I am proud to be a member of AFPREA and part of a network which works together for a better world. My own field is Sport, Development and Peace and in AFPREA we value peace and universal values. The role sport and Physical education can play in peace building is often underestimated, however, we expect this awareness to grow with the SDGs, QPE and Kazan Action Plan. We know that cultures that have survived the ages have a strong sense of values that they have adhered and adapted to meet new challenges. Today it seems these challenges have grown but I still believe that our collective values as cultures and societies both ground and guide us in the world. I enjoy sharing the Olympic principles of respect, fair play, excellence, and friendship, joy of effort and balance of body, will, mind and heart across cultures and promote the values sport has for conflict transformation and peacebuilding (if it is managed and monitored properly) as a powerful tool and will continue to do so, honouring Nelson Mandela’s words: “Sport has the power to change the world… it is an instrument for peace”.
It was a surprise and honour to be chosen to represent the Africa chapter (AFPREA) of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA). I am committed to building AFPREA and to encourage research and publication in the field. This is, of course, also an opportunity for me as a researcher to develop my own practice and thus, this appointment can be viewed as mutually beneficial. As an African scholar I see this as an important task as, historically, research is (often) funded and conducted by the global north with the global south as research objects or subjects. Through a vehicle such as AFPREA we have the opportunity to increase scholarship and research.