Justice Minister, Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, has said that most recurrent conflicts in Africa are associated with external interferences founded on shared colonial past as well as governance shortfalls. This he said results from failure to recognise and manage diversity which leads to exclusion or marginalisation of a section of the population. Other causes of conflicts in Africa according to Ugirashebuja include divisive politics, unequal distribution of scarce resources, marginalisation, political patronage and foreign political interventions, among others. The Minister made the remarks on Wednesday, July 6, during Rwanda National Police (RNP)’s symposium on peace, security and justice organised for the Police Senior Command and Staff Course students in Musanze District. “In Africa, it is an established fact beyond doubt that the quality and characteristics of governance influence the level of peace and stability and the prospects for socio-economic development,” said Ugirashebuja. He also attributed most recurrent conflicts in Africa to failure to recognise and manage diversity which leads to exclusion or marginalisation of a section of the population resulting into structural violence, insurgency, violent extremism or terrorism. The two-day symposium is being attended by 32 senior police officers from eight countries and is hosted under the theme, “fostering good governance for peace and security in Africa.” Undeniably, according to Ugirashebuja, there is no magic wand that can be used to prevent or address all the shortfalls and the resulting disastrous consequences other than promoting inclusive, patriotic, pro-citizen, accountable, transparent and human security-oriented governance. The symposium, he said, is well grounded and will lay the foundation on how to foster governance in respective countries as a prerequisite for sustainable peace and security as it provides an opportunity for participants to learn from practical examples of countries where governance has played a dual impact on peace and security. In contextualising the impact of the annual symposia, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dan Munyuza, said that the product of the symposiums can be witnessed in countries where the police contribute personnel for peacekeeping missions including Mozambique, CAR, South Sudan and others. He added that in every symposium, scholars from different parts of the world are invited to pick lessons on what “Africa is doing to address security challenges and also get challenged to know that Africa is not inactive but actually active in finding solutions for the continent.” In examining the link between governance and security, the acting principal of College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), University of Rwanda, Dr Alphonse Muleefu, used the 2022 crime rate by country to present what could be the best model of governance. The 2022 crime rate by country, Rwanda is at 15th globally least crime rate position, and is number one least crime rate country in Africa, at 24.89%. The world’s number country with the least crime rate is Qatar being at 12.13%, and the best in Europe, which is also 6th in the world, is Switzerland being at 21.62%. Venezuela has the highest crime rate in the world at 83.76% and South Africa is the highest in Africa at 76.86%. “We should reflect on the fact that the five countries of Rwanda, Qatar, Switzerland, Venezuela and South Africa have different forms of governance. The question now is of wanting to know the kind of governance that is capable of providing peace and security in Africa in the context we have just heard,” said Dr Mulefu. He added that, “Those who have undertaken peace studies understand that peace is more than the absence of armed conflicts – the aspect of negative peace, and the importance of positive peace that includes aspects of human security. The analysis of many conflicts in Africa shows that bad or poor governance is at the core especially when it comes to governments’ failure to manage diversity of communities, issues of exclusion and marginalisation, unemployment and poverty.” The Executive Director at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr Abdoulie Janneh challenged attendants saying that in addressing governance, participants should have a uniform understanding of government and get to the roots of causes of bad governance. The Senior Command course -the highest course in police - is attended by senior police officers from Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, and Rwanda.