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African higher educational institutions urged to support peacebuilding efforts

  16 Novembre      6        Editor's choice (1276), Innovation (2473), Photos (3522),


 Accra – The Association of African Universities (AAU) has called on higher educational institutions to support peacebuilding efforts on the Continent.
    Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile, the Secretary General of the AAU, said there had been growing concerns about the peace and security situation of Africa, which had led to several policy responses.
    This included putting in place structures for mediation and conflict resolution, mechanisms for the management of diversity, strengthening governance and democratic principles, and sensitising the populace on the need to have respect for the rule of law.
    He said the key to uprooting the causes of conflict and insecurity was an informed and enlightened citizenry, which could be achieved through quality education.
    Prof. Ehile said this at the 2019 AAU Week Celebration in Accra.
    On the theme: “Towards A Peaceful and Secure Africa through Quality Higher Education,” the event highlighted cross-cutting issues concerning relevance of higher education towards peace building.
    It also touched on the need to strengthen research institutions to come out with policies and practical solutions to peace and security concerns in Africa.
    Prof Ehile noted that current educational systems had not been able to adequately enlighten the citizenry to uphold peace and security.
    He said it was against this backdrop that AAU chose to dedicate this year’s week-long celebration to exploring how quality higher education could be leveraged to deliver peace and security on the Continent.
    He reiterated AAU’s commitment to continue to work around the clock with the right stakeholders to achieve a peaceful and secured Africa, through quality education.
    Prof. Kwaku Osei-Hwedie, the Dean of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), said the essence of democracy in Africa was the ability to manage the diverse cultural, ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds.
    When done positively and properly, that would enhance peace and security, he said, adding that; “it is to this enterprise that African universities must contribute in a comprehensive manner.”
    In a panel discussion, Dr Patrick Osei Kufuor, Head of Department,  Peace and Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, said students must be able to impact society with the training they received, ensure peace and live peacefully with others.
    He said peace and conflict studies were often limited to the Social Sciences, whereas those in the Sciences and Business were left out.
    Dr Kufuor underscored the need to make the course an interdisciplinary one in which all students would be introduced to concepts of peace building.
    Dr Afua Boatemaa Yakohene, Research Fellow, Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, said more research must be done on peace and conflicts to inform policy while ensuring that those researches were publicised to benefit society.

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