The World's First Grassroots Peace Index
The African Peacemaking Database (APD) is a collection of knowledge intended to catalogue and nourish, for the very first time, traditional and daily practices of positive peace throughout the African continent.
There is already impressive, groundbreaking work undertaken by the United Nations and private thinktanks, which focuses on the levels of conflict and inequality found in the structures of a nation’s institutional building blocks. Existing database research, such as the Human Development Index by the UNDP and the Global Peace Index of the Institute for Economics & Peace, highlight peace within the context of the institutions of government, uses data sources and definitions of peace established in the Global North (click here for a map of conflict data headquarters), and is concentrated on measurement and analysis of existing practices. However, there is no peace database with definitions created by Africans, nor an index to-date which shares existing peacemaking tools, practices, philosophies, and cultures found among everyday people. The APD fills these significant gaps by partnering with the the United Religions Initiative so local, intercultural Pan-African leaders can lead peace mapping workshops in existing multicultural circles on a country-by-country basis.
We use an Indigenous Methodology, created by Dr. Bagele Chilisa of the University of Botswana, centered on local knowledge from women, youth, and elders so community strengths of reconciliation, daily peace practices, and rituals of music, dance and storytelling are shared with the wider world. Let’s give the power back to the people and share the wisdom of Africa with the world, and complement this existing institutional work with a catalogue that exists at the community level.
Western knowledge is widespread and has run its course in trying to solve the world’s conflicts and divisions. It is time to highlight the African we-not-I ways of knowing with global consciousness for the sake of balancing our approaches to maintaining peace, harmony, and security in Africa and beyond. Also, this work is important to institutionalize peacemaking technology from the bottom-up into national policy, teaching materials, and the African Union early warning framework (CEWS) to manifest the AU 2063 agenda of a free, prosperous, and united continent.
We are currently working in Malawi on a comprehensive indigenous peace mapping program with the Department of National Unity, and we are working in Ethiopia on cataloguing nearly 70 traditional forms of reconciliation with the Ethiopian Ministry of Peace. Initial database findings will be released in 2024. We hope to expand our peace mapping to 5 new countries in late 2024 by hosting our first annual Indigenous Peace Mapping Retreat at the University of Botswana.
Our headquarters are in Lilongwe.