Sustainable Peace and Development in the Great Lakes Region

Advancing Sustainable Peace and Development Through Education in the African Great Lakes Region

Principal investigator: Elavie Ndura

Marked by a long shared history of colonialism and cyclical intergroup conflicts and annihilating poverty, the nations of the African Great Lakes region (AGL) stand at a crossroads where every policy decision could impact many future generations. The proposed research workshop will elevate our understanding of the peace-development interconnection, and articulate conceptual and practical educational frameworks to advance sustainable peace and development in Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The research workshop participants will outline conceptual and practical frameworks from which to shape educational policies as the foundation for grass-roots movements for sustainable peace and development in the African Great Lakes region. By developing a comprehensive vision focusing on primary through higher educational systems, the workshop participants will contribute to the strategic planning and implementation of educational policies and practices that foster societal reconstruction and peaceful coexistence in post-conflict Burundi, Rwanda, and DRC.

This project is significant because it recognizes the central role of education in promoting healing, reconciliation, and sustainable social cohesion. Additionally, it addresses an enduring need as documented in my research findings in the region, particularly in Burundi over the past 7 years. Hence, it will enrich efforts to shift the current local and regional intergroup discourses toward transformative and reconstructivist paradigms that advance interdisciplinary contributions to the enduring quest for sustainable peace and development in the African Great Lakes region.

The issue of sustainable peace and development is at the center of the current discourse about globalization and international affairs, which drive the mission of Mason’s Center for Global Studies. Hence, this project relates to the field of global studies and the mission of the Center for Global Studies as it will generate new ideas and frameworks that will advance our awareness and understanding of the African Great Lakes region’s struggles with intergroup conflicts and hope for enduring social cohesion and sustainable peace. The project will inform our potential contributions to a multidisciplinary conceptualization of educational policies and practices to promote lasting peace and address the enduring poverty challenge in post-conflict contexts, particularly in Burundi, Rwanda, and DRC.