African urban societies today face the task of how to prevent violence and recreate the living world The aim of this panel is to explore the road to the realization of coexistence by elucidating the African potential embodied in the knowledge and social institutions created by the African people.
Contemporary African urban societies face the task of how to prevent violence and how to recreate the living world of coexistence. The aim of this panel is to explore the road to the realization of coexistence, and reconciliation by elucidating the African potential embodied in the knowledge and social institutions created, and managed by the African people themselves. The difficulty faced by African urban society today is the exhaustion and fragmentation and compartmentalization of social order brought about by violence, insecurity, unequal distribution of wealth, and ethnicization. To cope with this situation, the international community has achieved some success through development aid projects, and aid activities of the NGOs. However, the firm guiding principle of these "interventions" was the Western values and mores of liberal democracy and justice under the law. By contrast, our panel is based on the assumption that African people themselves have created, accumulated, and managed knowledge and social institutions that have proven to be effective in maintaining/creating social order and achieving coexistence This capacity of Africa which we term, the African Potentials, is not to be regarded as some isolated and unchanging entity, but rather, an evolution formed out of repeated collision and integration with the outside influences of the West and the Arab/Islamic world. This panel will reassess African potential capacity, to seek practical and effective applications of the potential capacity for coexistence and reconciliation.