The Wilton Park conferences on Peacebuilding in Africa series has served as an important convening space for shaping peacebuilding ideas and agendas, bringing together diverse African voices and perspectives in a time of global transitions and complexities. This year’s conference connected these complexities and transitions with the stagnation of global and regional multilateral norms and the consequent need for African ownership of its peacebuilding agenda. Both youth and the state must play key roles in this process. Key conclusions emerging from the conference are:
- Although African youth are demonstrably exercising their voices and agencies, this has rarely led to lasting peace due to systemic barriers.
- The nature of the state is critical for translating youth agency into the pursuit of lasting peace and there consequently needs to be sustained theoretical and empirical engagement with the idea of the “state.”
- Intergenerational dialogue and co-leadership might pave the way for productive engagement between the state and youth with the aim of developing lasting peace.
- Ongoing global transformations, along with their interactions with pre-existing trends, are undermining the entrenchment of multilateral norms, peace and security.
- This erosion and stagnation of norms has necessitated African ownership of its peacebuilding agenda by securing the financial autonomy of the AU’s peace and security programmes and peacekeeping operations as well as by engaging a wide array of civil society and business actors.
- Knowledge production for enhancing youth engagement in peacebuilding and investment in platforms that enhance this knowledge production and capacity building for youth, women and other marginalised groups should constitute an agenda for sustained reflection.
Alagaw Ababu Kifle & Max Ober
Wilton Park | September 2023
Wilton Park reports are brief summaries of the main points and conclusions of a
conference. The reports reflect rapporteurs’ personal interpretations of the proceedings.
As such they do not constitute any institutional policy of Wilton Park nor do they
necessarily represent the views of the rapporteur. Wilton Park reports and any
recommendations contained therein are for participants and are not a statement of policy
for Wilton Park, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) or His
Should you wish to read other Wilton Park reports, or participate in upcoming Wilton Park
events, you can find out more here.
To receive our monthly bulletin and latest updates, please subscribe here