Press Release Peace for Africa Conference

13 June 2013

Peace for Africa Conference


Members of the African diaspora in Northern Ireland gathered in St Mary’s University College, Belfast, on 10th June 2013 to agree a series of resolutions on the peaceful development of Sub-Saharan Africa. Organised by the International Office at the College, the Centre for Global Education and the All Nations Ministries, the event attracted community and NGO representatives from eleven different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under the banner of the 'Peace for Africa Initiative' the conference agreed on nine key resolutions which will be distributed to the G8 Office, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, the Stormont All Party Group on International Development and the African Union. Individual testimonies were heard from all the countries present and the event finished with a networking session and a commitment to develop ideas further.


Ernest Mulolwa, Chairperson of Congo's Tears NGO, commented on the event. "This initiative, Peace for Africa, has been very useful in bringing the African diaspora together to provide us with a united voice on political, economic and social issues that are relevant to Africans the world over."


Dr Aidan Donaldson from Project Zambia noted: "If Sub-Saharan Africa is freed to develop it will do so peacefully. Africans should have more influence over the destiny of the continent. Together Africans have the resources, the skills and the hope to position Africa as a global leader. All that is needed is for the rest of the world to provide genuine solidarity."


Representatives and spokespersons from the African diaspora in Northern Ireland conveyed the following resolutions to the international community gathering at the G8 Summit. Eleven African countries were represented: Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi, DR Congo, Cameroon and Somalia.


Since April 2013 representatives from the African diaspora in Northern Ireland, from nine Sub-Saharan African countries, have been working on a series of agreed priorities from their perspective for the peaceful and prosperous development of Africa. Underlying all of this is a call to the international community, the African diaspora and regional governments to work to build a sincere partnership for the progressive development of Sub-Saharan Africa.


The G8 Summit to be held in Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, on 17th and 18th June 2013, offers a unique opportunity for the African diaspora to present a case for change on issues relevant to the people of Africa. The intention of this initiative was to come to a consensus around key issues relevant to peace and prosperity for the people of Africa. The global leaders - the G8 and European Union included - collectively have the resources and power to bring both of these things to the continent. This statement and consensus on behalf of those who have chosen to settle in Northern Ireland is one intervention that the African diaspora can make collectively on behalf of family and communities back in Africa.


With this initiative we hope to send out a strong message that the solutions to the political and economic problems that affect so many people across Africa are achievable - if the political leaders around the world take effective action to create a peaceful and prosperous continent.





Peace Building

Peace and prosperity go together. Gun controls should be prioritised in peace building. This should include demilitarisation and a focus on personal security. The African Union should have a greater role in building safe communities.


Food Security

The international community and regional governments need to provide basic food security for families. There should also be the provision of seeds and fertiliser for sustainable development. There is no need in this day and age for children to go hungry anywhere in Africa.




Ensuring Democracy

Power needs to be democratically accountable. Politicians should be subjected to the popular vote. Checks and balances to power should be constitutionally enshrined. The independence of different arms of government is essential. There is a need to look at how sanctions against states impact onto the lives of families and communities. There needs to be international sensitivity to the political independence of African countries.


Overcoming Poverty

There needs to be a drive for general poverty alleviation. A common African provision of housing and clothing, and opportunities for personal enhancement should be created. Planning needs to be inclusive. Aid assistance needs to be driven by the essential needs of African communities not political contingency.


Confronting Corruption

The international community and regional administrations need to ensure that all public servants are accountable to the public and its needs. Leaders should be suitably qualified for public service and committed to the principles of democracy and equality. Constitutions should be amended to limit executive power to two terms. Nepotism needs to be criminalised. Any sanctions should be looked at in terms of the impact onto families and communities.



The Use of Natural Resources

African natural resources should be utilised to ensure African development. External, neo-colonial influences should be addressed or regulated. The effects of Climate Change addressed immediately. Transparency in business operations needs to be legislated for. The systematic exploitation of African natural resources and the exploitation of labour should be addressed by the regional governments and international community. Africans should have control of the use of and benefits from mineral extraction. This single issue resolved could pay for all of the other issues. There should be free preferential access to international markets in the genuine spirit of development.




Africans should be taught to love their countries, to develop a desire to work for and enhance Africa. There needs to be a profiling of African culture worldwide and the building of a value base that is sourced in African tradition and philosophy. African cultural artefacts which were the spoils of colonialism need to be returned and entrusted to the African peoples. There needs to be a build-up in confidence in African societies.



Health Provision

The provision of key medical supplies and support needs to be widely and freely available. There needs to be the building of medical clinics and the supply of personnel needs to be retained. Sanitation and free clean water supplies should be provided as preventive measures in the fight against disease. The Millennium Development Goals need to be extended substantially beyond 2015 and invested in generously.


Educational Access

Free public education should be provided for all children from primary to tertiary levels. Fees should be abolished and teacher training extended. Governments should be the key provider in an education for all culture.



Photograpgh of guest lecturer

Picture: Jacinta, a guest lecturer from Tangaza College, Nairobi, Kenya, addressing the 'Peace for Africa' conference


For further information contact Dr Gerard McCann at St Mary’s University College,

Tel: 02890 268301 or email Dr McCann

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