Experts Advocate A Generation of Peace-building Leaders for Africa


Akinwale Akintunde
Conflict resolution experts have agreed that there can not be a better time than now for Africa to start building peace leaders on the continent.

The experts spoke in Lagos Tuesday on ‘Peace and Conflict Resolution in Society and Business Organisations’ at the fourth edition of Senior Executives Networking Session organised by Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), founded by a renowned political economist, Professor Pat Utomi, in conjunction with Africa Peace Fellows.

The experts included Professor Ernest Uwazie, Director, Centre for African Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Marlyn Jones, Professor of Criminal Justice at the California State University Sacramento, California, USA and Dr. Robin Carter, Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services and Interim Executive Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

According Uwazie, though conflict is inevitable,  prevention of conflict should be the desired goal.
He said it was always better to prevent conflict as much as possible.

The conflict resolution expert urged everyone in the society to try as much as possible not to do harm to their fellow human beings, adding that in a situation where harm has been done, they should do their level best not to do further harm.

He said one sure way to prevent conflict and build a culture of peace is to respect peoples’ interest.
Uwazie emphasised that wars are not good and the society should everything to prevent it.
He also encouraged the use of dialogue to a large extent, adding that using dialogue may not resolve conflict over night but it would pay off at the end.

In her contribution, Carter noted that conflict is universal and the desire for peace is also universal.
She called for more collaboration, building of goodwill, having a trusted relationship and endeavour to get feedback as a panacea for conflict resolution.

For Jones, empowering the youths would go a long way in conflict resolution.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Professor Utomi noted that there could not be a better time than now to discuss the issue of conflict resolution especially in Nigeria.

Utomi said the paradox of conflict and progress was that prosperity and peace work hands in gloves.
According to him, the prosperity from adversity is largely one in which the new conflict is a conflict of competition of ideas, options on how to draw from man’s native genius to create wealth, mindful that externalities associated
He said the place of the family, the ultimate school of values, is critical to a world that could better manage conflict.