Peter Arthur, Dalhousie University, Canada
Abstract: There have recently been concerted efforts by many post-conflict African countries to formulate and implement policies and measures that will reconstruct and develop their societies. Much of the discussions of realizing post-conflict reconstruction and development have generally focused on disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants. What is however, missing is a discussion on capacity development and capacity building initiatives to help in reconstruction in the period after DDR. This paper therefore examines the importance of capacity development in post-conflict African environment. It notes that while demobilising and disarming warring factions is important, the success of reconstruction efforts in a post-conflict environment depends largely on the ability to build and develop capacity and skills that are pertinent to helping reconstruct and promote the development goals of the countries. It is argued that post-conflict societies should have a coherent and co-ordinate approach to rebuilding, reconstructing and developing the capacity of the state in order to achieve the state’s legitimacy and effectiveness. Such capacity development measures should involve the development of physical infrastructure; the building of the state’s institutional structures; the promotion of good political and economic governance; skills and education training for individuals; and measures to improve and deliver security and social services.
Keywords: Capacity development; reconstruction; peacebuilding; post-conflict environment; Africa.