If we pursue peace only as an absence of direct violence, ultimately we're camouflaging human misery and well-being. It is not well with the society if only half of the society does not realise well-being. It is not well with the society if it keeps returning to war every few years, and that's the story of the continent of Africa.Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin, Vice President (International, Engagement & Service)
15 May 2023
King's academics discuss youth, protest, and peacebuilding with the state in Africa
Academics from the African Leadership Centre recently co-hosted and attended a town hall discussion on youth, protest and peace-building with the state in Africa.
Academics from the African Leadership Centre recently co-hosted and attended a Town Hall discussion titled - 'Youth, protest and peace-building: conversation and negotiation with the state in Africa'. Speakers included Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin and Dr Damilola Adegoke, alongside attendance from Professor Abiodun Alao.
Professor Olonisakin spoke about youth movements in Africa over the previous decades and reflected on the lack of engagement with young people in conversations surrounding security and peace on the continent.
Professor Olonisakin proposed exploring the linkages between peace and wellbeing, as opposed to more established discussions linking peace and security, or peace being the absence of war. She suggested moving towards an integrative research approach that examines peace, and the pathways towards attaining positive peace, or negative peace - which may subsequently come at the expense of unequal levels of wellbeing for individuals/groups in society.
Dr Adegoke later spoke on research conducted by the African Leadership Centre's data lab which focuses on Peace, Security and Development. The data offers fascinating insight into discourses on peace, and how it is encompassed within context and social media content.
The research project examines social media content in the continent, in particular, Facebook and Twitter, discerning between distinct age groups. And offering fascinating insight to discourses into Peace, and how it is encompassed within context and social media content.
The event was held as part of the annual 2023 Wilton Park series, examining peace-building in Africa.
The Town Hall discussion was co-hosted by the African Leadership Centre (ALC) and Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi in collaboration with The African Peacebuilding Network (APN) of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) New York, and Wilton Park.
Since 2015, the African Leadership Centre has annually collaborated with Wilton Park and the African Peacebuilding Network of the Social Science Research Council, New York to host a series of convenings on peacebuilding in Africa. The Town Hall discussion took place on 18 April, and was part of the 2023 conference themed “Peacebuilding in Africa: transitions, complexities and responses”.