On the 2nd of June 2021 ACCORD hosted a book launch for the book Whose Peace are We Building? Leadership for Peace in Africa by Youssef Mahmoud with Albert Mbiatem. The book launch was attended by the authors Prof Youssef Mahmoud and Albert Mbiatem, with Prof ’Funmi Olonisakin providing the responding remarks and ACCORD Special Advisor Amb Welile Nhlapo who moderated the book launch.
Prof Mahmoud’s book assesses the different types of leadership styles and the different processes and strategies that are needed in order to gain a greater understanding of local contexts while also maintaining trust and ensuring co-operation of host authorities and stakeholders on the ground.
Prof Mahmoud highlighted that leadership is about listening to people on the ground, as Missions are established to help the people on the ground, who often have insight and ideas on how to solve conflicts and establish peace. Prof Mahmoud pointed out that the context of the conflict and the followers of leaders are more important to the peace process than the leaders themselves.
Albert Mbiatem and Prof ’Funmi Olonisakin also emphasised the need to understand the context and the people involved in the situation. There is also a need to understand what peace means to the people on the ground in order to establish a lasting peace.