Regional Conference on "Governance of Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development and Peaceful Coexistence in Africa"
The Regional Conference on “Governance of Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development and Peaceful Coexistence in Africa” is organized in Accra, Ghana, from 10 to 11 October 2019. It builds on a collaboration established by UNESCO with key research institutions, centers and UN agencies, with close involvement of the Ghanaian National Commission for UNESCO.
It will bring together some sixty participants with diverse background including academics, experts, government authorities, civil society organization, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and youth organizations. It leverages on methodologies, approaches and tools offered by UNESCO's Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme for reducing the gap between academic research and evidence-based policy making, while placing UNESCO’s function as laboratory of ideas and platform for international cooperation at the core.
This conference is being held in a context of growing instability manifested by social unrest, political tensions, entrenched xenophobia, tribalism, hate speech, violent extremism, insurgency, militancy, secession, terrorism, populism, etc., often motivated by an identity crisis, misunderstanding and management of ethnic, cultural, religious or even linguistic differences within the same nation and exacerbated in the political world and feeding instability and conflicts in Africa.
To stimulate discussion on ongoing research and the sharing of good practices to establish and strengthen mechanisms at local, national or regional levels that promote effective diversity governance for a more peaceful and inclusive Africa, the Conference is structured according to a constructive, interactive and solution-oriented approach. Its objective is to identify the main recommendations, concrete proposals, actions and interventions that could be undertaken to help Member States and the various actors in this field to strengthen their unity in diversity.
The sessions are organized around six sub-themes as follows:
i) Conceptualizing Cultural Diversity in Africa: Semantic, Epistemological and Philosophical Considerations;
ii) Governance of Cultural Diversity: An overview from Pre-colonial to Post-colonial African State;
iii) Governance of Cultural Diversity and the Shaping of National Unity;
iv) Indigenous peoples and minority groups: Integrating the right to difference in nation building;
v) Reporting diversity, conflict and violence in a plural-ethnic society: the role of the Media;
vi) Assessing, measuring, and enhancing cultural diversity: What concrete tools, mechanisms and good practices to sustain reconciliation and resilience for national unity and peaceful coexistence?
Above all, this conference will strengthen UNESCO’s lead role in the implementation of the Action Plan of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), and the celebration of 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, with concrete applications and follow-up in Africa.