Support to the Research and Training Programme of the African Union in the area of Peace and Security

Project description

Title: Support to the Research and Training Programme of the African Union in the area of Peace and Security
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Member states of the African Union (AU)
Lead executing agency: Peace and Security Department (PSD) of the African Union Commission (AUC)
Overall term: 2011 to 2015

Context

The African Union (AU) established the African Peace and Security Programme (APSP) in January 2010 as a joint project with the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) and Addis Ababa University (AAU). The programme aims to make an important contribution to taking up the ‘intellectual challenge’ of designing policies and developing strategies for peace and security. The phrase ‘intellectual challenge’ stems from the Tripoli Declaration of the African heads of state and government (2009).

The IPSS has therefore been mandated at the highest level to serve as a think tank for the AU. The Institute has been granted financial and organisational independence from Addis Ababa University and is steered by a committee of international experts and politicians.

The AUC, African regional organisations and regional mechanisms for conflict prevention and transformation lack expertise, capacities and resources at the expert and manager level. This impedes the development of strategies and policies and makes it more difficult to develop practical and sustainable solutions for peace and security.

Objective

Experts and managers from the AUC, regional organisations, government and civil society institutions in AU member states, and African universities and research institutes are developing practical and sustainable solutions for peace and security.

Approach

GIZ is supporting the IPSS in implementing its institutional partnership with the AU. A one-year Executive Masters course in Managing Peace and Security in Africa allows staff from the AU, regional organisations and member states’ government institutions to benefit from comprehensive training on peace and security while continuing to work.

The research component, African Solutions for Peace and Security, not only involves applied research, but also facilitates networking between research institutes in Africa and their employees, creating a pan-African community of practice. As part of its work on international skills development, GIZ is supporting the organisation of policy dialogue forums.

In addition, the APSA is to be anchored more firmly in the AU member states.

Results achieved so far

More than 140 students have already successfully completed the Executive Masters course on Managing Peace and Security in Africa. Taking part in this course strengthens the ties between participating organisations, both at an individual and an institutional level.

Students have access to state-of-the-art information technology (Moodle platform), which ensures a mix of practical and academic training through blended learning.

The content of the course and its teaching approach and methods (practical problem-solving based on case studies) give participants the knowledge they need to work in their organisations and improve their ability to operate effectively.

The research component, African Solutions for Peace and Security, presents case studies and supports policy development through applied research. During the case studies for Somalia and South Sudan, stakeholders in the process – most of whom are women – are invited to come together to contribute to the development of solutions.

The project has strengthened the IPSS at an institutional level, enabling the development of sustainable work programmes.