This program is based on the work that the Africa Platform Initiative has carried over the past two years under both the Social Contract Initiative and lessons learnt from our support to and engagement with the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and StateBuilding (IDPS), a multi-stakeholder initiative for good governance and nationally informed development agenda. More specifically it is drawn from our work with governments and civil society in post conflict countries that are part of the IDPS g7+ group (www.g7plus.org)
In 2011 The UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/208 on Culture and Development, thus reaffirming that culture is an important factor of social inclusion and poverty eradication, providing for economic growth and ownership of development processes. In the face of the identity challenge and tensions, taking advantage of the respect and collective value that is placed on cultural diversity and the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue is critical to forge more inclusive, stable and resilient societies. The rehabilitation of cultural heritage and cultural industries can also help communities affected by conflict to regain a sense of dignity and normalcy.
One area where this becomes especially critical is in getting the society to dialogue on the best system and process of governance, based not on a global standard or system, but on the leadership styles and democratic ideas rooted in culture and traditions.
This project seeks to use the rich cultures and traditions centered around leadership and governance, to promote debate and build dialogue on the framework for a social contract that puts citizens and society at the core of development and democracy. It will seek to take consideration of cultural contexts, including religious dynamics, as an entry point to reduce resistance in this conflict-resolution initiatives and peace-building processes.
How it works
It involves three sets of activities:
The first stage is interaction and gaining the support of key holders of culture and traditions- a team of traditional leaders drawn from different sections of society. These are engaged through reflections and dialogue sessions focused on traditional best practices on governance and Peacebuilding drawn from the community’s historical cultural records and recollection. We corroborate this with historical writings to get information on the leadership styles of various groups. In the second stage we use information gathered to stir up a national dialogue and create awareness for a participatory governance framework based on culture and traditional forms of leadership. This will be through a series of creative expression formats. National drama, poetry, song and skits. Finally, in partnership with the government at national and local level, as well as Learning Institutions (such as Universities) we create a joint forum for dialogue on the participatory Governance and Social contract options based on the strong cultural and leadership practices known and acceptable to the community and the leadership within government.