11-12 May 2022 Int’l Symposium on African Endogenous Governance

“Revisiting Theories and Practices of Endogenous Governance in Africa” Co-Convened by Afrospectives and Global Humanity for Peace Institute will take place on Zoom on 11-12 May 2022 at 14.00 – 18.00 UK (Summer) Time. Register HERE in advance for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Read about the Symposium below. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SYMPOSIUM FLYER.

Africa, the continent where humanity created its first communities, has always had rich philosophies, wisdom and praxis aimed at developing humanising systems of governance through regulating power, enriching social interactions, distributing resources fairly, and harmonising human’s relationships with nature and other non-human entities. Examples of this rich heritage include the political traditions of Ubuntu of the Bantu peoples, the Kurukan Fuga Charter of the Mandingos, the Xeer of Somalis, the Gacaca in Rwanda, the Gada of Oromos and the Madqa of the Afars, to name but a few. Africa is also home to incredibly diverse socio-political organisations ranging from multi-ethnic and multi-cultural empire structures to small homogeneous community formations. It is the continent par excellence where sophisticated methods of consensus-building, conflict transformation, and relational reconciliation have been elaborated.

More than 60 years after formal independence, the legacies of coloniality that have perpetuated the prejudices, toxic viewpoints and dehumanising behaviours inherited from colonial domination continue to shape the worldviews and imaginations of African decision-makers. In most African countries, political and institutional mimicry of the ruling classes has led to the emergence of fragile nation-states, unsustainable socio-political and economic structures and inappropriate governance policies, all based on Western paradigms. In this context, some countries such as Botswana, Rwanda and Somaliland, have initiated interesting experiments to revitalise indigenous and traditional values and practices in response to people’s needs. 

To explore these significant examples of endogenous (vs. exogenous) government systems within the African continent, we are proposing an international symposium, co-convened by the think-tank Afrospectives and the Global Humanity for Peace Institute. The Symposium will bring together high-level panellists who are African scholars, experts and practitioners, including:  

  • Scholars who have done research in the field of concrete systems of governance in Africa
  • Experts who have studied policies and practices of traditional governance in Africa at all levels
  • Thinkers who have been reflecting on the relevance of African endogenous humanist and political philosophies and their contribution to Africa and to humanity

The panelists and participants will be invited to:

  • Present the result of their field-research on endogenous systems of governance;
  • Identify and discuss specificities and  communalities and complementarities between different governance systems in Africa;
  • Present and analysis examples of revitalisation and modernisation of traditional systems of governance to respond to current needs;
  • Discuss the contribution that African endogenous visions and perspectives on governance could make to the current crisis;
  • Define some guidelines for African countries willing to revitalize their indigenous systems of governance.

Together, the panellists and the participants will identify inclusive forms of community decision-making aimed at consensus building, especially those demonstrating respect for diversity, mutual listening, dialogue, and understanding. Practices highlighted are those rooted in values that are more deeply human, more communitarian, and more in tune with the spiritual nature of human life. Thus the examples to be explored can help re-envision the contribution of traditional African governance practices to the emergence of contemporary Africa approaches to democracy.

Register HERE in advance for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Read HERE about the speakers, their bios and the abstracts of their presentations.

Global Humanity for Peace Institute

On 18th November 2021, Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, and University of Wales (Trinity St David) jointly launched Global Humanity for Peace Institute. The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Medwin Hughes, and the Chairman of the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, Mr Sharif Istvan Horthy, will be leading the Institute’s Board of Directors. Scherto Gill has been appointed as the Institute’s inaugural Chair and Director. She will be facilitating its ongoing programmes and activities. 

The following will be the focus of Global Humanity for Peace Institute:

  • Fostering collective healing (including healing the wounds from past atrocities and the wounds of our planet), enriching community regeneration, and advancing social justice and global solidarity;
  • Developing UNESCO Academy for empowering youth leadership, nurturing youth transformative competences and providing professional development opportunities to facilitators of collective healing and community regeneration;
  • Harmonising holistic human well-being with our planet’s flourishing, and supporting the development of governance processes that are values-based, dialogue-centred, and well-being sensitive;
  • Encouraging educational transformation and inspiring a culture of caring in educational institutions;
  • Creating spaces for deep encounter, deep listening, and deep dialogue for engendering greater harmony amongst all that is.

All these activities will be closely aligned with UNESCO’s objectives.

Desk Review Report: Mapping Approaches to Healing the Wounds of Slavery

Supported by the UNESCO Slave Route Project, the GHFP has completed a Desk Review aimed at mapping meaningful approaches to healing the wounds of slavery.

The Desk Review draws on a conception of healing wounds that perceives the wound of trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery as systematic dehumanisation. This in turn highlights the imperative of healing as addressing dehumanisation through four processes:

  • Process One is directed at dehumanising acts per se;
  • Process Two is directed at the traumatic effects of being dehumanised;
  • Process Three is directed at the dehumanising relationships; and
  • Process Four is directed at the structural conditions that enable and have enabled institutionalised dehumanisation.

In reviewing the relevant literature and case studies, the Desk Review has mapped out some of the key practical approaches to healing. Understanding the significance of collective healing and taking practical steps towards healing are amongst the most powerful ways to eradicate racism.

2nd Int’l Symposium: Collective Healing of Traumas: New Possibilities for Peace in Communities Sept 2019

Collective and community initiatives can empower those suffering from the wounds of a violent past to collaborate towards mutual healing, thus creating new possibilities for peace. To better understand the significance of these community-rooted collective healing endeavours, the GHFP and the UNESCO Slave Route Project hosted a one-day International Symposium, at the Royal Society for the Arts in London. The event brought together practitioners and scholars who have experiences and expertise in the field of communal and collective healing of mass traumas, for an intimate dialogue focused around three core questions:
  1. What are the typical psychological and social symptoms encountered in communities resulting from the experience and legacies of past atrocities?
  2. What might constitute collective healing in these situations? 
  3. How do community-based processes and practices contribute to collective healing? (And how would the community evaluate collective healing? What are the relevant indicators that some healing has taken place?)
Presentations included the Australia’s journey of healing through the Sorry Day marches, the Healing the Wounds of History programme in Lebanon, Foresee Research Group’s restorative healing approaches in Hungary, critical reflection on the structural conditions of healing from the perspectives of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation, the Initiatives of Change International’s Trustbuilding in the communities programme, and the Peace Charter of Forgiveness and Reconciliation.    Read here the Collective_Healing_of_Trauma_Concept_Note.  Please return soon for updates on the Symposium’s participants, their bios, and presentations, and conclusions.

Overcoming structural racism requires more of people, but also healing

Louis Menand writes in New Yorker February 4th 2019 issue:

“institutional racism” or “structural racism”—is much harder to address. It requires more of people than just striking down a law.

Read the full article entitled: “The Supreme Court Case That Enshrined White Supremacy in Law How Plessy v. Ferguson shaped the history of racial discrimination in America.”

UNGA: Commemorating the abolition of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade

General Assembly 73rd Session: 38th Plenary Meeting, 21 Nov 2018
Commemoration of the abolition of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Speakers Call for Greater Awareness‑Raising about Dangers of Racism, Prejudice, as General Assembly Reviews Education Programme on Transatlantic Slave Trade – Agenda Item 121.

http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/watch/general-assembly-73rd-session-38th-plenary-meeting/5970052087001/?term=