In order to heal religious and ethnic divisions in Africa, KAICIID convenes Christian, Muslim and traditional community leaders to work together for peace. We support interreligious dialogue platforms engaged in peacebuilding in Nigeria and the Central African Republic; foster dialogue and research through our regional Fellows cohorts; support the African Union on issues such as the protection of sacred sites; and work to build partnerships between policymakers and religious actors toward the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In Africa, KAICIID works with local dialogue platforms which bring together religious actors and civil society leaders from across the continent. Platform leaders know local contexts intimately, understand cultural, ethnic and religious concerns, and are trusted as insiders. Community-based platforms also encourage ownership of dialogue processes and ensure their sustainability.
In Nigeria, KAICIID supports the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP), which convenes diverse religious leaders to protect holy sites, uphold the freedom of religion, promote conflict sensitive journalism, prevent hate speech and foster interfaith education and exchange.
Since 2017, KAICIID has also supported the “Plateforme des Confessions Religieuses de Centrafrique” (PCRC), which brings together key national leaders of the Catholic, Evangelical and Muslim communities. Over the past few years, the PCRC has successfully defused tensions at the local level by deploying high-level religious leaders to mediate between armed groups.
Protecting Sacred Sites
Sacred sites represent the history, social fabric and traditions of people across the world, reminding us of the sacred, shared values that bind us together as human beings. Destroying them often symbolizes the effort to erase the identities of marginalized and oppressed communities.
KAICIID works closely with the African Union on the protection of sacred sites across the continent, as part of our joint commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our programmatic work aims to ensure that people everywhere can practice their faith in peace, and that religious sites are safe havens, rather than sites of terror or bloodshed.
The African Union
Since 2013, KAICIID has partnered with the African Union on the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the realization of the UN SDGs – a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people can enjoy peace and prosperity. Together, the two organizations promote a culture of dialogue among followers of diverse religions and cultures in Africa through the AU Interfaith Dialogue Forum (AU-IFDF), which incorporates the voices and concerns of religious communities into continental policymaking and explores the role of interfaith dialogue in resolving peace and security issues on the continent.
Central African Republic
In the Central African Republic, KAICIID convenes diverse religious actors, building their capacity to promote peace within their communities. To that end, Centre has worked with religious actors to institute an early warning mechanism to monitor, mitigate and prevent interreligious violence; supported religious leaders in peace advocacy and mediation missions with the support of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA); and provided technical and financial support to the “Plateforme des Confessions Religieuses de Centrafrique” (PCRC).
In Nigeria, KAICIID supports the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) with conflict prevention efforts, including field missions which encourage dialogue and establish local peace mechanisms. The Centre has also worked with the IDFP to raise awareness of the dangers of hate speech and the warning signs of incitement to violence, equip youth and women with dialogue and peacebuilding skills, conduct workshops on deradicalisation for communities affected by extremist groups like Boko Haram, and deploy fact-finding and mediation missions to regions affected by the farmer-pastoralist conflict.
November 1, 2016, Abuja, Nigeria − In an effort to promote interreligious dialogue as a means to build peace and enhance social cohesion in Africa, the Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) of the African Union Commission and the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) will hold the 2nd Interfaith Dialogue Forum from 10 to 11 November 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Forum will, among other things, enhance partnerships between the African Union and religious leaders in AU Member States, enable the creation of a safe space for dialogue, add an interfaith dimension to the joint efforts towards achieving the Africa Agenda 2063, AUC’s flagship initiative; and serve as both a working meeting and an opportunity to set up a united front in peacebuilding. It will also provide a platform for the repudiation of criminal atrocities committed in the name of religion in any African region and declaration of an unequivocal statement in support of diversity, featuring new and diverse voices in a follow-up declaration to the Abuja Declaration of 2010; and oversee the establishment of a permanent Steering Committee, which will link policy makers with religious leaders. This committee will be made up of representatives from national interfaith councils, civil society organizations and scholars.