Africa continues to be affected by numerous conflicts that have been devastating in terms of the loss of human life, the significant drain on limited socio-economic resources and the destruction of infrastructure and social cohesion resulting in a serious impediment to social and economic development throughout the continent. Managing such problems requires an in-depth understanding of conflict and a broad repertoire of problem-solving skills. Conflict prevention also involves the ability to track and analyze disputes and to offer skilled intervention before such tensions escalate into armed conflict.
The major goal of this training programme is to enhance the capacities of officials on the continent in conflict analysis and peacemaking, and to contribute to providing a pool of trained peacemakers in government, regional and sub-regional organizations, UN peace operations and among key non-governmental organizations in Africa.
At the end of the training programme, participants will be able to:
Identify sources of conflict;
Analyse the interests and concerns of parties to a conflict;
Plan and engage in interest-based negotiation;
Apply conflict analysis, negotiation and mediation theories.
The training programme is structured in four modules as outlined below:
Module 1: Sources of Conflict and the Spectrum of Conflict Handling Mechanisms
Module 2: Negotiation Theory and Practice
Module 3: Mediation Theory and Practice
Module 4: Principles of Reconciliation
The training programme provides a mix of conceptual theory, case studies and skills training. Participants will be provided with a comprehensive framework for understanding how disputes begin, escalate, and are resolved. This will include a systematic overview of the nature and causes of conflict, different types of conflict, the process of conflict escalation, the various transformations that occur during escalation, and the process of conflict de-escalation. Different kinds of negotiation and mediation will be reviewed, as well as the various stages, and common obstacles to negotiation and mediation. Several case studies of past or current conflict situations will be presented by senior officials who have been involved in efforts to resolve them. Skills training will build on the conceptual framework described above by providing hands-on practice in the skills needed to carry out effective conflict analysis and peacemaking.
The training programme is designed for mid and senior level African government officials from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Offices of Presidents and Prime Ministers, for mid and senior level staff from regional and subregional organizations and UN peace operations on the continent, as well as representatives of key non-governmental organizations.