Indigenous dispute settlement systems for Africa’s political and economic integration
The growing social, economic and political debility of Africa as well as the challenging need for growth, development, peace and cohesion make regional cooperation and integration glaring necessities for African states. However, one of the ways without which it is difficult to realize this dream is addressing the continent’s violent conflicts, more so the radical intrastate conflicts. African states can only make meaningful contribution and be committed to their treaty obligations when there is peace in their homes. These conflicts are not only aggravated by ethnic and religious tensions, but also have generic economic and political foundation. Some researchers see the difficulty of conflicts in Africa as that of ‘trauma of identity crisis’, which concerns the problem of imposing the modern state system on traditional societies, creating ‘hybrid social identities that are neither modern nor traditional’. This article examines different regional indigenous approaches espoused for addressing conflicts in Africa and subjects them to analysis to discover their shortcomings and, then, propose strategies to peace and conflict resolution in the continent that could be effective and significantly contribute to a culture of peace, cohesiveness and stability, necessary for sustainable economic and political integration of the continent.
Keywords: Cooperation and integration, indigenous dispute settlement, conflict resolution, peace, cohesiveness and stability.