The KURUKAN FUGA Charter

Inter-generational Forum on Endogenous Governance in West Africa, Workshop 2, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), 26-28 June 2006, published by the Sahel and West frica Club/OECD.

The KURUKAN FUGA Charter: An example of an Endogenous Governance Mechanism for Conflict Prevention – Working Document prepared by Mr. Mangoné NIANG, Director of CELTHO/AU, 13 pdf pages.

One of the first known texts on municipal organization in our sub-region, the Kurukan Fuga Charter, is being rediscovered today not only by those who work in the field of oral tradition, but also by those who want to go back to the origins of political thought in Africa. The researchers interested in this text included, first of all, historians (and also the Jelis, or scholars of tradition, who are experts trained in western history of traditional); followed by text theorists, jurists, environmentalists, and even philosophers, although as an art of thinking inherited from Greek culture.

Our special interest in this document is not based on the fact that it has drawn the attention of many experts: we all know that an oral text is a complete text or, as those who are responsible for conceptualizing it say, a holistic text. We generally find in it not only a global vision and an esthetic quality, but also methods of managing nature as well as a legal code to guide relations between communities and their members. Oral tradition also has many texts that convey medical procedures for relieving human physical suffering.

The exception is in the fact that the Charter is a major document for traditional mediation, thereby underscoring, and perhaps that is what makes it contemporary for us, a legislating spirit in African societies of the 13th century. Consequently, one could ask an ethical and practical question: If Africans of that period sought to settle disputes through negotiation, why not us? (full long text).

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