Preventing and mitigating urban conflict is one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century. To this end, ACCORD in partnership with United Cities and Local Governments Africa (UCLG A), convened an Early Warning and Conflict Prevention Seminar, titled, “Responding to Urban Conflict”, on 18 May 2022.
The seminar, which took place during the UCLG A’s Africities Summit in Kisumu, Kenya, is a continuation of efforts within the partnership between UCLG Africa and ACCORD to explore the issue of urbanisation and conflict. The panel included local government stakeholders Mr. Saïd Abdullahi Alasow, General Director, Ministry of the Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, Somalia; Mr. Jamal Elniel Abdallah Mansour, Director, Ministry of Social Development, Sudan; and Mr. Said El Hadj Loukman, President, Comoros Institute for the Training of Elected Officials, Comoros. Mr. Daniel Akinjise, a youth activist from Nigeria also presented along with Ms. Mary Opot, the Executive Director of Winam Grassroots, a community-based organisation in Kisumu. ACCORD’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr Vasu Gounden and Ms. Ipsita Sircar who leads interventions around urbanisation at the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), provided virtual recorded presentations.
This seminar provided an opportunity for deliberations on how rapid urbanisation may lead to conflict when it intersects with an already fragile socioeconomic and political environment. Furthermore, as ACCORD continues to strengthen the role of multi-dimensional stakeholders to deal with complex conflicts, the seminar highlighted the key role of local government in preventing and managing urban conflict. Having a youth activist on the panel also created an opportunity for discussion around how to strengthen youth’s efforts towards preventing and mitigating urban conflict, recognising that the active engagement of youth is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies.