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The African Greens Federation: A vehicle for peace building in Africa

For the past decades building sustainable peace in Africa has proven to be a nightmare .The continent is faced with many challenges that pose a real threat to peaceful environment. .These challenges take different forms - civil, ethnic, religious, armed conflicts, high military expenditure; poor resource governance; fragile democracies; migration and refugees; climate change as well as poverty and diseases. Events in Great Lakes region of Africa, Zimbabwe, Congo, Central African Republic, Libya, Egypt, the Horn of Africa as well as West Africa have continued to cause environmental, demographic and societal stress including enormous loss of life, massive displacement and huge costs to the economy, seriously hindering the development of African states

The African Greens Federation (AGF) which was launched in Kampala in 2010 is one of the four federations that make up Global Greens. It is a coalition of political Green Parties and political Green movements active in at least 26 countries of Africa.  AGF is divided into regional federations as: East African Greens Federation, Southern Africa Greens Federation, North African Greens Federation, Central African Greens Federation and the West African Greens Federation. These federations have made it easy for the Greens members in Africa to have one strong voice in the promotion of the Global Greens charter and its principles of ecological wisdom, social justice, participatory democracy, nonviolence, sustainability and respect for diversity. These key principles are the key fundamental factors in peace building not only in Africa but the world over.

Some of the actions being done by African Greens federation to champion peace in Africa include:

  • Capacity building: AGF, with the support of its partners (such as The Green Party of England and Wales, Swedish Green Forum, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Belgian "Groen", and others) has been building the capacity of its members and empowering grassroot communities, thereby enabling them to effectively engage in the advancement of democracy during elections and beyond..

  • Advocacy: AGF members have been advocating for peaceful transfers of power to avoid outbreaks of wars which claim large numbers of people and displacement of people in large numbers. Green members protested against lifting of presidential term limits, sham elections and poor governance by African leaders who want to entrench themselves into power.  AGF members believe that well-governed and democratic states are vital if Africa is to tackle the problems that breed conflict, such as corruption, stark economic inequalities and the exclusion of certain ethnic and social groups

AGF is aware that the sustainable use of natural resources for sustainable development is crucial for peace building. Combating weak governance of natural resource wealth, corruption as well as tax avoidance and evasion have led to the proliferation of fire arms and illicit financial outflows. The Green Parties in Africa disagree with primitive accumulation of wealth and luxurious consumption which often lead to the destruction of natural resources and conflicts, and compromise the welfare of future generation.

AGF member parties have embraced climate actions and participated in processes aimed at addressing climate change at local, national, regional and global level. Over the past 25 years, the number of climate change-related disasters, such as floods and droughts, has doubled, resulting in Africa having a higher mortality rate from droughts than any other region. Other impacts of climate change in Africa include desertification and diseases. There is usually active participation of Green Party members in climate change processes at national level, including during the formulation and review of climate change laws, project implementation and participation in international meetings such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference of parties.

AGF provides special opportunities for the training of women and youth in Africa, especially younger politicians in various political related fields. AGF has increased networking opportunities for women in Africa by facilitating their participation in international meetings, election observation and monitoring, and visits to other Green Parties. Increased involvement and participation of women and youth in the AGF programmes have led a large number of women and youth participating in national elections and participation in decision making which has created conducive environment for peace.

The future of Africa largely depends on a peaceful environment. The roots of democracy must be protected with vigilance, however. Large pockets of low-intensity conflicts are perpetuating instability, and the region has continued to witness political violence, gender-based violence, minority marginalization, natural resource conflicts, terrorism, separatism and high levels of crime, including rape, drug trafficking and organized crime. The global Greens Charter being championed by the AGF in Africa provides basic principles for Africa to follow while pursuing peace building in Africa.

Nathan Makuregye

Executive Director

East African Greens Federation (EAGF)

Global Green Federations

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