Peace Building; a Tool Towards Societal Peaceful Co-existence and Development

The incessant increase of various types of terrorism around the world, which is spinning out of control, has hindered the peace and development of many societies. Conflict and violence have claimed the lives of many productive citizens, valuable property, and non-land assets worth billions of naira. This has destabilized and paralyzed all economic activities in the affected areas. And it has caused psychological damage to the people which proves that peaceful coexistence is the number one basic need of any society. The concept of peace building has become increasingly important in today’s world, as it is seen as a tool to achieve societal peaceful coexistence and development.

peace building

To demonstrate the importance of peace and security to mankind, Article 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, considers the security and welfare of citizens as the primary responsibility of the government.

Peacebuilding is a multi-faceted process that seeks to create an environment of respect, understanding, and collaboration among individuals, communities, and nations. It involves a variety of activities such as conflict resolution, reconciliation, dialogue, mediation, and capacity building. It is essential for the long-term sustainability of any society, the prevention of conflict, as well as for the resolution of existing conflicts. It is also essential for promoting human rights, democracy, economic development, and social justice. Peacebuilding is a key tool for the prevention of violence, as it seeks to create an environment where individuals and communities can work together to resolve conflicts and build a more peaceful society.

In this sense, there is no gainsaying that there is a need for effective mechanisms or tools that would ensure peaceful coexistence among people of which peacebuilding is part. Therefore, the questions that need to be contemplated are, what is the role of peacebuilding in guaranteeing peaceful coexistence? To what extent that peacebuilding helps in accelerating the growth and development of a society? To answer the above questions this article, therefore, tends to examine how peacebuilding plays an important role in ensuring peace, and harmony, and accelerating societal progress.

The concept of Peace Building and Peaceful Co-existence

The term “Peacebuilding” first originated in the 1970s and was conceptualized by Johan Galtung as “The creation of peacebuilding structures to promote sustainable peace by addressing the “root causes” of violent conflict and supporting indigenous capacities for peace management and conflict resolution.” Also, UN Secretary-General Boutros, Boutros-Ghali’s 1992 report “An Agenda for Peace”, is considered one of the fundamental works on the concept and work together to make it a reality.

 The Concept of Development

The term “development” is a multidimensional phenomenon due to ideological influences, especially of Western and Eastern blocks (capitalism and socialism). Walter Rodney (1972) considers development “the improvement and progress of individuals, skills and abilities, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility, and human welfare”. Development, therefore, implies an improvement in both quantity and quality in all areas of a given society.

The aim is to improve people’s standard of living by providing social infrastructure and facilities. Thus, development involves a variety of activities, including economic growth, technological advancement, social reform, and environmental protection. It is a dynamic process that is constantly evolving and is essential for the overall well-being of any society. It is an ongoing process that requires commitment, dedication, and innovation to tonsure that all people have access to the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential. Therefore, The concept of development should be championed and embraced, as it is integral to advancing our societies.

Why Peace Building is Important

Peacebuilding is an invaluable tool for achieving peaceful coexistence and development in society. It is a multifaceted approach that involves a range of activities, from conflict resolution to economic development, to create a safe and secure environment. Peacebuilding is a long-term process that requires sustained effort, and it is essential for creating a society that is free of violence and conflict.

Peacebuilding activities can include dialogue and mediation to resolve conflicts, the promotion of human rights, the protection of vulnerable groups, and the development of economic and social infrastructure. These activities can help to create a more equitable and just society and can help to reduce the risk of violence and conflict. Additionally, peacebuilding can help to create a more prosperous and stable society, as it can foster economic growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty.

Also, peacebuilding promotes peaceful coexistence and social development in many ways. Essentially, peacebuilding curbs, manage, and mitigate the escalation of violence by identifying indicators of violence and settlement of aggrieved persons through negotiation. This will go a long way in stabilizing society. In addition, when conflict breaks out, peacebuilding addresses the root causes of conflict. In cases of violence, peacebuilding traces the source and causes of violence and addresses the causes which will prevent violence from re-escalating. In addition, peace-building ensures mutual understanding among members of society:

Even after a conflict has arisen, effective peacebuilding ensures that community members understand each other by working together without suspicion. However, peace-building attracts different sections of society to respect each other and work in harmony. In short, peacebuilding ensures the reconstruction of human and material resources destroyed after a conflict.

It is in the conditions of peaceful coexistence that people are more comfortable and can easily activate their humanity. They can think meaningfully about their current conditions and ways to improve their future. They can be “rational people”, “organized people”, “economists” or real “politicians”. They can inspire economic investment, engage in civic and political activism, and provide support for future generations.

Thus, their participation in economic and political activities is beneficial to society as they not only add to the gross domestic product but also greatly enhance the growth and development of human resources, which is an essential component of sustainable development. These cannot be obtained under conditions of crisis, conflict, or war. 

Strategies for effective peace-building 

Peace-building is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and harmonious society. It is a process of creating and maintaining a positive environment in which individuals and groups can resolve conflicts and disagreements in a constructive manner. In order to ensure effective peace-building, there are several strategies that can be employed:

First, fostering an environment of mutual respect and understanding is important. This can be achieved by engaging in meaningful dialogue and listening to the perspectives of all parties involved. It is also important to create an atmosphere of trust and safety in order to ensure that all voices are heard. Additionally, it is important to create a safe space for individuals to express their feelings and opinions without fear of judgment or criticism. 

Second, it is important to focus on problem-solving rather than assigning blame. This can be done by identifying the root causes of the conflict and working together to come up with solutions. Additionally, it is important to provide resources and support to those involved in the conflict in order to help them find constructive solutions. Finally, it is important to create a plan of action that outlines the steps that will be taken to resolve the conflict. 

Thirdly, effective peace-building requires a combination of respect, trust, dialogue, problem-solving, and action. By employing these strategies, we can create a positive environment in which individuals and groups can peacefully resolve conflicts and disagreements. This will ultimately lead to a more harmonious society.

Overall, engaging in various forms of diplomacy; strengthening democracy and inclusive policies (e.g. electoral frameworks, active citizenship initiatives, etc.); promoting the justice system (e.g. anti-corruption efforts, constitutional reform, access to justice initiatives, delegation of truth, etc.); work to improve general safety; work with business and commerce to create decent jobs or improve their recruitment practices; improve infrastructure and urban and rural planning; include peace education in the school curriculum, among others.  

However, it should be noted that peacebuilding is carried out collaboratively by individuals, communities, civil society organizations, governments, regional agencies, and the private sectors at the local level, national, regional, and international. Once everyone harmonizes the above strategies, the result will be a well-functioning government; good neighborly relations, healthy business environment; acceptance of the rights of others; fair distribution of resources; et cetera


There are important links between peacebuilding and how peaceful the inhabitants will be. No community can coexist peacefully and develop sustainably if that community does not find an effective peace-building method. Among the peace-building strategies are working to improve common security, strengthen inclusive policies, and a just system.

This article, therefore, argues that peacebuilding prevents escalation of violence, trace and resolve root causes of conflicts, remove fear and build trust between people, etc. It concludes that peacebuilding is one of the powerful tools to ensure peace and development. So, when peacebuilding is actively deployed, society will coexist peacefully and develop. 

Adamu Muhammad

ADAMU MUHAMMAD is a final year student of Political Science at Gombe State University, Nigeria. He is the 2022 Research Scholar of the Center for Research in Enterprise and Action in Management, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dabeeb Edu-Health Care and Research Access Initiative; the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of Oli Health Magazine West Africa, etc. He has many publications in national and international journals and magazines such as the International Organization of Scientific Research, Creative Business Journal Gombe State University, World Voice Magazine, NIMSA Magazine, and Gamji Memorial Club Magazine, among others. Adamu has been trained by different international universities and training centres and awarded more than 100 certificates of achievement in especially areas of research, leadership and management, economics, as well as ICT.