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North Africa

Ongoing Programmes

Running since 2011 and jointly developed by the North Africa and RPC (Religion, Politics, Conflict) Desks of the Swiss FDFA’s Human Security Division (HSD) and the Cordoba Foundation of Geneva (CFG), the North Africa (NA) Program’s strategic field of interest is to address polarizations and tensions occurring at the intersection of world views and politics and particularly those involving political actors with different worldviews and frames of reference across this region.

The overarching vision of the NA Program is inclusive, participative and peaceful societies in North Africa, and its objective is to contribute to promoting the political participation of a broader representation of social constituencies, including different worldviews.

From June 2017 onwards, the NA Program enters a new implementation phase. It continues to consider that polarizations and tensions occurring at the intersection of religion and politics, particularly those involving political actors with different inspirations and frames of reference are obstacles to creating peaceful societies in the region. Identifying relevant actors and supporting them in creating conflict narratives that are acceptable by all, the NA Program restores trust in dialogue and bridges the gaps in mutual perceptions. It creates safe environments and solid grounds for actors to identify and implement relevant peace initiatives to address polarizations and tensions, and thus to build more peaceful and inclusive societies. In this new phase (2017-2019), the NA Program focuses in particular on tensions and polarizations in Tunisia and Morocco.

In periods of fragile political transition acute polarisations lead to instability and chaos, which pave the way for the return of authoritarianism or civil war. Over forty experts and political actors from North Africa, West Asia and the Sahel, belonging to both Secularist and Islamist currents, met and discussed issues related to building trust and establishing a framework for cooperation among actors of different worldviews.

 إنّ الاستقطاب الحاد في سياقات الانتقال السياسي الهشة غالبًا ما يؤدي إلى حالة الفوضى، ممّا يمهّد الطريق لعودة أنظمة الاستبداد أو للاحتراب الداخلي. التقى أكثر من أربعين مشاركًا من الخبراء والفاعليين السياسيين من شمال أفريقيا، وغرب آسيا، ومنطقة الساحل، ينتمون إلى التيارين العَلماني والإسلامي، وناقشوا قضايا متعلقة ببناء الثقة وإرساء إطار للتعاون بين فاعليين ذوي منطلقات فكرية ورؤى كونية مختلفة.