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The research captured the views of 550 young people in Bangui, the capital of CAR. Despite suffering recurrent crises since 2013 and dealing with a deep legacy of trauma, loss, and disrupted lives and livelihoods, the collective view of these young people was resolutely optimistic. Though clear-eyed about the steep challenges they face, Bangui’s young people rejected sectarian and ethnic division, blamed bad governance and political manipulation – not each other – for CAR’s crises, and professed a deep desire to take the lead in transforming their own outlooks, relationship with government, and life chances.

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This publication has been produced with generous financial support from UK aid from the UK government.

The contents of the publication are the sole responsibility of Conciliation Resources and the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the position of the UK government.

The research was conducted as part of the Smart Peace project led by Conciliation Resources.

Smart Peace is a three-year programme (2018-2021) funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The project promoted strategic conflict resolution in the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Myanmar. Smart Peace was implemented by Conciliation Resources, in partnership with International Crisis Group, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, The Asia Foundation, ETH Zürich, Behavioural Insights Team and Chatham House. In the Central African Republic, the project sought to strengthen the link between local and national peace processes.