|NPI-Africa started in 1984 as a discussion group named Nairobi Peace Group, in the wake of the Horn of Africa famine. Its founders were motivated by a desire to tell another story, a story of hope about Africa, given the negative international media portrayal of the Horn and, by extension Africa, during that famine. They wanted to highlight the need to go beyond helping immediate victims of the famine to ask deeper questions about conflicts in Africa and—in that era of the Cold War—raise questions about the internal and external causes of the conflicts. In the course of time, the organization has changed its name to Nairobi Peace Initiative, reflecting its shift from a discussion and informal diplomacy group to one actively involved in initiating peacebuilding activities; and recently to NPI-Africa, reflecting its pan-African vision and focus. |
In addition to working directly with people in conflict, NPI-A has seen its role as that of stimulating existing institutions.NPI-Africa has been involved in a wide range of peacebuilding initiatives. Major activities have included supporting grassroots peacebuilding work in Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Congo; promoting Track 2 mediation and conciliation efforts by religious and political leaders in Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Sudan; building capacity in conflict transformation and peacebuilding for peace workers in over 30 countries in Africa; and organizing conferences and symposia on topical issues of concern to peacebuilding and Africa in general.