This edition of the Journal marks an important transition that has been in the making for many years. From the establishment of the Journal in 1999 until this year, the African Journal on Conflict Resolution (AJCR) has been published by ACCORD through an in-house and self-managed process. Starting with the first edition of the AJCR in 2024 we will move to a publication process that will use the Khulisa Journals’ online publication process. Khulisa uses open-source software to manage the workflow of the journal. Authors will therefore be able to submit their articles, track the progress of the articles and liaise with the editors in one online space.
This transition is part of a process involving the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa which is captured in a 2021 report entitled The Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South Africa Report on Grouped Peer Review of Scholarly Journals in History, Philosophy, and Politics. In this report, the continued accreditation of the AJCR by the South African Department of Higher Education (DHET) was recommended. In addition, the AJCR was invited to form part of the South African portal of the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO). SciELO is an open access, multinational platform that houses open access journals which meet certain standards and are considered to be of high quality.
The invitation to be a part of SciELO means that the AJCR receives automatic accreditation from the DHET and will gain access to indexes like the Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science portal, SCOPUS, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This will greatly improve global visibility and access to the AJCR. It also ensures that the AJCR continues to maintain publishing best-practice standards and assists the editorial team to better measure the impact of the journal through bibliometric analysis. 2023 was a transition year and, while both editions of the Journal have been published on the Khulisa platform, the publication process was still managed manually. As of 2024, authors will contribute articles via Khulisa, and the review and publication process will be managed via the Khulisa content management platform. The AJCR will remain open access and will also be published on the ACCORD website. This is an important milestone for the Journal and will also improve citation recognition for our contributors.
In this edition of the journal, we cover conflict management experiences in West, Central and Southern Africa. In our first contribution, Freedom C. Onuoha, Oluwole Ojewale and Chukwunonso Joseph Akogwu consider the implications of climate change and natural resource conflicts in the ECOWAS and ECCAS Regions for State Security Forces. In our second article, Oseremen Felix Irene uses experiences from the Ojoo community in Ibadan, Nigeria to analyse how peace can be built from below, using informal peace infrastructures. Our third article is by Alexander Madanha Rusero and Kudzai Arnold Maisiri who consider regionalism and the fight against terrorism in Southern Africa by analysing the situation in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Our last article is by Mamello Rakolobe and Hoolo ‘Nyane. They analyse the role of the judiciary in the resolution of intra-party conflicts in Lesotho.
As usual, we end this edition of the Journal with a book review. Zikho Dana reviews War, Women and Post- conflict Empowerment: Lessons from Sierra Leone, edited by Josephine Beoku-Betts and Fredline A. M’Cormack-Hale, and published by Zed Books (Bloomsbury Publishing Plc) in 2022.
Since the launch of the African Journal on Conflict Resolution, our aim has been to contribute to the intellectual development of the field of conflict management on the African continent. We hope that you will find this collection of articles by African researchers on African conflict resolution experiences valuable for your research and practice.