Jimma University has entered in to a partnership agreement with the University of Innsbruck in Austria with the aim of setting up Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS). Efforts were well underway to realize the institute which will combine experts from various fields of studies and pursues a trans disciplinary approach. The partnership also encompasses broader regional and international perspective involving countries and institutions from the Horn of Africa. Universities of Juba in south Sudan and Asmara in Eritrea are also incorporated as strategic partners brining a consortium of Universities altogether to establish “Cluster for Peace and Conflict Transformation in the Horn of Africa.” The cluster set forth goals of building capacities of all institution to implement Post Graduate programs in Peace and Conflict studies which will train army of professionals to transform conflicts and contribute in preventing violence. The cluster also aims at establishing comprehensive centers for Peace and Conflict Transformation training programs and research activities.
As part of strengthening the partnership and exploring areas for future collaboration, JU has organized a two days long workshop with guests from University of Innsbruck, Adham Hamed and Julian Krohn from 16th -17th Nov, 2020.
During the opening phase of the workshop, Dr. Jemal Abafita, president of JU warmly welcomed the guests from Austria and extended his gratitude for the efforts from JU’s and partner’s side for taking their time and exerting efforts to enter in to series of discussions towards the realization of the upcoming institute.
He clearly stated that such a timely program is long awaited at JU as part of promoting the national and regional agenda of promoting peace and transforming conflicts. He appreciated the very international and broader nature of the Cluster on Peace and Conflict Transformation in the horn of Africa, which is very relevant to a region known for instability. According to him JU would like to take leadership role in strengthening the cluster and the management of the university is fully committed and cooperative to nurture and strengthen the initiative.
Multidisciplinary team of experts participated in the workshop and deliberated on the nature and form of Post Graduate programs in Peace and Conflict Studies and the modalities with which the institute can be established at JU. Experiences of Post Graduate training programs in Peace and Conflict Studies from Ethiopia and beyond were also presented from which lessons were derived and ideas were forwarded to lay down the foundation to nurturing new programs and strengthening existing ones at JU.