African Renaissance Network


DURATION OF THE PROJECT : 3 years (2000 - 2003)

Phases of the programme : Three

·        Preparatory phase (October 2001 - October 2002)

·        Peace caravan  (November 2002 - March 2003)

·        Sub-regional conference (May 2003 - August 2003)

PEACE CARAVAN ROUTE :  Benin Republic, Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana (West Africa).


BENEFICIARIES: About a thousand youth will be involved in this program at the grass root with about 40 participants chosen for the Caravan programme. This will generate a multiplier effect with over a million youth benefiting through the activities of the National and regional Inter-religious and cultural Youth Networks that will be set up. This will equally benefit the larger community through the participation of leaders with feed back to the communities.

EVALUATION : This will be done during the preparatory phase of the programme to ensure it’s focus. Evaluations will also be carried out at the end of each phase and the overall programme to ensure that the objectives are achieved. Another evaluation will be targeted at assuring the success of the implementation process.

2.0 Background

Africa is a multi-ethnic society with over 2,511 ethnic groups. This has influenced  the mode of  existence, identification and life of the people.  These differences also account for the social, political, economic and cultural attitude of  Africans, be it Kikuyus or Luos (Kenya), Tivs and not Ibos (Nigeria),  Bembas and not Mendes (Ghana).  There has also been inter-civilisation encounters, of the African Civilisation with European, Arab and Asian civilisations, especially  French, English and Portuguese.

At the religious level, the coexistence of Christianity, Islam and African traditional religious  has demonstrated Africaness in diversity .  These diversities have influenced social trends, political affiliations and even public relations. For example, opportunities in public places are often based on tribal, cultural and religious affiliations other than merit.

This diversity has been exploited by selfish political elite to cause conflicts and civil wars in  Africa by manipulating one ethnic, religious and cultural group against another.

The multi-cultural , faith and civilisation diversities in Africa have not been exploited positively to promote the needed culture of coexistence  which is achievable through dialogue. Africa today, more than ever, needs a positive affirmation of the  diversities in cultures , traditions and faith while recognising, celebrating and promoting the common values of humanity and not negative prejudices and stereotyping. For example, ethnics are stereotyped as human eaters,  lazy people, “witches,” “slaves”, tribalistic, etc. 

Stereotyping widens the gap between different cultures, faith and ethnic differences. It also increases suspicion, and tensions while undermining mutual trust. In Africa, it has also continued to destroy the political will for dialogue and mutual understanding among people within countries and beyond regions.

This has contributed to sustaining a culture of violence that has become an image of Africa in the international community and media. This has been an obstacle to the transition to democracy, peace and development. Democracy which is political dialogue, requires cultural and ethnic dialogue. The social cohesion of society depends on the acceptance of common social and political codes of conduct which are in the African context, derived from social and spiritual values. In this sense, the identification of common religious teachings and the acceptance of human rights become moral standards for coexistence in diversity.

In the absence of principles of coexistence, democracy is neither sustainable nor possible to ensure.

 Sporadic efforts have been made by governments and NGOs to help societies move towards democratic forms of organisation and management but these issues most often do not involve the youth who become victims and uninformed actors in conflicts.

Though several factors are implicated in the socio-political and economic underdevelopment  of Africa, the absence of sustained intercultural, inter-ethnic and faith dialogue can explain to a large extent,  the low level of peace, democracy and development in Africa.

To build democratic societies and ensure a peace culture, economic and political development  requires,  co-ordinated dialogue at all levels of the society. This is the core of this project, based on an approach which mobilises and involves the youth who are the present and future of Africa.

3.0 General and Long Term Objectives

  • to identify and promote the values in the different faith, cultures and civilisation that enhance human dignity and coexistence.
  • to create the needed socio-political, economic and cultural environment for sustainable development.
  • to explore and promote transdisciplinary scholarly exchanges on dialogue among cultures, civilisations, and faith in Africa.
  • to promote research on how African Traditional methods of conflict management and resolution can be Inter-phased with modern counterparts.
  • to promote a culture of Peace and Dialogue among the youth and people of Africa.
  • to establish an African Inter-religious, peace and democratic youth network.

3.1 Specific and Short term objectives.

  • to identify and promote intercultural and faith exchanges.
  • to empower youth with the skills of conflict prevention, Transformation and management.
  • to create national inter-religious, peace and democratic youth networks.
  • to  proffer solutions to the challenges of Intercultural and faith dialogue among the youth.
  • to celebrate the unique character and beauty of the different faith, cultures and civilisations

4.0 Expected and Short Term outcome.

  • Improved understanding on the values of the different faith and cultures among the different groups, complementarity and tolerance.
  • Improved capacity for youth to deal with and handle conflict situations.
  • Increased confidence and mutual trust between, and among communities.
  • Creation of national youth networks to promote dialogue at national levels.
  • 4.1 Longterm Outcome
  • Co-existence, culture of dialogue, peace and democracy among the youth and people of  Africa
  • Improved scholarly work on dialogue of cultures, faith and ethnic in Africa.
  • Sustainable development and better standards of living in Africa.
  • Organised and well oriented civil society centred on human values, human rights and principles of democracy.
  • Transparent and accountable leadership and government in Africa.


FOCAL AREAS : Mali, Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana).






Consultation with different partners in the  preparation of the project. YCS, moslem youth, protestant youth, African Traditional Believers etc.

October 2001-May 2002



 Briefing Meeting with country co-ordinators.   Transport , Feeding, and accommodation 

November 2001


Meeting of country co-ordinators with the different partners and communities for some days in all the countries. This is to create the foundation for the planned dialogue. Eg Youth groups, Traditional rulers, and other partners.   Local Contribution through staying in families.                                                                                                                          

January 2002                      


B  B

Briefing of  Traditional, Religious and Political leaders whose intervention during the programme can encourage dialogue.  This will be done in consultation with the different communities and focal groups etc.

 March 2002



Partners meet to share on possible ways of Initiating inter-community dialogue.  Local Contribution

May - June 2002



The co-ordinating group, meets to collate results and to evaluate the process, its short comings and how it can be corrected. This will also include planning for the next phase of the program. This should last for a few days. This will include: transport and feeding of  the co-ordinators and evaluators.  Local Contribution  Miscellaneous 

 Sept. 2001   Oct.2002

Local Contribution


TOTAl Cost

Phase One  Total

Local Contribution.

 Amount Requested From Partners 

Total Duration I year.   2001 - 2002


(November 2002 -March 2003)

This is a trip that is expected to take participants on a dialogue journey from Nigeria to Mali through Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’ivoire and Burkina-Faso.                                          

This trip, will last for 3 weeks with several stop overs in the different countries.

 Five people will be chosen by the different communities for this trip. These will include, men and women of different faith, and cultures and civilisation. This will be based on the established principles between the communities and the co-ordinating committee.





                Phase Two                  Activity

November 2002- March 2003  




Briefing of participants on what to expect on the journey  so that it reduces possible tensions due to lack of information.

 Nov.2002- December 2003


Hiring of two buses for 3 weeks @ 1000.00  per week. Local Contribution

January-Feb 2003






Logistic arrangement

February -March


Technician     for 3 weeks on voluntary basis but with a stipen.



Medical Doctor for 3 weeks also on voluntary basis but with Stipen



Fuelling   for 3 weeks (two buses)



Local contribution on fuelling






3  primary stop-over and 4 brief stop-over.  


4 Night overs in Nigeria. Places foreseen include: Kaduna, Benue, Anambra and Lagos.  Local Contribution through feeding and accommodation in communities.



Cultural displays:Dance groups and other performances. Cost will be shared with the community.



Stop Overs in Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’ivoire and Burkina Faso will each be for one night and a full visiting day. This will follow the same tradition as in Nigeria.  Local Contribution  Miscelanous



 Total Cost Second Phase   

Local contribution. 

 Requested from partners

 Nov. -March 2003  

We are in contact with the Ministry of Regional integration who are expected to inform Economic Community of West African States about the Youth Peace Caravan. 

Appendix to the Peace and dialogue Caravan programme.

Night Stop Overs.

During night stop overs, story telling on the culture, history and faith of the people is foreseen and delegates enabled to interact with the communities to learn and appreciate the different cultures. Arrangements will be made where possible, to visit as well, Mosques, Churches, and Shrines of African traditional religion and other monuments that will add value to the project

-Short Stop Overs. These will be used to pay courtesy calls to Religious and Traditional rulers as well as political leaders.


Stop overs in the different towns where people will be received by traditional rulers, dance groups as well as religious leaders.  Papers will be presented on the culture of the different groups and sharing entertained.

- Four nights are foreseen in different parts of  Nigeria during which, participants will stay in homes to help them learn about other peoples culture and or faith. The traditional Story Telling of Africans will be employed by elders in the different homes. 

-Benin Republic 

One night is foreseen in these communities and the different faith will be explored.

Welcome and courtesy calls will also be made to the different Traditional rulers, Political leaders, and Leaders of different faiths.

Togo and Burkina Faso. These will each have the same pattern and the same process as in Benin Republic will be repeated.

Note. All the participants on the Bus ride would converge at one point of commencement and begin the Caravan from there. This is to enable participants have access to the same information and exposure.


The exchange in Mali is expected to last for one week. People will be given an exposure in the rich inter-cultural and religious experience of the Malian people for 2  days. This will be followed by a retreat at a quiet place to encourage and learn of the Inter-dependence in nature. This will be through sports, community living.


After the Mali visit, there will be an evaluation. This will be based on 

the content and feeling on the outcome of the meeting.  A poster competition to encourage co-existence will also be launched and produced for all the countries. We will explore the possibility of using the language of the communities involved.

This cost will be transferred to the 3rd phase of the programme.

 Participants return to their homes and make arrangements to share with their different communities on their experiences during the peace journey and a practical model of sustaining harmonious co-existence and  dialogue between communities. (March, 2003)


THIRD PHASE  (May-August 2003)

SUB-REGIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMME on “Dialogue of Cultures and Religions as a Tool to Building Sustainable, Democracy, Peace and  Regional Integration in Africa. (West Africa. )


The conference will last for 4 days and will be aimed at providing a space for people to      share  their experiences and to learn of possible new ways and tools of dialogue in an increasingly complex society. They will also be helped to design ways of conflict transformation through dialogue among the youth.


Other Objectives will include: 

  • to offer participants in the Caravan on how  to translate their knowledge into building for lasting peace throug Dialogue
  • train young people in the area of conflict transformation
  • constitute national and regional Inter-religious and Cultural youth networks.
  • identify and promote specific concrete projects aimed at promoting dialogue among the different cultures.
  • train Young People on Inter-culturality and Dialogue


Intercultural and Inter-religious Dialogue at the ARN Conference
(Sub-regional Training Program)




·  facing prejudices

·   self images and exterior images of each country/nation/religion

·   painting images

·   presenting them to each other

·    discussing the differences and similarities between self and exterior views

·    getting to know the historical backgrounds of certain values and cultural specifics

·  each religion/nation... presents as an example a religious or cultural custom and explains where it is coming from


·    telling each other about the biographies of the grandparents (where do they come from, where did they move, what kinds of states did they live in...) and looking on differences and similarities

·    poster presentation

·    role play

·     filling in family trees with further information (see questions) from the grandpartens generation until now (single work)

·    presenting them to each other or exemplary for every culture/nation (groups)

·   drawing connections to the “general history” of the country/religion/region (groups together with trainers who know the history of the region)

·    conflict management

·   presenting typical situations of conflicts between cultures or religions in our own context

·   trying to solve them together

·    statue theatre or forum theatre

·     co-ordinating training for the regions back home

·    planning structures and forms of co-operation between the regions resp. forms of support for the future work on inter-religious and intercultural work

·  brainstorming

·    building structures by bringing together people from one region and detailed planning of future co-operation in the conference (perhaps some monitoring by the ARN structure)?)

  •  Co-existence between Faiths. Realities and Horizons”.
  • Culture and traditional means of conflict transformation.
  • Religion and Nationalism today. Challenges and Problems.
  • Co-operation in Development.
  • Conflict prevention and transformation skills.
  • Reporting in conflict as well as the use of information and communication technology in Conflict resolution.                    


We are still consulting with experts on how best they want the training to happen.







Preparation for the conference

May-August 2003


Production of posters for all the countries involved in the programme (West Africa)  Local contribution

  May. 2003


Feeding and accommodation of  40 participants @ $25.00/day/participant for 4 days. Subsidy from the host community.

May -June 2003

Local Cost


Travel Assistance to delegates (50%)



Travel cost and remuneration of experts



Translation cost and equipment



Local contribution






 Editing and Publication of a document on dialogue among cultures, faith and civilisations. Local contribution

 August 2003


Total cost for 3rd Phase  

Local cont.

 Amount Requested from Partners


Participants will be from the different communities in Mali,  Burkina Faso, Benin Republic and Nigeria. Also joining in will be participants from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, Ghana, and Côte d’ivoire.

At Each Phase of the programme, reports will be provided as well as an evaluation.


As follow-up to this programme. It is expected that organisations participating in the programme will integrate Inter-religious and cultural dialogue into their programmes. This will be evaluated two years after the completion of the pilot phase for West Africa.

Human Resource.

We have human resource to manage this programme. Specifically, we have sociologist, Youth Workers, and young people who have been trained in “The Role of Youth movements in Building a Culture of Peace.

We are also in touch with competent people and associations that have competence in managing Ethnic, Cultural and Religious Diversities at different levels of the society.


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