- Where – Kenya (Eastern Africa)
- Website – www.amaniafrika.org
- Contact Person – George Kabongah
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address – Box 76621 – 00508, Yaya Centre, Nairobi
Areas of Expertise
The Africa Peace Forum has expertise in a range of areas, including:
Main Aims and Objectives
The Africa Peace Forum (APFO) is an independent, not-for-profit non-governmental organization registered in and based in Nairobi, Kenya. It facilitates research and advocacy on areas of peace and security at national, regional and international level.
APFO has six main Programme areas:
- Conflict Early Warning and Early Response;
- Small Arms and Light Weapons;
- Advocacy and Consultancy
Vision – sustainable peace and security in Africa
Mission – to contribute towards the prevention, resolution and effective management of conflicts by engaging state and non-state actors in exploring collaborative approaches to bring lasting peace in the Greater Horn of Africa and beyond.
Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation
APFO conducts much of its work through collaborative approaches. Its team of experts consists of a diverse group of professionals, researchers and practitioners. The team is drawn from civil society organizations, academic and research institutions in the region and beyond all bringing together a unique combination of qualifications and experiences.
Where and with Whom?
APFO was established in 1994 to contribute to the effective management of conflicts and the promotion of peace and security in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region (this included Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo).
APFO has nine staff members in the administrative and programme areas. Some of the staff previously held senior positions in government and are thus well-versed with the systems and structures that determine the regional socio-economic and political climate, while others have honed their skills through merging theory and practice in peacebuilding and conflict prevention from academia to operating within the wider civil society framework.
Main Activities in the Field of Conflict Transformation
1) Conflict Early Warning and Early Response
APFO continues to play an active role in upholding previous peace agreements in the region and participating in upcoming peace processes. Through its programs APFO seeks to identify and develop early warning and response indicators; produce policy recommendations on early warning; support existing early warning mechanisms; promote resource sharing on cross border issues; monitor, track and analyze conflicts in the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa regions; and disseminate such information to policy makers and other strategic actors who can influence response.
In recent years APFO has carried out programs to systematically anticipate and influence response to various conflicts that affect the Horn and the Great Lakes region of Africa. Notably, Africa Peace Forum was involved with the setting up of IGADs Conflict Early Warning Mechanism (CEWARN) 2000 which aims at providing early warning information on potential conflict areas among the pastoralist communities in the IGAD sub-region.
Following the initiative APFO served as the National Research Institution for the Implementation of program in Kenya. Key information that was generated by APFO as the National Research Institute (NRI) through its staff/research team has been shared with the Kenyan Conflict Early Warning and Response Units (CEWERU) as well as sent to IGAD CEWARN Unit in Addis Ababa.
2) Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Human Security
APFO is actively involved in small arms and light weapons training, advocacy and control initiatives in Kenya, in the Horn of Africa and the Greater Lakes region with an aim of supporting and promoting the development of capacity for research and analysis in small arms and light weapons issues.
Activities undertaken under this program are implemented through a range of collective efforts including joint research and advocacy, training, co-hosting workshops and seminars, and joint information dissemination strategies.
APFO played an important role during the setting up of the Nairobi Secretariat on Small Arms (now renamed the Regional Centre for Small Arms (RECSA) based in Nairobi, Kenya. RECSA works in the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa with both state and non state actors in the control and management of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALWs). In addition, APFO also played a key role in the events leading to the drafting of the Nairobi declaration of 2000 and the Nairobi protocol of 2004, both of which are important legislative documents in the control and management of SALWs in this region. APFO continues to play an active role in the UN meetings on the UN Programme of Action on the Control of SALWs (UNPOA).
Through its work in SALWs the organization is actively engaged in advocacy for the establishment of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), in collaboration with other actors, including the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and the East African Network on Small Arms (EAANSA) to which APFO is also a member. Additionally, APFO played a key role in establishment of the Kenya Action Network on Small Arms (KANSA) and also sits in the National Steering Committee.
3) Conflict Resolution through Mediation
APFO has been a key player in mediating the region’s conflicts. It has consistently participated in the Sudan peace process by promoting dialogue among the various groups in Southern Sudan and in the process leading up to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005. Following the signing of the CPA, APFO continues to work with the government of Southern Sudan by supporting the post war reconstruction process through capacity building.
On Somalia, APFO’s executive director Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat was the special eEnvoy and chairman of the Somali peace process that concluded its work in December 2004 with the establishment of the Transitional Federal Government. Ambassador Kiplagat is offering expert opinion to the negotiators involved in the ongoing peace process in Northern Uganda as well as working with religious leaders to resolve the political conflict in Zimbabwe.
4) Advocacy on Peace and Security Related Policies
APFO’s vision for sustainable peace and security in Africa means that peace initiatives and processes constitute a key element of its work and the organization therefore participates in and supports peace initiatives and processes in the Horn of Africa sub-region.
APFO continues to support the development of policies aimed at enhancing peace and security in the Horn of Africa region. In Kenya, APFO has been instrumental in the development of the National Peace-building Policy and the Kenya National Action Plan for the control and management on the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons.
APFO’s programs seek to:
- Promote the objective of peace and security through participating in and/or supporting peace initiatives and processes
- Initiate and support partnerships for peace at national and regional levels
- Strengthen dialogue and consultations between civil society and state actors
- Promote the engendering of peace initiatives and processes and especially in the context of UN resolution 1325, and
- Promote track two diplomacy.
5) Women and Youth Participation in Peace Processes
Insecurity and conflict in the Greater Horn of Africa greatly constrain development, and in recognition of this, APFO continues to play an active role in upholding previous peace agreements in the region and participating in upcoming peace processes.
6) Peace/Conflict Research and Conflict Analysis
Research is an integral part of APFO’s work and that cuts across most of the organization’s programs. The support and promotion of the development of capacity for research and analysis in early warning, small arms, conflict management and peace building is a critical objective of the organization.
In the pursuit of this objective, the organization has been involved in several research projects, including: Developing a Regional Security Architecture in the IGAD Region–Phase Two; Building the Capacity for Sustainable Peace: Track Two Diplomacy and the Sudan Conflict; CEWARN, in APFO’s capacity as Kenya’s National Research Institute for IGAD CEWARN; and Conflict in the East Africa Sub-region: A Strategic Analysis.