IPCR ready to address conflict issues across sub-Saharan Africa

Map of Africa showing sub-Saharan African countries (below the grey area).

The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) says it is ready to address conflict issues and their impact on small businesses in conflict areas across sub-Saharan Africa.

The institute said that in doing so it would be promoting economic development across the region.

Director-General of the IPCR, Dr. Bakut Bakut, said this on Tuesday at a workshop organized in collaboration with Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He said that Africa and Nigeria had been facing challenges of conflict over resources such as land and farming rights, which had been negatively affecting non-farming enterprises such as trade and other small businesses.

Bakut noted that the workshop was necessary as it would provide an understanding of how small businesses could be assisted in conflict-affected communities.

“That small businesses still thrive in conflict-affected communities is of priority interest to us as researchers, and as an institute,’’  he said.

The director said that conflict was becoming the defining features of Africa and in Nigeria, as the peace and conflict discipline were lacking in affected areas.

Dr. Tommaso Ciarli, Senior Research Fellow, Science Policy Research Unit of the University of Sussex, noted that a large percentage of the population in low income countries depended on the informal private sector for their livelihoods.

Ciarli said that increase in conflict areas was related to a lower probability that households owned self-employed activity, and a higher probability that they owned non-farm businesses.

“It is also crucial to note that households that own a self-employed activity are poorer and less educated than average,’’  he said.

Amaka E. Nliam