African Peacebuilding Network (APN) staff traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to attend the First Annual International Conference in the African Leadership Centre’s (ALC) Leadership and Society Series. Held June 23–25, 2014, this conference focused on the theme “Security and Society in Africa.” The event was hosted by APN’s partner organization, the African Leadership Centre (ALC) of Kings College London, in collaboration with the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Nairobi.
The three-day conference sought to uncover how, and in what ways, African societies have changed since the Cold War and to consider the security implications of these changes, in particular whether existing international, regional, and national approaches to security are adequate or reliable enough to react to current changes on the continent while also being able to fully respond to new and emerging threats.
A policy roundtable on the topic “Developmental Post-conflict Reconstruction in Africa” was held on the first day at the University of Nairobi. This was followed by two days of presentations and discussions of academic papers written by a mixture of senior and junior scholars working in the African peacebuilding field. A total of sixteen papers were presented, including one by APN program director Dr. Cyril Obi, who spoke on “Contending ‘Securities’ in Nigeria’s Niger Delta: Exploring the Transnational and Local Dimensions.” Other participants included APN advisory board member Professor Maxi Schoeman and APN-Hub research and communications officer Dr. Mshai Mwangola.
All papers presented at the conference will be published as a collection in December 2014, both as an edited book tentatively entitled Rethinking Security and Society in Africa and as the inaugural issue of the ALC’s Leadership and Society Journal. The book will be jointly edited by Dr. ‘Funmi Olonisakin (APN advisory board member and former ALC director), Dr. Godwin Murunga (ALC director), and Dr. Eka Ikpe (Kings College London). The journal, scheduled for open-access digital release in January 2015, will be coedited by Dr. Olonisakin and Dr. Murunga, together with Dr. Abiodun Alao (ALC).
The conference was supported by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences).
Location: African Leadership Centre and University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya