Local Community Initiatives to Prevent Emergence of Terrorism in Africa

Africa is becoming a niche for armed group terrorist organizations and drug cartel recruiters. Its disillusioned and disenfranchised youth are an easy target, requiring very little to be convinced by these organizations that present themselves as the best hope for their future. As King Ighobor points out, "Unemployment can fuel the fire of political violence and civil unrest".

Investing in and empowering communities around local initiatives is key to solving Africa’s social, economic and political crisis and a sustainable way to promote peace and prosperity. A Congolese thinker, Godefroid Kangudie, puts it well, "The urgency today — in Sub-Sahara Africa — is mainly to generate an organizing spirit around local projects that provide concrete response to vital needs, such as health, education and food, in fact fighting misery and poverty by the ability to be and act together."

Growing up in a country where hopelessness rhymes with life, even for the brightest who graduate from college, I remember the constant anxiety and cynicism that characterized most youth around me. Speaking with young people in the streets of Bukavu, Goma, Bujumbura, Nairobi, Kampala, twelve years after I left Africa, I sensed the same disillusionment. What they hoped would bring true "independence, this time from the politicians that have hijacked it for 50 years, seems to be just a mirage," said Claver Kalumuna, an 18-year old young boy who founded a youth movement in Bukavu, commenting on…

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