Anglophone Africa

Training for Anglophone African Universities and Colleges that are ANAFE members 
A 5-day training workshop on Conflict Management and Resolution in forestry and Natural Resources in Africa was held for educators largely from the East and Southern Africa Tertiary Agricultural Education institutions. Two participants from West and Central African region also attended. In total, 27 lecturers were trained, drawn from Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique.

The general objective of the training workshop was to build the capacity among educators in tertiary agricultural and natural resource management institutions on conflict management and resolution teaching and learning. Training process consisted of lectures, analysis of case studies and group work. 

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The following modules were covered: Understanding Conflict; The Process of Collaborative Conflict Management; Specialized Skills for Collaborative Conflict Management and Adult Learning Principles and Techniques.

In Understanding Conflict, key aspects covered included the definition of Conflict and the triangle of satisfaction which involves People, Problems and Processes. The five main sources of conflict including:

  • value differences;
  • relationship problems;
  • conflict of interests;
  • structural problems; and
  • data problems.

Collaborative Conflict Management (CCM) was at the centre of the training programme. All the key steps were covered which included: Assessing the issue; Identifying stakeholders; designing a strategy; setting up a programme; establishing procedures; educating each other; Defining the problem; Specifying information needs; generating options; Developing a criteria for evaluation; Evaluating options; Reaching agreements; Developing a written plan; ratifying the agreement and implementing the agreement.

The Harvard approach for consensual negotiations was also covered. This approach endeavors to separate people from the problem; focusing on interests; generating options and establishing criteria for agreement implementation which will be agreed upon by all stakeholders.

Listening actively in negotiations is of paramount importance; understanding other people's concerns is also critical in the quest to construct a solution based on everyone's needs. However, people need to enter into negotiations having already established their BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) their reservation point and zone of possible agreement. This will determine whether they settle for an agreement or walk away from the negotiation. For CCM to work there is a need of a good mediator with integrity. These were the aspects covered under specialized skills for collaborative conflict management.

Adult Learning principles and techniques emphasized participatory techniques and experiential learning. Principles of running an efficient meeting and good presentation skills were also covered.

The participants learnt a lot from the training workshop recommending that given its importance in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is a need to expand the training into a full treatise as a significant area of learning. This first group of participants felt that they can be involved in the future in learning material development and also serving as resource persons in further training activities. 

Full training report 

last updated:  Monday, May 21, 2012