Children as peacemakers in transforming everyday conflicts in Ghana

by Ruby Quantson Davis

01 Jun 2022
Journal of the British Academy
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Number of pages
20 (pp. 219-238)

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Abstract: African children are often reported in news and publications as child soldiers, dabbling in drug use, indoctrinated to commit violent assaults, and living in poverty. While these occurrences have been recorded in conflicts around the continent, the dominance of such narratives erases both the active and silent roles children play in advancing peace through everyday childhood practices. The generalisation creates a single and narrow description of the African child. This article explores the peace-making practices of Ghanaian children in their homes, communities, schools, and other spaces and seeks to understand why and how these roles are downplayed. The article proposes ways of shoring up this powerful image of African children through their socio-cultural environments and indigenous knowledge. It is important that the narrative of Ghanaian childhood is re-told to reflect these potential peace-making perspectives because they have implications for citizens’ participation, and stability in Ghana.

Keywords: Peace-making, conflict, citizens’ participation, Ghanaian childhoods, indigenous knowledge.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 10, supplementary issue 2 (Searching for the Everyday in African Childhoods).

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