Mobilising the Ugandan business community for peace: Scoping study – Summary report

Mobilising the Ugandan business community for peace: Scoping study – Summary report

This research assesses the potential of the private sector in Uganda to address the country’s conflicts and contribute to peacebuilding.

The ‘Mobilising the Ugandan Business Community for Peace’ scoping study project undertaken by International Alert and funded by Swedish SIDA, ran from October 200 to -July 2006.

The purpose of the research was to assess the peacebuilding potential of the private sector in Uganda. It was also intended to lay the groundwork for any future SIDA/ International Alert work in this area.

Alert has found through its research and field work around the world that the domestic private sector – whether operating at the level of industry leader or at a smaller-scale of activity, including in the informal sector – is often motivated to contribute to peace, and in some situations can have the resources, skills and capacities to do so, across a range of peacebuilding areas.

Recognition and understanding of a ‘positive’ face of business activity in conflict zones adds a valuable new layer to the inquiry into ‘war economies’ that is underway internationally. War economies research points to the powerful role certain types of business activity can play in determining the duration, intensity and character of civil conflict. With regard to some conflicts, recognition of these dynamics has helped policy-makers develop responses that seek to limit and transform them – for example through seeking to curtail trade in certain ‘conflict commodities’. Taken together, research and response to business and conflict/ business and peace represents a critical new area of peacebuilding policy and practice.