The project of the Panafrican School of Peace: The progress of June 1, 2016

The project of the Panafrican School of Peace aims to meet three major expectations:

  • The involvement of Côte d'Ivoire, through the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, in the search, preservation, maintenance and promotion of peace in Africa and in the world.
  • The creation, within the FHB Foundation, of a high-level training and research center on Peace.
  • International cooperation in the culture of peace, bringing together various partners, be they international organizations such as the African Union, UNESCO, universities or research centers.

This School would strengthen the capacity of political, economic, cultural, religious and military decision-makers; Civil society actors, groups of people or institutions wishing to train themselves in the culture of peace. Under the project, a proportion of women at least equal to that of men is to be expected. This is justified by the important role of women in the family and society in inculcating, in particular children, the values ​​of peace and citizenship.

This briefing provides an update on the status of the Pan-African Peace School project under the aegis of the African Union, UNESCO and the Government of Côte d'Ivoire.

I - Project History

1.1 The recommendation of the Network of Foundations and Research Institutions

On September 20-21, 2013, at the headquarters of the African Union, 45 foundations and research institutions have created the Network of Foundations and Research Institutions for the Promotion of Research and Development, under the auspices of the African Union and UNESCO of a culture of peace in Africa. At its meeting held in Yamoussoukro from September 21-23, 2014, on the occasion of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the birth of the concept of culture of peace, the Network recommended to the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research, to establish a high-level Pan-African Center under the aegis and with the cooperation and support of the African Union and UNESCO.

1.2. The decision of the African Union

For example, at the 24th Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa on January 20-21, 2015, the African Union adopted, under the items proposed by the Member States, N° Assembly/Dec. 558 (XXIV), point G: 22 (ii), which requests the Commission of the African Union "to study with UNESCO and the Government of Côte d'Ivoire the possibility of establishing a "School of Peace".

1.3. The resolution of the Executive Board of UNESCO

The creation of a "School of Peace", known as the "Pan-African High Level Training and Research Center for the Culture of Peace", presented by Côte d'Ivoire at the 197th session of the Executive Council of the " UNESCO, held from October 7-22, 2015, was adopted unanimously by the members of the Executive Board.
In the decision, the Executive Council:

  • Takes note of the establishment of the Center in Yamoussoukro (Côte d'Ivoire) under the aegis of the African Union and UNESCO;
  • Requests the Director-General to take appropriate measures and to put in place mechanisms for its implementation and monitoring;
  • Recommends that the General Conference adopt the establishment of the Center at its 38th session in November 2015;
  • Recommends that the General Conference delegate to the Executive Council the authority and prerogatives for the establishment of the Center as a category 2 center for UNESCO. Since the adoption of these decisions and resolutions, effective implementation of the project has been initiated by the Government of Côte d'Ivoire.

II - Progress of the Project

2.1. The tripartite technical meeting

In pursuance of this decision to establish the Peace School, the Ivorian Government organized a tripartite technical meeting (Côte d'Ivoire-African Union-UNESCO) on May 21-22, 2015 in Abidjan, which elaborated:

  1. The concept note of the project;
  2. The strategy and mechanisms for its funding;
  3. The roadmap for its implementation;

A steering committee was set up at the end of the meeting. It is composed of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UNESCO Office in Abidjan, the Ivorian National Commission for UNESCO and the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research. In particular, it is responsible for designating a scientific committee which would include a high-level expert from each African region; And to elaborate the terms of reference for the feasibility study of the School of Peace.

2.2. Funding for the feasibility study

The study will be conducted by three consultants (one anglophone and two francophone) for a two-month period. It requires a budget of $ 35,000 (USD) to be provided by the Government of Côte d'Ivoire. A communication was introduced in the Council of Ministers on January 20, 2016.

2.3. The selection of consultants

UNESCO conducted a limited consultation, which allowed the selection of three consultants. The following were selected:

  • Mr. Olusegun Akinsanya, Nigerian, Regional Director of the Institute for Security Studies (Addis Ababa).
  • Mr. Simon Akindes, Benin, Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (United States).
  • Mr. Mathieu Lou Bamba, Professor of Philosophy at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny University, Secretary-General of the UNESCO National Commission (Côte d'Ivoire).

III - Diligences to be executed

3.1. The validation workshop of the feasibility study

As soon as the consultants have completed the feasibility study, a validation workshop will be held in Côte d'Ivoire in June 2016. The validated feasibility dossier will be handed over to the Ivorian Government for adoption by the Council of Ministers. It will then be forwarded to the African Union Commission for validation by the Specialized Technical Committee of the Ministers of Education of the African Union.

3.2. The inclusion on the agenda of the Conference of Heads of State and Government

The dossier of the School of Peace was to be submitted to the Conference of Heads of State and Government to be held on July 17-18, 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.

3.3. The signing of the Tripartite Framework Agreement

A Memorandum of Understanding for the School of Peace will be signed between the African Union, UNESCO and the Government of Côte d'Ivoire. This signature can take place either in Addis Ababa, at the headquarters of the AU or in Côte d'Ivoire.

Jean-Noël Loucou
General secretary

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