Gilbert Khadiagala, ANCIP Fellow at PRIF – A Brief Report on Activities
At the invitation of Dr. Antonia Witt, I was privileged to spend two months (June to July 2023) as a visiting research professor at PRIF.
The visit allowed me to interact with PRIF staff and conduct research in three main areas: mediation of African conflicts by retired presidents; assess the mediation initiative by African presidents in the Russia-Ukraine conflict (June 2023); and co-author a policy brief with Dr. Dimpho Deleglise, a PRIF fellow, on the implementation of peace agreements in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Ethiopia.
My interaction with PRIF colleagues started as soon as I arrived in Frankfurt at the end of June when I participated in the European African Studies Association (EASA) conference in Cologne, May 30 to June 1st. It was an enriching conference that enabled me to get acquainted and learn about the work of European scholars on Africa. I also had the opportunity to attend the ANCIP Coordination Meeting in Duisburg in July 12-14 where I participated in the deliberations. While at PRIF, I gave a lecture at the Goethe University on African mediation efforts in the Ukraine-Russia conflict as well as presenting a lunch seminar on the same topic at PRIF. Part of this research was published as a PRIF policy brief in mid-July.
I am currently finalizing the research on African mediators by probing the utility of the concept of “Elder Statesmen” that framed the debates on African interventions in conflicts in the 1990s. The research proposes that the disproportionate focus on elder statesmen has distracted attention from building credible mediation institutions that can manage the resurgence of intractable civil conflicts in Africa. In the policy brief on the implementation of peace agreements, we suggest that successful outcomes accrue from collaborations and burden-sharing among multiple national, regional, and international actors.