Great Lakes and East Africa

Great Lakes East Africa

Although Africa's Great Lakes and East regions comprise several independent states, Church leaders have emphasized the importance of working with a regional focus for the sake of effective peacebuilding. As a result, while CPN engages with persons and organizations in individual nations, like Burundi, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and South Sudan, it also helps facilitate this regional cooperation. Recently, CPN launched an Africa Peace Studies Working Group, a cross-regional steering committee of peace studies faculty that will meet regularly to identify and plan regional networking and collaboration opportunities.

Other CPN accompaniment and partnership in the region has included:

  • In 2019, CPN helped plan and facilitate a workshop on the Church's role in peace processes for members of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • In 2017, CPN co-sponsored an institute on peace studies and Catholic Social Teaching for faculty and university leaders from African universities as a follow up to the 2012 ACUHIAM plan for expanding peace studies at African universities.
  • In 2016, with co-sponsorship from CPN, the Catholic University of South Sudan's Institute for Applied Research and Community Outreach hosted a conference to conclude the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
  • CPN has helped with strategic planning and other needs for a new peace institute established at the Catholic University of Bukavu under the auspices of ACEAC, the regional episcopal conference covering the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda.
  • In 2013, CPN and CRS co-sponsored and provided resource persons for a major meeting on reconciliation for Ugandan bishops and national- and diocesan-level peace and justice staff.
  • In 2013, CPN supported a week-long workshop for diocesan peace and justice staff from through the Democratic Republic of Congo, and CPN affiliated faculty have also done seminars for bishops and staff in Burundi and for the Cardinal Martino Pan African Institute in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • In 2012, faculty partners of CPN conducted a two-day program on peace studies and Catholic Social Teaching for the Association of Catholic Universities and Higher Institutes of Africa and Madagascar (ACUHIAM). As a follow up, ACUHIAM leadership approved a plan for expanding peace studies at African universities.
  • In 2010, CPN accompanied 125 Church leaders from six national and two regional episcopal conferences during a meeting to approve a plan for regional peacebuilding (2010 Final Declaration In English; 2010 Final Declaration In French).
  • In 2006, CPN held its third annual international conference on peacebuilding in Bujumbura, Burundi, titled "Archbishop Michael Aidan Courtney Memorial Conference on Catholic Peacebuilding in Africa’s Great Lakes Region."

Organizations and Contacts

Conflict Profiles:

Burundi   Democratic Republic of Congo   South Sudan   Uganda

Research Resources and Documents:

Regional   Burundi   Democratic Republic of Congo   South Sudan   Uganda

"Catholic Peacebuilding in the DRC: Challenges, Opportunities, and Lessons for Sub-Saharan Africa"
Online Webinar
July 8, 2020

The Kroc Cast: Peace Studies Conversations, "The Peace Process and the Pandemic in South Sudan"
June 26, 2020

This episode focuses on the way the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the peace process in the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, and the role of the Catholic community in that process. A conversation between Former Ambassador Susan Page, Fr. James Oyet Latansio, and Andrea Bartoli, produced in partnership with the Catholic Peacebuilding Network.

The Kroc Cast: Peace Studies Conversations, "The Pandemic and Peacebuilding: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa"
May 1, 2020

Kroc Institute Associate Professor of the Practice of Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding David Anderson Hooker, talks with Catholic Peacebuilding Network partners Jean-Baptiste Talla, Nell Bolten, and Fr. Rigobert Minani about the current coronavirus pandemic and its impact on peacebuilding in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Kroc Cast: Peace Studies Conversations, "The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Ethiopian Peacebuilding"
December 13, 2019

Kroc Institute Communications Program Director, Hannah Heinzekehr, talks with Peter Wallensteen, the Richard G. Starmann Sr. Research Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies, and Kroc Institute Visiting fellow Abba Hagos Hayish Fessuh about the recent awarding of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize to Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. They also discuss the history and current realities of the conflict at the Ethiopian and Eritrean border and challenges and opportunities facing peacebuilders in Ethiopia.

The Kroc Cast: Peace Studies Conversations, "The 25th Anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda and Healing Traumatic Memories"
December 6, 2019

Notre Dame Professor of Theology and Peace Studies Fr. Emmanuel Katongole and Fr. Jean Baptiste Mvukiyehe discuss the genocide in Rwanda on its twenty-fifth anniversary, the process of healing from traumatic memories, and more. This episode is one of many conversations recorded during the Kroc Institute’s Building Sustainable Peace Conference in November 2019.