In Lusaka, Zambia, from 20 to 22 September 2013, the SACCPS held its third major conference. This was the final conference in the series of three conferences that was designed to serve as a springboard for the launch of the SACCPS network. With peacebuilding as the final broad topic for discussion, the series was concluded, according to plan, with the first and second years having already taking up the issues of peacemaking and peacekeeping/enforcement respectively.

The conference began by revisiting the concept of peacebuilding, and an overview of its application to the southern African region as a whole. Presenters proceeded to delve into specific case studies within the region, the role of women in peacebuilding and other cross-cutting issues, as well as connections and comparisons beyond the region. Discussion was informed, lively and productive.

As had been the case in previous conferences, the conference aimed to ensure that the discussion was policy relevant. In this regard, it is noteworthy that the conference welcomed presenters from beyond academia – most notably from the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from a Zambian civil society organization. The conference was also attended by representatives of the foreign service from several countries (including three high commissioners), and a number of civil society organizations based in Zambia.

In the final wrap-up session, the participants came together to revisit and pull together the key themes that had dominated the discussion. The results (seen below) can be perhaps seen as a menu for future avenues of research.

  • Regionalism
    ◦ Best practices (lessons from states at peace: sovereignty/liberation, corridors)
  • Peacebuilding through the lens of specific issues
    ◦ Gender, journalism, civil society
  • Resources and peacebuilding
    ◦ Water, minerals, electricity, land
  • The nature of the state and peacebuilding
    ◦ Weak/fragile/resilient states, bottom-up/top-down (indigenous approaches, transitional justice), democratization

PDF files of the presentations made at the conference can also be viewed from the links provided in the conference program below. To view the continuation of the discussion, please be on the look out for new issues of the SACCPS-run journal – Southern African Peace and Security Studies, entries in the SACCPS blog, and video interviews. You are also welcome to join the conversation – the journal and the blog welcome informed thoughts and analyses. The work of the SACCPS can also be followed on  Facebook and Twitter.

SACCPS Conference 2013 program


20 September (Friday)


  • Introductions, idea exchange, and reception

21 September (Saturday)

Session I: Peacebuilding in Southern Africa: The big picture
Chair: Njunga Mulikita, Copperbelt University

Session II: Some case studies
Chair: Lester Brian Shawa, Mzuzu University

Session III: Women in peacebuilding
Chair: Gladys Mokhawa, University of Botswana


22 September (Sunday)

Session IV: Perspectives beyond the region
Chair: Ali Jabir Mwadini, University of Dar es Salaam

Session V: Some cross-cutting issues
Chair: Bryson Nkoma, Mzuzu University



Wrap-up session
Chair: Virgil Hawkins, Osaka University

  • Roundtable discussion
    Results of the conference
    Avenues for future collaboration

Closing remarks