CI Publishes New Paper on West Africa

May 8, 2009

Coexistence International has published Focus on Coexistence and Democracy-building in West Africa, a new addition to its Focus Paper Series. This paper explores the relationship between a society’s ability to coexist and its ability to create a sustainable democracy, and how democratic structures that are coexistence-sensitive support a framework for a more inclusive and peaceful society.

In the context of West Africa’s experience with repression, exclusion, and unequal access to resources, the paper highlights examples from the region that demonstrate the importance of being attentive to intergroup relationships through inclusive leadership and good governance. Practitioners working on issues of good governance, accountability mechanisms, peacebuilding, and social inclusion understand that concerns such as repression, exclusion, and unequal access to resources are both a cause and a symptom of intergroup conflict. Therefore, any long-term strategy for creating sustainable democracies and peaceful societies must be multifaceted and take into account questions of coexistence.

Through examples, and with recommendations for civil society and governments in the region, the paper suggests ways to develop more inclusive and sustainable democracies and peaceful societies amidst the rich social diversity in the region.

Focus on Coexistence and Democracy-building in West Africa is available here.