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Ubuntu: Unveiling the Essence of Peace in African History

Peace You Have My Word
By Daryl Oware, Grade 12
Ubuntu: Unveiling the Essence of Peace in African History

On September 21, the whole world celebrates the international day for Peace. This year the United Nation’s designed theme was “Action for Peace: our ambition for the global goals.” There is something transformative about taking a moment to think about what Peace is, what it feels like, and how it impacts the world. Through “Peace You Have My Word,” a writing competition organized by Africa Learning International (ALI), students from international schools in Africa and Europe have put pen to paper to celebrate Peace, Africa, and Antiracism. I take this opportunity to thank the members of the jury for Peace You have My Word 2023. They were: Sarah Noble (Peace talks Co-Founder), Kam Chohan (ECIS Executive Director), Preeti Rajendran (Founder of Innustame) Mickaelle Haution-Pra (Author and Professional coach), Yaya Dama (Founder of Talk for Education and Teacher), Mark Tetteh and Salome Eyaete (International School of Dakar educators). Thank you to them and to all the sixty plus students who wrote this year from all over the world.

Each piece of student work shows evidence that education for Peace is a powerful tool to develop self-awareness, poetic appreciation, and critical thinking. It is inspiring to see African and European students countering afro-pessimism as one. Enjoy the enchanting words and the provocative ideas! 

Estelle Baroung Hughes, Founder of Peace You Have My Word competition

Ubuntu: Unveiling the Essence of Peace in African History

In the tapestry of African history, my own definition of peace emerges as a vibrant reflection of Ubuntu, interwoven with Ghanaian heritage and the collective experiences of other African nations. Peace, to me, transcends the mere absence of conflict and reveals itself as a dynamic equilibrium marked by justice, unity, and cultural resilience.

In Ghana, The Ashanti Kingdom exemplifies the power of diplomacy and mediation. Their approach to conflict resolution, based on dialogue and compromise, fostered stability and harmony within the realm. This tradition of peaceful resolution echoes across the continent, resonating with other African nations like Ethiopia and their practice of conflict arbitration.

Peace finds roots in the ideals of Pan-Africanism, from visionaries like Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere. Pan-Africanism unites the continent, transcending national boundaries, and promoting solidarity. This movement emphasized the importance of collective liberation and the recognition that true peace can only be achieved when all Africans are free from oppression, colonization, and injustice.

The Ubuntu spirit, deeply embedded in African cultures, contributes significantly to my definition of peace. It embraces the notion that I am because we are, emphasizing the interconnectedness of humanity. Ubuntu teaches us that peace flourishes when we recognize every individual's inherent dignity and worth, irrespective of their background, tribe, or nationality. This philosophy permeates the social fabric of African societies, fostering communal bonds and engendering empathy and compassion.

Furthermore, the resilience exhibited by African nations throughout history plays a vital role in shaping my understanding of peace. From the struggle against apartheid in South Africa to the fights for independence, Africa has demonstrated that peace is not a passive state but a dynamic pursuit that requires courage, determination, and a commitment to justice.

In conclusion, my own definition of peace draws inspiration from Ghanaian history and resonates with the experiences of other African nations. It embraces diplomacy, Pan-Africanism, Ubuntu, and the spirit of resilience. As Africa evolves, these elements of peace guide us in forging a future where justice, unity, and cultural diversity flourish, creating a legacy of peace for generations to come.


Daryl Oware is a Grade 12 student at SOS Hermann Gmeiner in Ghana.


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