PROMOTING Peace through Rotary Peace Centers

In December 2018, Makerere University, through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences submitted a bid to host the Rotary Peace Center. This was a stiff competition between the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Center in Ghana and the University of Nairobi- African Leadership Center in Kenya.

On Friday 1st March 2019, a delegation from Rotary International led by Mr. Bryn Styles visited Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, to evaluate the Institution’s potential to host the Rotary Peace Center in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe(R) and the University Secretary Mr.Charles Barugahare (2nd Right) receiving Mr. Bryn Styles (3rd Right), Ms Jill Gunter (4th Right), Mr. Emmanuel Katongole(L) and others shortly before the meeting.

And now, we are excited to announce that Rotary has established the first-ever Peace Center in Sub-Saharan Africa at Makerere University!

The Rotary Peace Centre aims at promoting world peace by educating and empowering peace builders through a rigorous academic training, applied field experience, and global networking opportunities. Through this training, Rotary Peace Fellows develop the skills they need to serve as leaders and catalysts for peace and conflict resolution both in their local communities and around the globe

From human rights violations to the impacts of climate change, Rotary and Makerere University are now 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 Peace building, 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 (IEP) as well as apply concepts grounded in mediation and negotiation, African philosophy, and indigenous mechanisms for conflict resolution.

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 with the Inaugural class of  2021 focusing on shaping peace and development in Africa. The program is a multi-faceted social impact fellowship emphasizing peace, development and leadership. It inspires social action and provides participants with a platform to hone their leadership skills and build robust regional networks for peace.

“… For centuries, we have looked at peace as the absence of violence.The Rotary Peace Fellows at Makerere University will explore the underpinnings of peace to achieve tangible measures of human well being and progress…”   Olayinka Babalola, Vice President, Rotary International Board of Directors.

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The program will consist of:

  1. An online preliminary course to provide a baseline level of knowledge for entering participants
  2. A 10-week on-site resident course including field studies
  3. Regular mentoring check-ins and virtual peer learning sessions while fellows work on an individual plan that promotes peace and social change in their workplace or community.
  4. A one-week consolidation residential session where fellows will be invited to reflect and report on their social change efforts and impact.”

“… 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…” Barnabas Nawangwe, Makerere University Vice Chancellor

Makerere University – Kampala, Uganda

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 centers 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 nongovernmental agencies, international organizations, and more. Currently, there are currently seven Peace Centers, where Rotary-funded fellows from around the world study every year to become experienced and effective catalysts for peace.

Submitted By: Claudia Brunner |Media Relations Specialist | Rotary International

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