Author: Bertha Z. Osei-Hwedie.
This article analyses the contributions and impact of Japan's peacebuilding role in Africa by examining Tokyo's motives, mechanisms and challenges in peacebuilding. Peacebuilding is essential to achieving durable peace, sustainable development and human security in post-conflict African societies, aiming as it does for conflict prevention, non-recurrence of violent conflict and promotion of social justice. The challenges of peacebuilding, however, involve mobilising adequate financial and human resources to undertake numerous initiatives, coordinating the efforts of a variety of actors and producing positive outcomes. External donors and international organisations are the major sources of financial and material assistance to peacebuilding programs in Africa; Japan has emerged as an important partner in this regard. Questions that arise include why has Japan embarked on peacebuilding in Africa? What model has Japan employed in this new endeavour — does Japan present a new donor model of peacebuilding different from the West? And how effective have Japan's efforts been? The discussion concludes by examining lessons Japan has learned and implications for Africa.