Botswana : Indigenous Institutions, Civil Society and Government in Peace Building in Southern Africa <Articles>
JIDC_16-2_115.pdf 713 KB
Osei-Hwedie, Bertha Z.
The challenge of peace building in Southern Africa is how to blend traditional practices and modern liberal methods of peace building into sustainable peace. This requires the involvement and collaboration of indigenous institutions, civil society, government and the international community. The call for a prominent role for traditional institutions and civil society in peace building does not ignore the problems associated with traditional cultures, norms and institutions; and reflects the need to make indigenous institutions and civil society relevant and applicable to contemporary peace building efforts. It is the positive elements of culture and civil society as facilitators, enforcers, and instruments for conflict resolution and prevention, peace building and promotion of democracy and development that are emphasized. Botswana is discussed to illustrate how it uses three main mechanisms, namely, indigenous norms and institutions of the Tswana traditional culture, institutions of chieftaincy and Kgotla (village assembly); modern democratic institutions such as civil society and the judiciary; and socio-economic development for conflict resolution and prevention, and governance. Botswana's use of indigenous institutions, civil society and government structures as the bases for negotiations and adjudication in peace building serves as a learning experience for other countries to emulate.