A presentation by Nasir M. Ali, Director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), University of Hargeisa, about the Institute's background and its vision for peace and stability in Somaliland.
The Director of IPCS, Nasir M. Ali started by highlighting that the Institute was established in 2008 to understand the causes of and address conflict and violence affects Somaliland and Somali-speaking regions in the Horn of Africa (HoA).
The mandate of IPCS is to engage in teaching and research in the areas of peace and conflict. The presentation highlighted that IPCS is the only and the first institute of its kind within the entire Somali-speaking region in the HoA.
Mr Ali stressed that IPCS strives to become a leading institution for teaching and research in the areas of peace and conflict studies and has the following strategic goals:
- Build IPCS towards becoming a recognized regional centre of excellence in teaching, peace and conflict research, and advocate for sustainable peace.
- Diffuse knowledge and enhance graduate education in peace, peace research and conflict transformation.
- Conduct continued peace and conflict researches that would serve as knowledge input to the process of education, political debates and analysis, and in the policymaking.
Principles of IPCS include:
- Respect academic freedom guided by discipline and determination.
- Believe in justice and fairness for all to avoid conflict and violence.
- Adhere to institutional ethics and integrity.
- Believe in growth and optimism guided by innovation and excellence.
Peace and Conflict Studies: programmes
Since its inception in 2008, the institute has offered a one-year Postgraduate Diploma Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies. The program attracted key government figures at different levels including, but not limited to, Ministers, Army officers, Judiciary, Parliamentarians, traditional figures, and civil society organisations.
Since 2009, six batches of students have graduated from the Institute and in the academic year of 2015/16, the programme has been upgraded to MA level. Mr Ali reported that the Institute was now offering the first MA in Peace and Conflict Studies focusing on theories of peace and conflict, research methods, peace and development in the Horn of Africa, conflict analysis, gender issues and human rights.