Peace Building And Political Development In West Africa: A Study Of Selected Area In The Sub Region 2010-2019

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Peace Building And Political Development In West Africa: A Study Of Selected Area In The Sub Region 2010-2019


This study examined peace building and political development in Nigeria and Sierra Leone in West Africa.

The study adopted qualitative method and historical/analytical design was used in analyzing its data. Data were collected through secondary sources which include newspapers, archives, books, conference proceedings, etc.

The study provides insight to concept of United Nations (UN), structure, functions and power of the United Nations Security Council, Peace Building, Goals of Peace Building, The Peace Building Process, Elements of Peace Building, Approaches to Peace Building, Political Development, and Characteristics of Political Development. Human Need Theory was adopted.

The findings revealed that; The United Nations have a very strong relationship with the countries and as a result have been able to give the necessary assistance in ensuring peace and stability in the countries;. Avoidance as a strategy of resolution is regarded when one or two of the parties are advised to avoid or stay away from each other, avoid talking concerning the issue at conflict;. Direct command resolution style, third party intervention, synergistic style, religion or peacemaking through faith in action, and compromise or negotiation track are ways through which peace building and political development are being carried out;. The effectiveness of peace building and development in Nigeria and Sierra Leone by the United Nations is a positive one;. UN has effectively intervened in a number of peacekeeping operations in Africa for decades and this has helped countries torn by conflict to achieve security, peace and stability.

The study concluded that, factors militating against the United Nations peace building and political development in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, such as communication barrier, lack of finance, coordination challenge, corruption, and so on. The study further recommends that; The government of both countries should ensure that they put in place necessary measures and supports;. Government of both countries needs to put in place an elaborate framework that shows genuine interest in building peace within the polity;. Policymakers should ensure the formulation of policies that will promote peace building framework in the country;. Countries should engage in peace building and peace keeping as effective strategies to promote peace;. Anti-corruption should not be based on party, religious or ethnic sentiments.

Chapter One


1.1. Background of Study

The development of any given nation is not complete without peace. The process involved in peace making can be rigorous; however, it is very essential that a country that wants to achieve social, economic, environmental and political development must ensure that, there exists peace in the system, (Nkechi, 2013). The development of peace in a country is a very important factor that enhances growth and developments and as well as attract foreign investors to a country. The term ‘peace building’ has had remarkable staying power, while terms like ‘conflict resolution’ have waned in popularity, and the acceptance and use of the word ‘peace building’ has grown significantly to the extent that it is the hegemonic and over-arching term for many forms of mediation, reconciliation and strategies to induce peace, (Akpuru-Aja, 2011).

So, there is the need to be wary of “one size fits all” approach to peace building and development, and even in our society where inhabitants are likely to thorny subjects. In spite of the heterogeneity in our society, many scholars and practitioners concede that the problems arising from complex political emergencies, particularly the trauma they are said to engender, are best addressed through a psychosocial framework. The consensus, however ends there as there is little agreement as regard how exactly what the term “psychosocial” entails, and even less about what goals, plans and practices should govern psychosocial interventions, (Mary, & Brandon, 2016).

Peace building and development professionals typically draw on different theoretical frameworks for developing their programmes. Development professionals reference the paradigms of development whereas peace building professionals reference theories of change. These two different frameworks make it difficult for these professionals to communicate across their disciplines, even though they are increasingly engaging in very similar forms of intervention, (Audu, & Adam, 2016). This study will therefore develop a framework for correlating the respective development paradigms with peace building theories of change.

Awareness is growing in both the peace building and development communities about the need to better understand the influence and impact of their programmes and policies in a more systematic way, particularly in situations of violent conflict or post-conflict environments. The increasing recognition among international agencies, scholars and practitioners of the need to treat peace building and development in an integrated way is, however not sufficiently matched when it comes to evaluation, which occur due to a lack of research on the subject matter and the few developed frameworks and research results are often not well known. At the same time there is a demand for integrated frameworks and approaches by practitioner organisations and more generally, by many others interested in agencies, scholars and practitioners of the need to treat peacebuilding and development in an integrated way is however not sufficiently matched when it comes to evaluation (Thania, Mohammed, & Erin, 2012).

Despite a number of conflict occurrence in Nigeria, peace building and development has been identified as an effective method of resolving conflicts in the country and the world in general. It is based on the above backdrop, that this study will examine peace building and political development in West Africa, using Nigeria and Sierra Leone as the study case.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

The United Nation is the number one international organization in the world that covers all sovereign states in the world, it is a body which was set up in 1945, after series of conferences held to its account, to determine its aim, structure, functions and responsibilities. Since the awful events of the 2nd world war, the United Nations was set up to ensure world peace and to make sure that such an experience never repeats itself again, in world history, (United Nations, 2019). Therefore, with no doubt, one can recognize the fact that the fundamental aim of the UN is the maintenance of Global peace. However, this was achieved through a number of avenues like the signing and supervision of treaties, trade relations and even sports, (Basu, 2015). These various avenues and strategies are collectively known as ‘Initiative for Global Peace’, which is a correlate to this study.

In Africa, especially Western Nations which have recorded some cases of unrest such as kidnappers, bandits, and boko haram criminal activities which have affected the peace, economic and political development of western nations and Africa at large, (Al Jazeera news, 2018). For instance, it has been reported so far that, boko haram has been responsible for the death of thousands of people and loss of lives and property across West Africa nations. It has also been discovered that, boko haram have been engaging in kidnapping to bolster its ranks across Africa, and contribute to an atmosphere of persistent insecurity, and as well as engaging in attacks on civilians to create new frontlines in the conflict, (Benson, 2016).

Nigeria is a country blessed with diversity in culture and abundance natural resources, as well as facing a number of security challenges such as Boko Haram Islamic Sect, herdsmen, bandits, and many more, (Onuoha, 2018). Since the return of civil rule in 1999, the country has been experiencing rising spectre of violence and insecurity bordering on natural resources mismanagement and control, citizenship question, electoral violence, religious and ethnic polarization, and the current ferocious insurgency against the state, (Imohe, 2010; Abdullahi, 2014).

Internal conflict arising from boko haram, herdsmen, kidnapers, bandits have led to instability in Nigeria which does not only pose a serious threat to internal security in Nigeria but as well threaten regional stability of Africa in general, thereby calling for collective security in order to ensure peace and stability in the continent, (Onuoha, 2018). The act of terrorism poses a big threat to the security, political stability, economic development and human security in Nigeria.

In Sierra Leone, there have been cases of violence incidents of riot and clashes between political parties and supporters of the All People’s Congress (APC) and Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), (Sierra Leone Telegraph, 2018). On 7th March, the main opposition party, the SLPP, won marginally more votes than the ruling party, the APC, triggering an election runoff. With the police officers taking part in the political unrest of scaring citizens to vote was recorded as well, (The Guardian, 2018).

Based on the above framework, it has been discovered that, crisis exists practically in all regions; therefore, it is on this note that this study will examine the impact of peace building and political development in West Africa, using Nigeria and Sierra Leone as the study case.

1.3. Research Objectives

The general objective of this study is to examine the impact of peace building and political development of selected countries of Nigeria and Sierra Leone in West Africa.

The specific objectives of the research are to:

  1. Examine the relationship which the United Nations have with Nigeria and Sierra Leone in cases of peace building and political development.
  2. Find out ways in which peace building and political development are being carried out.
  3. Investigate if peace building and political development is effective in Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

1.4. Research Questions

  1. What is the relationship of United Nations with Nigeria and Sierra Leone in cases of peace building and political development?
  2. What are the ways and strategies in which peace building and political development are being carried out?
  3. What is the effectiveness of peace building and political development in Nigeria and Sierra Leone?

1.5. Significance of study

The findings of this research will be useful for the promotion of peace building and political development of Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The research will seek to investigate the impacts of peace building and political development as it would provide more understanding to the people and how it could increase the level of peace building and political development.

The research would be beneficial to the people of Nigeria and Sierra Leone as it will help the people identify the problems that led to conflict and under development. Finally, this study will be of importance to the government and policymakers, as it will enable both the government and policymakers to identify strategies and ways and to develop policies in which peacemaking can be enhanced and implemented.

1.6. Research Methodology

The method that was adopted for this research is a qualitative research design, while the sources of data are primary and secondary. It involves heavy reliance on secondary data and sources such as; published journal, articles, and books by commendable authors in the field as well as works and writings of other scholars which are tangential to this research. It as well includes news reports and interviews. The primary data involves the use of questionnaire, interviews and many more to generate data for a study. The method of data analysis to be used for this study is the regression analysis while the interpretation will be done using the ANOVA techniques of SPSS version 23.

1.7. Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is restricted to two countries in West Africa, which are; Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The countries were selected because they are in the sub region of West Africa and have cases concerning peace building and political development. The time frame also will be from 2009-2019, a period of 9years using relevant articles of the United Nations as regards to Pan-Africanism, peace building and political development.

1.8. Limitation of the Study

Two major factors that will affect this study will be restricted to lack of availability of finance and time frame for which the study is to be completed, due to other tasks or assignments that needs to be completed while the project is ongoing.

1.9 Definition of terms

Peace Building:

Peace building is an activity that aims to promote peace in a given area and at a given time.

Political Development:

An increase in national political unity and an increase in political participation.

Civil War:

A war fought by different groups of people living in the same country.


Is the deliberate employment of violence or the threat of the use of violence carried out on human beings or properties for the purpose of creating fear in the society and in the government in order to engender a desired response from either or both the society and the government, (Oche & Dokubo, 2011).

Global Peace:

Global peace is defined as ensuring and maintaining peace all over the world. This is the most important, if not the sole purpose of the UN. It is sometimes used interchangeably with World peace or International peace (Enuka, 2017).

United Nations (UN):

Is an international organization founded in 1945 after the second world war by 51 countries committed to maintain international peace and security’ (United Nations, 2019). The United Nations was established following the conclusion of the Second World War and in light of Allied planning and intentions expressed during the conflict (Shaw, 2014).

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