Beyond Orthodox Strategies: Managing Conflicts and Sustaining Peace Through Communal Ethics, Traditional Values and Methodsin Africa

Idowu Johnson


The phenomenal rise in violent conflicts in Africa since the end of the Cold War has been an obstacle to peace and sustainable development. This paper observed that in spite of the proportionately high rate of resources expended on defence, internal strife and ethno-religious conflicts constitute features of most states in contemporary Africa. Much of the success of resolving and managing conflicts in Africa has been due in large part to the involvement of the international community. Through a variety of measures, from mediation,through sanctions to military interventions, many states in Africa have taken measures to bring an end to violence. Although this progress is laudable, the reality is that communal conflicts continue to ravage the continent. Despite the concerns surrounding international involvement in peace processes, this paper posits that the community of nations remains a necessary actor in managing conflicts and sustaining peace. Every African community has its own cultural strategies, institutions and values for monitoring, preventing, managing and resolving conflicts. The paper concludes that a homegrown peace approach within the context of communal ethics and traditional mechanisms should be incorporated in the methods of resolving conflicts and sustaining peace in contemporary Africa.


Conflicts; Peace; Communal ethics; Traditional values

Full Text:



ACCORD & CAPCR. (2014). Alternative dispute resolution and peace studies in Africa: Lessons, prospects and challenges.

Adedeji, A. (Ed.). (1999). Comprehending and mastering African conflicts: The search for sustainable peace and good governance. London: Zed Books.

Adejumobi, S. (2005). Identity, citizenship and conflict: The African experience. In W. A. Fawole & C. Ukeje (Eds.), The crisis of the state and regionalism in West Africa: Identity, citizenship and conflict. Dakar: CODESRIA.

Adetula, V. A. (2006). Development, conflict and peacebuilding in Africa. In S. G. Best (Ed.), Introduction to peace and conflict studies in West Africa. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd.

Afisi, O. T. (2008). Rethinking the African identity crisis. Nnamdi Azikwe J. Philoso, 1(2).

Ajayi, A. T., & Buhari, L. O. (2014). Methods of conflict resolution in African traditional society. African Research Review, 8(33), 138-157.

Akinwale, A. A. (2010). Integrating traditional modern conflict management strategies in Nigeria. In I. O. Albert & I. O. Oloyede (Eds.), Dynamics of peace process. Ibadan: John Archers Publishers Ltd.

Albert, I. O. (2001). Introduction to third party intervention in community conflict. Ibadan: John Archers Publishers Ltd.

Albert, I. O., et al. (Eds.). (1995). Informal channels for conflict resolution in Ibadan. Nigeria. Ibadan: IFRA.

Amposah, Y. O. (2008). The Diaspora: Potential contributions to African peace initiatives. In I. M. Zulu & A. Aderemi (Eds.), Global peace leadership summit 2007: Africa and the Diaspora. California: Morris Publishing.

Animasawun, G. A. (2013). Militias in Nigeria’s Fourth-Republic: Bargaining with or Exiting the state? In V. A. Isumonah, M. O. Oyebode, & A. Adams (Eds.), Nationalisties, identities and terrorism: The Nigerian experience. Ibadan: John Archers Publishers Ltd.

Boege, V. (2006). Traditional approaches to conflict transformation—Potentials and Limits. Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management.

Brock-Utne, B. (2001). Indigenous conflict resolution in Africa. A draft presented to Week-End Seminar on Indigenous Solutions to Conflicts, Held at the University of Oslo, Institute of Educational Research, 23-24 of February 2001.

Bujra, A. (2000). African conflicts, a discussion of their causes and their political and social environment. Ad-Hoc Experts Group Meeting on the Economic of Civil Conflicts in Africa. Organized by Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, April 7-18, 2000.

Choudree, R. B. G. (1999). Traditions of conflict resolution in South Africa. African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 1(1).

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. (2008). Republic of South Africa. Policy framework on the traditional justice system under the constitution. Pretoria: RSA, DOJ & CD.

Egwu, S. G. (2006). Beyond “revival of old hatreds”: The state and conflict in Africa. In S. G. Best (Ed.), Introduction to peace and conflict studies in West Africa. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd.

Emanuel, M., & Ndimbwa, T. (2013). Traditional mechanisms of resolving conflicts over land resource. A case of Gorowa community in Northern Tanzania. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 3(11), 214-224.

Emiola, N. (2005). The impact of globalization on African culture: A theological response. Ogbomoso Journal of Theology, (10), 57-67.

Englebert, P. (2002). Patterns and theories of traditional resurgence in tropical Africa. Modern Development, 30(118), 51-64.

Francis, D. J. (2006). Peace and conflict studies: An African overview of basic concepts. In S. G. Best (Ed.), Introduction to peace and conflict studies in West Africa. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd.

Fred-Mensah, B. K. (1999). Capturing ambiguities: Communal conflict management alternative in Ghana. World Development, 27(6), 951-965.

Galtung, J. (1990). Cultural violence. Journal of Peace Research, 27(3).

Ibeanu, O. (2006). Conceptualizing peace. In S. G. Best (Ed.), Introduction to peace and conflict studies in West Africa. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd.

Iwu, H. N. (2015). Traditional institutions and conflict resolution in Igboland. Bonn: Lambert Publishing.

Kendie, S. B., & Guri, B. (2006). Indigenous institutions, governance and development: Community mobilization and natural resources management in Ghana. Cape Coast, Ghana Centre for Development Studies, University of Cape Coast.

Malam, J. (1997). Conflict resolution wisdom from Africa. ACCORD.

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2000). Intercultural communication in contexts. California: Mayfield Publishing Company.

Nwolise, O. B . C. (2005). Traditional models of bargaining and conflict resolution in Africa. In I. O. Albert (Ed.), Perspectives on peace and conflict in Africa. Ibadan: John Archers Publishers Ltd.

Okrah, K. A. (2003). Toward global conflict resolution: Lessons from the Akan traditional judicial system. Journal of Social Studies Research. Retrieved from

Olaoba, O. B. (2010). African traditional methods of conflict resolution. Lagos: National Open University of Nigeria.

Osborn, M., & Motley, M. T. (2001). Improving communication. Boston: Houghton Miffin Inc.

Osei-Hwedie, K., & Rankopo, M. J. (n.d). Indigenous conflict resolution in Africa: The case of Ghana and Bostwana. University of Bostwana.

Osime, G. U. (2012). Principles of conflict management. Ibadan: Memphis Multimedia Publication.

Otite, O. (2000). On conflicts, their resolution, transformation, and management. In O. Otite & I. O. Albert (Eds.), Community conflicts in Nigeria: Management, resolution and transformation. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd.

Quincy, W. (Ed.). (1971). The escalation of international conflicts. London: Noitre Dame Press.

Volman, D. (1997). Introduction. BULLETIN, (48/49).



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Idowu Johnson

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Studies in Sociology of Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 9375 Rue de Roissy Brossard, Québec, J4X 3A1, Canada

Telephone: 1-514-558 6138
Website: Http://; Http://

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Research & Development Centre of Sciences and Cultures