Waterloo, Ontario–With over 50 states and 1,500 languages, Africa plays host to some of the bloodiest conflicts in the world. A new book, Minding the Gap: African Conflict Management in a Time of Change, released by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), explores the diverse and complex region where a variety of multinational and multi-institutional efforts are emerging to help contain and resolve conflict.

Central to Africa’s ability to manage and resolve conflicts is the will of Africans to take responsibility for conflict and their ability to close crucial gaps between the capacities, mandates and resources of different African institutions, as well as those emerging between African and international institutions. Minding the Gap points the way toward closing such gaps and the importance of continuously strengthening and improving the institutional basis for managing conflict in Africa.

Edited by Pamela Aall, CIGI Senior Fellow and a Senior Adviser at the United States Institute of Peace and Chester A. Crocker, CIGI Distinguished Fellow and James R. Schlesinger professor of strategic studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, the book brings together more than 20 experts from Africa and around the world to provide an in-depth look into the capacity, with and without international assistance, of African institutions to manage and resolve violent conflicts through peacekeeping, mediation and related means.

“Today, an improved African capacity to manage and resolve conflict strongly discredits the age-old narrative identifying Africa as a region eternally engulfed in violent and protracted conflict,” said Crocker. “Sharpening the capacities of individual states to govern, helping re-imagine the role of international institutions in African peacebuilding, and critically reviewing the models and objectives of conflict management in Africa are all parts of a renewed role and bargain that must take shape between the international community and African institutions.”

“This project draws important attention to the unique and extremely important tapestry of African institutions used to manage and resolve conflicts today,” said Aall. “However it is equally important to couch all optimism emerging from the resolution and brokering of peace in the region in the institutional and political challenges that lie ahead.”

Minding the Gap is now available through CIGI Press. For more information, or to purchase the book, please visit: https://www.cigionline.org/publications/minding-gap-african-conflict-management-time-of-change.  


Sean Zohar, Communications Specialist, CIGI

Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7265, Email: [email protected]   

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visitwww.cigionline.org.


"Today, an improved African capacity to manage and resolve conflict strongly discredits the age-old narrative identifying Africa as a region eternally engulfed in violent and protracted conflict"
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