Gerontocracy in Africa is dysfunctional in conflict resolution

Gerontocracy is a common feature in societies across the continent. Those who belong(ed) to this group assume a natural catalytic role in promoting peace in the community. They are regarded as repository of wisdom, venerated patriarch and closer to God or other super being depending with the socio-religio context of that distinct society. More so they are regarded as ethical and their leadership became/is acceptable to the community. They play a critical role in peace covenants between conflicting communities, counseling and bringing social solidarity withing their communities.
It is my postulation that gerontocracy as a valued concept in conflict resolution processes has been overtaken by events. The modern societies are very dynamic with technological advancement, democratisation spreading its wings across the world it has become an anathema to rely on gerontocracy as a positive source of conflict resolution. The modern ethnic conflicts where their relevance could be handy has become so complex to be explained in cultural context such that they need a multidimensional lenses in viewing them even in attempting any form of intervention in the interest of conflict resolution. More so these elders do not have coercive capability to apply sanctions upon conflicting parties what they have is a leverage of social mobilisation facet but conflict resolution that aims to bring sustainable peace calls for a much more widened horizon beyond gerontocracy. In the above context i argue that gerontocracy is dysfunctional in conflict resolution as complexity of the nature of conflicts manifesting in africa which have a multiplicity of causes entrenched in economic, political, social, cultural and religious dimension has paralysed the functional element of gerontocracy in conflict resolution.

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