Our Founder: Mr. Deo Hakizimana
The Experience of African Authenticity and Openness to the World.
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Peoples freed from all forms of chains and looking to the future.
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The Union of Hearts and Minds for a Prosperous Africa
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CIRID, an institution dedicated to dialogue, peace and prosperity.


Published by Joel Hakizimana, Permanent Secretary, October 04, 2019

His Excellency Mr. Behgjet PACOLLI

On the 30th of May 2019, the Deputy-Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, President Beghjet PACCOLI, received the Permanent Secretary of CIRID, Mr. Joël HAKIZIMANA, head of the CIRID’s Delegation at Pristina.

At the Minister’s Conference Room of the Swiss Diamond Hotel, CIRID’s delegation was received by Kosovo’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Delegation led by H.E. Mr. Beghjet PACOLLI. They discussed the present situation in the International Geneva about Pan-African Initiatives launched by both partners to promote the Egyptian Community of Balkans in the Pan-African world.

H.E. Ramadan AVDIU, General Consul of the Republic of Kosovo to Geneva Meets with CIRID Geneva’s headquarters delegation, 13th of October 2018, General Consulate of Kosovo

Dr. Théogène-Octave GAKUBA, Director of the Academic Network on African Migrations, REFORMAF, hosts the meeting to Launch the CIRID’s Liaison Office of ECCAD, Canton of Geneva CIRID’s Workshop with Kosovo and Egyptian Community of Balkans at World Council of Churches with the support of Glob ethics

CIRID’s Workshop with Kosovo and Egyptian Community of Balkans at World Council of Churches with the support of Glob ethics

CIRID’s Side Event organized in Coordination with the United Nations 40th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council with Hon. Dr. Rubin ZEMON as Guest of Honor, 1st of March 2019, Palais des Nations, International Geneva

CIRID’s Side Event organized in Coordination with the United Nations 42nd human Rights Council with Hon. Mr. Veton BERISHA as Guest of Honor, 1st of July 2019, Palais des Nations, International Geneva, with the Support of UNMYK The Egyptian Community of Kosovo, is a minority recognized in the Constitution of the Republic since 2008 as an African-Kosovo minority integrated at all levels of the Kosovo State and deeply rooted in Ancient Egypt, during the Times of Pharaoh Rammesses II, according to former Veton BERISHA, Member of the Assembly of Kosovo and present at the CIRID’s meeting with the Dignatory Mr. PACOLLI. Facts in social sciences have been already proved by civil society organizations created during the Federal Republic of Yougoslavia, the Organization of the Egyptian Community of Balkan and a recent Al-Jazeera Documentary.

The Egyptian Community of Balkan is the oldest recorded and recognized African community living in Western Balkans, says a recent article published by the Council of Europe and written by Dr. ZEMON. The specificity of the State of Kosovo is that it is the only State in the world that has recognized the African minority in the Supreme Law of the Country, the Constitution The Community is represented at all levels of Government. These facts led to the launching by CIRID of the African-Balkan Dynamics of Dialogue project in coordination with the 40th and 41st United Nations Regular Sessions of the Human Rights Council after a Session held at the Geneva headquarters of the World Council of Churches in February 2019.

Minister Pacolli visited the 54 African countries and witnessed a vibrant Continent and dynamic communities, youth and cultures.

Supportive of the work of CIRID in averting conflicts through the Macky Sall Prize for Dialogue in Africa sponsored project by His Excellency Mr. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal, the Prime-Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo paid tribute to the Pan-African President Macky SALL and the people of his country Senegal, the first in Africa to have recognized the Independence of Kosovo in 2008.

The Permanent Secretary of CIRID was accompanied by Mr. Xhavit BUZHALA, the CIRID’s Representative at Pristina for South East Europe, Mr. Marcel MIKALA, Executive Director of the Macky Sall Prize for Dialogue in Africa, Mr. Carl-Gustav BJERTNES, Senior Advisor of the CIRID’s led African-Balkan Chamber of Commerce established in Geneva and Founder of SEEDS Investments, Mr. Ramadan JAHAJ, initiator of the Kosovo – CIRID friendship and member of the Kosovo Diaspora of Switzerland.

The high level visit in Pristina at the invitation of the Former President of Kosovo was coordinated by Mr Lul MJEKU, Head of the Political Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Isa OSMANI, Political Advisor to the Prime Minister, and Hon. Veton BERISHA, Member of Parliament for the Egyptian Liberal Party.

Mr. MJEKU hosted a panel discussion on Panafricanism and Kosova with guest speakers from CIRID in an interactive Dialogue with the Kosovo Diplomatic Corps at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.




The Prime Minister expressed “gratitude for the work of CIRID and its Permanent Secretary, Joël HAKIZIMANA, who is promoting the Legacy of Kosovo for a wider recognition of Kosovo, a country that promote ethnic and cultural diversity values in an inclusive society where the Egyptians are well integrated and enjoy equal constitutional and legal rights”.

Mr. Joel HAKIZIMANA, in return, paid tribute to the work of the President of the Government to rebuild the country after war and to consolidate relations with Egyptian Community of Balkans as well as with Africa.

He added that the friendship between Kosovo and CIRID was initiated by a Kosovo Citizen living in the Diaspora, Mr. Ramadan JAHAJ, who wished to see CIRID contributing in the development of brotherly relations between the multi-ethnic Kosovo, the Pan-African Diaspora, Africa and Switzerland.

The Permanent Secretary of CIRID also said the Founder of CIRID, Mr. Deo HAKIZIMANA, who serves currently as Commissioner for the Burundi’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, had blessed the CIRID’s Geneva initiative and requested that Kosovo and CIRID may focus in the promotion of the State as a pro- Pan-African Diaspora country as it is the only one in the world that has recognized the oldest and mostly unknown African minority, the Egyptians of the Balkans.

The Founder of CIRID’s message was also that the Egyptian Community of Balkan, through Kosovo, could strengthen relations between Balkan States and Africa, through Egypt, Senegal and other friends, in order to share best practices in dealing with the past, rebuilding after conflicts and promoting dialogue as a style in politics.

Image from the Prime Minister’s Office after the audience: From left to right: Isa OSMANI, Ramadan JAHAJ, Carl-Gustav BJERTNES, Joël HAKIZIMANA, Prime Minister Ramush HARADINAJ, Marcel MIKALA, Xhavit BUZHALA, Veton BERISHA.


After the Meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, the CIRID was invited for a lunch by the Prime Minister in the Capital of Kosovo. In the evening, the Catholic’s Permanent Secretary of CIRID and entire Delegation of CIRID where invited as guests of honor at the Alliance for a New Kosovo’s (AKR) Party Diner celebrating the Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Destiny – Night of Value – in Islam, being the blessed night before the end of Ramadan for the Muslim Community.






Hon. Dr. Rubin ZEMON, former Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of North Macedonia for the building of a Multicultural Society, was part of the Dîner offered by the Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, as a distinguished member and former President of the Organization of the Egyptian Community of Balkan. The two days visit in Pristina were also the occasion for CIRID’s Delegation to visit the City of Pristina, together with the Deputy Minister of Local Government, the Deputy Minister of Education, all of Egyptian descents, the Chair of the Egyptian Community of Balkans, the CEO of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce and Representatives of Women and Youth Civil Society organizations.



Guided tour of the Assembly of Kosovo, with Hon.Mr. Veton Berisha, Member of Parliament and distinguished Dignitaries of Egyptian Descent Members of the Ramush Haradinaj Governement.






Published by Joel Hakizimana, Permanent Secretary, September 29, 2019


Where do we come from? A history of violence, untold genocides and therefore, a past that we have not been able to reconcile with yet, just like it is the case with the 1972 Genocide of Hutus in Burundi and before that, beyond the African Great Lakes Region, in South West Africa, the 1908 Genocide of Herero people in Namibia, crimes against humanity that are still denied or unrecognized in the 21st century.

What kind of situations do we have today at the UN? Frankly, apart of the leadership of the President of Rwanda, H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, who was able to make the 1994 Genocide of the Tutsis of Rwanda recognized by the United Nations, elsewhere, it is a total silence. Look at the disaster in the East part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and its millions of deaths called Hutus or Tutsis or Banyamulenge or just Congolese people, children and women since the fall of Mobutu, and, look at South Soudan, Ituri, and there in West Africa, the situation with the Fulani People and these are just few cases as regard the beautiful, grand and wide continent called Africa.

The African – Balkan Dialogue Initiative launched by CIRID is very important both for us, the Egyptian people living in the Balkan Region for almost three thousand years and our brothers and sisters survivors of the Transatlantic Slave Trade living now in the Caribbean Region, the Americas, Brazil and so on and so forth and the most recent of our people, totally ignored but still sinking in front of our eyes, the young men and women from the Horn of Africa and North of Africa and West Africa who are crossing the Mediterranean See, and sinking in total silence. I am not ignoring the other minorities from the Balkan Region, you have to know that over there, we all have suffered in the 20th century and it is not my work to say who is right and who is wrong, we all have suffered in all countries of Balkan Region, and, we are silent about it. African – Balkan Dialogue and other efforts led by European Union, United States and United Nations are important, but for the Egyptians, we believe that it is Motherland Africa that can heal most of us.

There has been extraordinary events that have opened Dialogues in the aftermath of gross violation of Human Rights such as what has happened in South Africa with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission led by also extraordinary people such as the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the strong and yet soft leadership of the late Hero of Africa and the World, His Excellency Mr. Nelson Mandela, first President of Post-Apartheid South Africa.

From there, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions have been able to be created in Rwanda, Ivory Coast and most recently in the Republic of Gambia, if I go very fast to resume the situation, many African nations have resolved to create Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.

Today it is necessary that WE People from Africa living in the Continent and those who were forced to leave home, from the Egyptian Community of Balkan up to the most recent African Refugees waiting at the doors of Italy and Europe, it is necessary that we understand that we do face the same challenges, we do have a common past and therefore, we do share a common future.

The CIRID has launched the African – Balkan Dialogue during the 40th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council with an aim to promote the idea of a Pan-African Truth and Reconciliation Platform so we can Unite our struggles, sorrows, dreams and common vision to build up a better and safer world. Perhaps it is only possible with a United Africa!

A better world include the recognition of my people, the Egyptians, as a people deeply rooted in the Africa’s Greatest Times during the Reign of Pharaoh Ramesses the Second who is still an icon for many Pan-Africanists and leaders of today.

I will not tell you about the Social Anthropology and History of the Egyptian Community of Balkan, my colleague the Honourable Prof. Dr. Rubin ZEMON has given to you a comprehensive presentation about our people. I want just to remind some of the recent developments that the Government of my Country, Kosovo, has been able to achieve so far.

It is the first and only country in the world that recognizes the Egyptian Community of Balkan as an ethnic Minority in Kosovo and therefore do have provisions to promote, protect and defend that minority since the 15th of June 2008.

As you know, States can’t do all the work alone. When Mr. HAKIZIMANA Joel led the Delegation to Kosovo by the end of May 2019, they met with the Head of Government, the Prime Minister His Excellency Mr. Ramush HARADINAJ, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E. Mr. Behgjet PACOLLI, Former President of the Republic of Kosovo, and had excellent moments with these key leaders with the facilitation of my Community. The two personalities do not belong to my political party, and still we did work together for the benefit of the minority of minorities, the Egyptians of Kosovo.

With these two top Government leaders and the only one parliamentarian of Egyptian descent that I do represent here, we were able to agree that Kosovo deserve a Secretary of State for Pan-African Affairs. This is necessary in order to look at those challenges I have just overlooked in my first part of the presentation, and, show strong evidences of great opportunities that we can develop all together with Pan-African organizations. Opportunities are diverse in the areas of learning to live together in a multicultural world and of course it will enable us to do business together through various projects that are now already in the pipelines such as the African - Balkan Chamber of Commerce which is based in Pristina and Geneva with the facilitations of CIRID and the friends of Kosovo both in Switzerland, the Balkan and in Africa.

Here, I want to send my warmest and deepest respects to a personality I have not yet met, but that I know he seats as the President of this present Human Rights Council Cycle, the Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal. Please send to him my respect again, because he represent the very first country in Africa that has recognized not only my people, but also my country, the Republic of Kosovo, as a dignified member of Nations thus enabling us to strive for more unity and regional reconciliation in the Western Balkan Region. I also thank all the friends of Kosovo. Danke! Falaminderit!

Before I conclude about the African – Balkan Dialogue, I want to say that when CIRID came to Pristina, the Team of CIRID was also able to meet with leaders of Egyptian Descent that are also high level Government officials such as the Deputy Minister of Local Government and the Deputy Minister of Education and Women NGO Representatives. I hope the full report will be soon released.

Mr. Permanent Secretary, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Representatives,
The Collapse of Yugoslavia after 1999 has shown the world that it is necessary to never forget that War is still possible everywhere even at the doors of Europe. Thanks to God and the former United States President Bill Clinton my country is still present on earth. As you can understand, there are always doors to repent, rebuild and re-unite. The massive flow of refugees from Ex-Yugoslavia onto Western Europe has exacerbated some of the local and nationalistic politics, but with time, the Balkan Diaspora Living in Switzerland, for instance, has been able to rebuild their own houses at home, their countries, their families and ultimately, have shown host countries that it is only together that we can achieve the extraordinary.

I am calling to the African Diaspora of Switzerland and Europe and the Balkan Diaspora of Western Europe to find ways of collaborating together, through this African – Balkan Dialogues, I am calling to African leaders to give support to this initiative and really do something together.

As a Member of the Assembly of Kosovo, I am sending this special invitation to the African Diaspora and the Balkan Diaspora living in Switzerland and Western Europe to Meet with the People of African Descent and the Egyptian Community of Western Balkan in Pristina, now more than ever, and unite our strength and hopes, so we can build a Greater Future within our lifetime, the greater future is of course, the irreversible coming of the United States of Africa.

Because a better Africa will give door for a better Europe and therefore a better world.

For it to go well, It depends on us, I would say, WE the Pan-African Diaspora, regardless of our citizenship or even colour, we must strive towards our own institutionalization as a Sixth Building Bloc of our Motherland the Africa We Want.

Mr Permanent Secretary, I want to thank the United Nations and the President of CIRID for allowing me to be here today, at the Palais des Nations, as the Guest of Honour of this Second African – Balkan Dialogue, please forward to the UN Security who let me enter this sacred place and to your father the President of CIRID and the people and leaders of Burundi our warmest regards and respect.

Hon. Mr. Veton Berisha
Member of Parliament, the Egyptian Liberal Party
Egyptian Community of Balkans
Republic of Kosovo


A LA UNE - 42e Session régulière du Conseil des Droits de l’Homme

Par Joël HAKIZIMANA, Secrétaire permanent du CIRID, mis à jour le 24 septembre 2019


Organisation des Nations Unies

42e Session régulière du Conseil des Droits de l’Homme

Dialogue Interactif avec le Groupe d’Expert sur les Peuples d’Ascendance Africaine

Mardi 24 septembre 2019, Salle XX, 09:00 – 12.00, Palais des Nations


Communication orale du CIRID conjointe avec huit (8) ONGs ECOSOC :

  • CEDAC | Centre d’Encadrement et d’Accompagnement des Anciens Combattants (ECOSOC, ONU)
  • CIRID| Centre Indépendant de Recherches et d’Initiatives pour le Dialogue (ECOSOC, ONU)
  • OCAPROCE  International| Organisation pour la Communication en Afrique et de Promotion de la Coopération Économique Internationale (ECOSOC, ONU)
  • VILLAGES UNIS, United Villages (ECOSOC, ONU)
  • Plateforme de la Société Civile en Appui à la Commission Vérité et Réconciliation du Burundi, CIRID (ECOSOC, ONU)


Distingués membres du Groupe d’Experts sur les Peuples d’Ascendance Africaine,

En tant que membre de la diaspora burundaise et responsable du CIRID ici au siège Genevois, j’ai été mandaté par le Bureau Afrique du CIRID à Bujumbura, Burundi, Cœur d’Afrique, Pays Source du Nil, pour présenter cette Pétition, en partenariat avec la Société civile internationale. Nous demandons très humblement votre appui et facilitation auprès des instances de l’ONU et de l’Union Africaine qu’il soit mis dans l’Ordre du Jour du prochain Sommet de l’Union Africaine de janvier 2020 un Point demandant l’Institutionnalisation de la Sixième Région de l’Union Africaine (UA).

Argumentaire :

Institutionnaliser la Sixième Région de l’UA, la Diaspora, est possible vu l’état de ratification des différents instruments reconnaissant la Diaspora. L’institutionnaliser c’est l’appuyer pour être organisée en Communauté institutionnelle permettant une participation démocratique représentative et inclusive de tous les peuples d’ascendance africaine au développement de l’Afrique Que Nous Voulons.

Enfin, cette Pétition est alignée à la Stratégie 2063 de l’Union Africaine pour la réalisation des États-Unis d’Afrique.

L’initiative respecte et met en œuvre la Décennie Internationale des Peuples d’Ascendance Africaine.

Le défi que nous proposons rejoint également le programme UNESCO pour l’Éducation à la Citoyenneté mondiale, et ici, spécifiquement, nous parlons de citoyenneté panafricaine.

Cette identité ca été retirée aux Afro-descendants contemporains depuis l’époque de la Traite Transatlantique des Captifs Africains. Aussi, donnée nouvelle, plusieurs siècle avant la Déportation des Africains, la Communauté des Egyptiens des Balkans a été sortie d’Egypte il y a 3000 ans et vit toujours en communautés organisées et reconnues par les États et institutions des Balkans en tant que minorités égyptiennes, laquelle fait donc partie de la diaspora panafricaine,

Sur le plan légal, la Sixième Région de l’UA pourrait être gouvernée par la Résolution 68/237 de l’AG de l’ONU en décembre 2014 créant la Décennie, puis, par l’Acte Constitutif de l’Union Africaine, le Protocol à l’Acte Constitutif concernant le Parlement Panafricain, lesquels instruments pourraient être amendés pour y inclure les Peuples de la Diaspora lorsque l’on énumère les différents ayants droits au panafricanisme.

Distingués membres du Groupe d’Experts sur les Peuples d’Ascendance Africaine,

Pour rappel,

Notre Pétition fait références à plusieurs actions menées cette année, notamment par ELHADJ MALICK MBAYE, notre Représentant pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre, lequel a interpellé en mars la CEDEAO pour tenir un Sommet extraordinaire sur le Terrorisme tout en y incluant la Diaspora, la Société civile. Ce sommet s’est tenu le 15septembre 2019 à Ouagadougou et nous y avons présenté nos doléances. Notre Représentant a également participé à la Marche Blanche contre les crimes négrophobes après l’Assassinat du DR. MAMMOUDOU BARRY, tué le 19 juillet 2019 à Rouen, France, puis, depuis Dakar, il a été Porte-parole d’une Lettre que nous avons adressée aux Chefs d’Etats de l’Union pour demander assistance à cette Pétition,

Aujourd’hui, distingués délégués, nous élargissons notre champs d’amis et de partenaires et requérons votre assistance pour faire suivre cette demande auprès des Chefs d’Etats d’Afrique et de l’ONU.

Chers Membres du Groupe de Travail d’Experts sur les Peuples d’Ascendance Africaine, Excellences Distingués délégués, je vous remercie infiniment pour votre écoute et ce temps de parole.

Que Dieu Vous Bénisse, Uhuru na Amani

Joël HAKIZIMANA, Secrétaire permanent du CIRID

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Par la rédaction de Quid.ma source: http://www.quid.ma/a-la-une/partenariat-academie-du-royaume---cird 19.02.2019

La Fondation de l’Académie du Royaume du Maroc pour la Coopération Culturelle et le Centre Indépendant de Recherches et d’Initiatives pour le Dialogue (CIRID), ont signé jeudi 14 février 2019, au siège de l’Académie du Royaume du Maroc, à Rabat, un accord de coopération et de partenariat visant le développement de la diplomatie culturelle et la promotion de la culture du dialogue et de la paix en Afrique.

Le CIRID est une organisation non gouvernementale africaine et internationale à but non lucratif fondé à Genève en 1996 et bénéficiaire du statut consultatif spécial auprès du Conseil Économique et Social des Nations Unies. La Convention a été signée au nom de la Fondation de l’Académie par sa Présidente déléguée, Madame Rahma BOURQIA, et au nom du CIRID par son Secrétaire permanent, Monsieur Joël HAKIZIMANA, par le Directeur exécutif du Prix Macky Sall pour le Dialogue en Afrique, Monsieur Marcel MIKALA et par le Président du Bureau du CIRID pour l’Afrique du Nord et le Moyen Orient (MENA), Monsieur Yassir SALAH.

Créé en 2016 par le CIRID pour honorer une personnalité ou une institution africaine qui se seraient distingués dans la promotion des valeurs de dialogue et de paix, le PMSDA sera attribué, après décision du jury, pour sa deuxième édition, couvrant les années 2018 – 2019 au lauréat lors d’une cérémonie officielle prévue cette année au Maroc.

A cette occasion, Madame Rahma BOURQIA, tout en saluant les efforts déployés par le CIRID pour représenter le continent africain dans plusieurs forums internationaux, a mis l’accent sur la nécessité de développer d’avantage la culture de paix, de dialogue, de fraternité et de tolérance en Afrique.

Monsieur Joël HAKIZIMANA a pour sa part mis en avant les efforts conjugués de la Fondation de l’Académie et du CIRID qui ont abouti à la signature de cette convention. Les signataires ont convenu de leur engagement et de leur mobilisation, à coopérer pleinement afin de contribuer à la construction de l’Afrique de demain.


Letter of Solidarity for Kenya

By Joël Hakizimana, Permanent Secretary, January 19th 2019


CIRID has not released previous statements on terrorism attacks. However, since 2012, CIRID is leading a pan-African program aiming to promote Article 17 of the African Youth Charter which stands for more engagement by youth for Peace and Security in Africa: The Beat4Peace Festival, celebrated during African Youth Day (1st of Nov.).

CIRID believes that negative labels directed towards any social group can affect behaviours and the social well-being of the entire African society. CIRID stands with Kenya and the African Union Peace Bureau Campaign " Make Peace Happen " and calls to all African youth in Kenya, Africa and the diaspora to join in for a youth Make Peace Happen Campaign to silence guns by 2020.

THE CIRID condemns the terrorism attack of January 15th in Nairobi. We pay tribute to the victims and their families. CIRID is proud of Kenyans for the unity the demonstrated during the terror.

As an East African Community citizen from Burundi, I remain in solidarity with the victims, the people and the leaders of Kenya during this difficult moment. The Unity Kenyans are showing is the one we shall maintain at all times including during elections, for the country we love and for the Africa we want. "Unity is the foundation for peace and dialogue is the weapon of great people" said President Mack Sall. I congratulate Kenyans for being peaceful citizens at this time of grief. CIRID fully supports the dialogue President Uhuru Kenyatta started since 2015 for a more inclusive and united Kenya.

The Independent Center for Research and Initiatives for the Dialogue (CIRID) was established in 1996 in Geneva as a Non-Governmental Organization to contribute to dialogue efforts in Burundi's civil war (1993-2008). The International Pan-African peace NGO was granted in 2008 the special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Since 2016, CIRID also promotes dialogue to avert conflicts through the annual "Macky Sall Prize for Dialogue in Africa" which comes with an award of 50'000 Euros to recognize peers, youth, institutions or  civil societies in their efforts to avert conflicts by peaceful means.


Joel Hakizimana. Permanent Secretary




Peace NGO: Uhuru-Raila pact ‘a good lesson for great lakes region and Africa’

By Ally Jamah | Published Sun, March 25th 2018 at 11:54, Updated March 25th 2018 at 12:03 GMT +3 

The recent reconciliation between political nemesis President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga offers good lessons and inspiration to the troubled Great Lakes Region and Africa, an international peace and dialogue NGO has said. The Geneva-based Centre for Research and Initiatives for Dialogue (CIRID), which promotes political and social dialogue to avert conflicts in Africa, has said the pact has sent a strong message in favour of dialogue to resolve seemingly intractable political differences. "The picture of the two leaders shaking hands is currently circulating around the world, representing opponents who have agreed to set aside their rivalries and work together.  This is a good lesson for all of Africa, especially for the African Great Lakes Region," said CIRID's President and Founder Deo Hakizimana.

The former Burundian diplomat, teacher and journalist added:  "The reconciliation highlights the two leaders’ agreement that the interests of their nation exceed those of their personal rivalries sparked by the political competition of the past few months." Hakizimana, whose organisation founded an annual prize award for peace makers in the continent, said that the tense political climate in Kenya surrounding the 2017 elections kept many observers guessing if violence post-election violence could break. "The picture of the leaders shaking hands highlights what geopolitical specialists call fatuous proxy wars that have an honorable end for those protagonists who really seek the love for their country," he said.

The CIRID leader said such reconciliation pacts are only possible when the winners of an election decide to place themselves above the fray in a context of inclusive, responsible and truthful dialogue.

"On the other hand, it also means that the losers have been able to notice the harsh reality due to a power struggle that has ruthlessly rocked the foundations of the country, " he said.

He called on other leaders in the region and the continent to embrace the same spirit of dialogue and concessions with their opponents to avert unnecessary conflict and bloodshed. Citing Burundi, which is currently facing political tensions and turmoil since 2015, he urged the country to replicate Kenya as it heads to a referendum.

He called on leaders in Burundi and other countries in the continent to avoid taking hard-line stances and instead embrace meaningful dialogue with their opponents.

"Burundi's capital Bujumbura or the balcony of the Congo, is a potential diplomatic hub in the region after Nairobi if the country's stability is secured through dialogue and reconciliation," said Hakizimama.

He added: "It is ironic that Burundi is in political challenges despite hosting the Executive Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), which brings together 12 regional countries to cooperate on peace and security among other issues."

In 2016, CIRID founded the Macky Sall Prize for Dialogue in Africa to promote political and social dialogue to avert violent conflicts.

The prize, that comes with a cash award of 50000 Euros (Sh6.2 million), is named after current Senegalese President Macky Sall for his role in promoting political and social dialogue in his country to resolve differences. The inaugural 2017 prize went to Mogho Naba Baongo II, an influential traditional ruler in Burkina Faso while the search for the 2018 laureate is ongoing. The prize award has an Honorary Selection Committee made up of former and current African leaders including Ivory Coast’s President Allassane Ouattara, King Mohamed VI of Morocco, Gabon's President Ali Bongo as well as international artists such as Youssou Ndour, Angélique Kidjo and Emmanual Jal among others.

CIRID hopes to include Kenya's President in the committee in the near future.

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Read more at: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001274443/african-leaders-need-to-replicate-uhuru-raila-accord-peace-agency-urges



As ticket sales for the film "Black Panther" rocketed into the stratosphere in the United States and around the world after its opening in February, a real king in the poor West African nation of Burkina Faso won a peace prize for his part in averting bloodshed in a political crisis.

On Feb.23, Mogho Naba Baongo II, the traditional ruler of the Mossi people, the dominant ethnic group in Burkina Faso, was honored by fellow African rulers -- elected and hereditary -- with the Macky Sall Prize for Dialogue in Africa, named for the current president of Senegal, who promotes political engagement in his own country and across Africa.

The prize, which carries a 50,000 euro stipend (just over $61,000) is awarded by the Geneva-based Center for Research and Initiatives, a nonprofit group with formal consultative status at the United Nations.

In 2015, Baongo stepped into a volatile Burkinabé breakdown of order after large popular protests forced the resignation of President Blaise Compaoré in 2014. (He was exiled to Ivory Coast.) Quarreling military factions threatened to block the restoration of democracy. As an elder statesman who has held the centuries-old traditional Mossi community kingship since 1982, Baongo has frequently been called on for political advice and intercession, according to an article by Ally Jamah in the Standard newspaper in Nairobi, where the prize was presented.

Jamah noted in his article that Baongo's title, Mogho Naba, means "king of the world" in the Mossi language. In more down-to-earth terms, Baongo's power is centered around the Burkinabé capital, Ouagadougou. Farther north, the country is facing rebel attacks that have so far defied resolution.

Political dialogue is one ingredient for stability often in short supply in Africa, where numerous conflicts have hampered economic and social development.

Turning to fiction, the success of "Black Panther," an adaptation of a Marvel comic book, has led two specialists at the Brookings Institution's African Growth Initiative to extract lessons from the story of Wakanda and the challenges faced by King T'Challa in his imaginary kingdom.

In an analysis titled "Marvel's Black Panther: natural resource management and increased openness in Africa," the authors, Mariama Sow and Amadou Sy, focus on the successful development model of Wakanda and those who would upend it. Their analysis looks at options for balancing the guarding of a unique natural resource -- in Wakanda's case, indestructible vibranium, a fictional metal dropped by a meteor -- with plans for future growth and integration in international trade and aid.

"Wakanda shares similarities with many African countries; African policymakers and their partners can draw lessons about good resource governance and economic integration from the movie," the authors wrote. Wakanda, they argued, "provides an image of the prosperity and technological advancement, which awaits properly managed resource-rich countries."

But . . . "Because of its self-imposed isolation," the authors wrote, “Wakanda appears to have an economic model where it does not trade its natural resource with the rest of the world; it lives in autarky and invests heavily in technology.”

In other words, there is no balance between hiding its nonrenewable vibranium to avoid becoming an exploited country and learning to use the resource wisely and selectively to sustain further development, sharing its riches and technological know-how beyond its borders.

This leads to an examination by the authors of the radically different policy prescriptions favored by three major characters in the film: T'Challa, Nakia and Erik Killmonger. Sow and Sy discern in the imaginary Wakanda a country that can handle its economic prospects wisely because of good governance, yet it may have to adapt to less isolation.

From the real world, the authors cite the wisdom and success of diamond-rich, well-governed Botswana, which through good governance did not fall victim to the "resource curse" of other African countries that built economies on exploiting their natural riches to the full. This exploitation has led to "misaligned exchange rates, the decline of non-resource sectors, political authoritarianism, conflict and economic inequity," the authors wrote.

If Wakanda were real, it would be perfectly poised to avoid the mistakes of others while making the most of its advantages. Policy wonks can enjoy the film and have something to think about later.


This article first appeared on PassBlue and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.





Traditional King in Burkina Faso wins Africa Peace Award

Press release By Ally Jamah | Published Fri, February 23rd 2018 at 19:18, Updated February 23rd 2018 at 19:21 GMT +3



An influential traditional ruler in Burkina Faso who has led peace and dialogue efforts in the West African country has won an award that seeks to promote dialogue and avert conflict in the continent Mogho Naba Baongo II, the reigning king of the Mossi, the largest community in Burkina Faso, and a symbol of tradition in the country and the region, has won the 2017 Macky Sall Prize for Dialogue in Africa, which is named after the current President of Senegal. The annual award, comes with Sh6.2 million (50000 Euros) cash prize, was awarded by Geneva-based Centre for Research and Initiatives for Dialogue (CIRID), an international NGO that promotes political and social dialogue to avert conflicts in Africa and enhance sustainable peace and development.

"Mr. Baongo was selected due to his role in resolving serious crises that have rocked Burkina Faso and played a key role in brokering the return of civilian rule to the country after the military coup in 2015," said Joel Hakizimana, CIRID's Permanent Secretary in a press conference in Nairobi as part of activities to publicise the award in the continent. The award is named after Senegalese President Macky Sall, who is credited with embracing dialogue in resolving political and social differences in the country. Mr. Hazikimana, said  an Honorary selection committee made up of African leaders including former and current Presidents and Kings, settled on Baongo II after a lengthy and rigorous selection process. The Committee includes Ivory Coast’s President Allassane Ouattara, King Mohamed VI of Morocco, Gabon's President Ali Bongo, international artists Youssou Ndour, Angélique Kidjo and Emmanual Jal among others. CIRID is seeking to persuade Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta to join the committee. Mogho Naba is the title of the reigning monarch and means "King of the world" in the Mossi language. The community makes up about 40 per cent of the country's 18 million people.

Baongo II has been reigning since 1982 over a traditional kingdom that dates back to the 12th Century and lies at the heart of Burkina Faso's centre of power and capital Ouagadougou. The figure, seen as a powerful symbol of tradition, is often sought by the country's power brokers for his symbolic approval. But the traditional leader is supposed to be politically neutral, to make himself a credible arbiter during times of national crisis where there is a breakdown in dialogue between rival political actors. The Macky Sall prize was launched in 2016 by former Burundian teacher, journalist and diplomat Deo Hakizimana who heads CIRID and also chairs a Civil Society platform for Truth and Reconciliation in Burundi. CIRID has a special consultative status with the United Nations. "We are working to see the realisation of an African Day of Dialogue to be marked by all countries in the continent to draw attention for the need for innovative ways of preventing and resolving conflicts through dialogue to avert violence," said Joel Hazikimana. 

LINK OF THE ORIGINAL: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001270911/traditional-king-in-burkina-faso-wins-africa-peace-award