Local Communities, ICTs, and Conflict Prevention in Africa

A critical inquiry

Authored by: Chas Morrison

Routledge Handbook of Conflict Response and Leadership in Africa

Print publication date:  September  2021
Online publication date:  September  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367332228
eBook ISBN: 9780429318603
Adobe ISBN:


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In societies affected by violent civil conflict, the authorities often lack the capacity to respond effectively and seldom benefit from locally sourced early warning intelligence. This raises fundamental questions around the importance of relationships, local leadership, and communication channels that enable dialogue at intra-group and inter-group levels. Our fieldwork suggests that in environments characterized by divided communities and potential for civil conflict, dialogue and trust are more significant factors in preventing violence than technological tools or other innovations. Without a solid foundation of functioning dialogue channels and recognition of social capital, it is challenging for ICT to demonstrate real and lasting impacts on peace and conflict dynamics. These findings emerged from investigations by UK researchers and civil society groups in South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania on the warning-response gap in efforts to reduce local outbreaks of civil violence, how best to engage ICT in early warning and conflict prevention, and who are the main stakeholders in these processes.

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