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Rotary Establishes Peace Center at Makerere University

From human rights violations to the impacts of climate change, Rotary and Makerere University are offering a postgraduate certificate program to peace and development leaders who are from or who have worked in Africa to address the underlying challenges to peace in the region.

The year-long program in Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Development will emphasize issues and solutions that are of particular relevance throughout the African continent and beyond. Hands-on experience will complement coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies will focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.

The program will incorporate the Positive Peace framework pioneered by the Institute for Economics and Peace as well as apply concepts grounded in mediation and negotiation, African philosophy, and indigenous mechanisms for conflict resolution.

“For centuries, we have looked at peace as the absence of violence, without fully considering the other drivers in play,” said Olayinka Babalola, vice president, Rotary International Board of Directors. “Instead of merely examining the causes of war, Rotary Peace Fellows at Makerere University will explore the underpinnings of peace to achieve tangible measures of human wellbeing and progress.”

The program is designed to accommodate working professionals with at least five years of proven experience in the areas of peace and development. There will be two cohorts a year each with 20 fellows, and the first class will begin in February 2021. The online application will be available in February 2020.

“Makerere University is situated at the heart of the Great Lakes region, which has experienced the most strife and the most conflicts in Africa,” said Barnabas Nawangwe, University vice-chancellor. “We’ve had frequent experience with conflict, so we established our peace program more than 15 years ago to expand our expertise and augment our engagement in the area of conflict and peace. Partnering with an international organization like Rotary allows us to demonstrate on a global scale what we’ve been doing in our local environment. Based on our past rich experience, we can confront strife in populations all over the world.”

Every year, Rotary awards up to 130 fully-funded scholarships for dedicated peace and development leaders from around the world to study at any of its seven peace centres programs. In just over 15 years, Rotary Peace Centers have trained over 1,300 individuals for careers in peacebuilding in more than 115 countries, and program alumni serve as leaders in both governmental and non-governmental agencies, international organizations, and more.

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