’s secessionist revolt in Casamance, and Ogu Sunny Enemaku provides an illuminating analysis of Nigeria’s handing of the conflicts associated with public health policies to eradicate the avian influenza. Finally, Kehinde Bolaji’s paper examines the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework.
ACPR Volume 1 Issue 2 will be live on our website mid November.