Under the patronage of Pax Christi International and the African Union, the flagship project “University of Peace in Africa” (UPA) promoted by the Panafrican Union of Peace Builders (PAUPB) celebrated its 20th anniversary from November 2-5, 2023 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
PCI’s Co-President, Sr. Teresia Wamuyu Wachira (IBVM), and Africa Regional Coordinator, A. Dieudonné Serukabuza, attended the event along with Bérengère Savelieff (Pax Christi France and PCI’s Representative at the UNESCO in Paris), Jeroen van de Loo (Kook Foundation/ Nederland) and Fr. Paul Igweta (AMECEA – Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa).
Sr. Teresia Wamuyu Wachira delivered an inspiring speech emphasizing the importance of the connection between civil society and faiths and the collaborative effort in building peace in Africa.
“Our faith is a constant reminder that peacebuilding activities alone are not enough; what is important is recognition of the sanctity of life that is entrusted to us by our call and choice to serve as peacebuilders.
(…) This is the time for a paradigm shift – reminding us for the need to dialogue, to walk hand in hand and in unison so that we can make our voices and that of those we serve heard. There is need to synergise and respond in more creative, humane and nonviolent ways for we are invited and tasked to be the prophetic voice, the salt that has to keep the flavour among the people, and the lamp that continues lighting despite the flickers of uncertainties and sometimes rejection we experience in our work of creating cultures of peace.”
The event, marking two decades of fostering peace and education in Africa, was attended by distinguished officials and broadcasted on national TV.
The celebration served as a powerful testament to the strength of our partnerships, reinforcing the collective dedication to nurturing positive change across the continent.
During the 3-day celebration, PAUPB and PCI convened a significant meeting with Africa Union representatives in Burundi and discussed a new approach, Rethinking Security in Africa: from military to civil security towards 2040.