Currently teaching its 17th cohort, the Executive Master’s in Managing Peace and Security in Africa (MPSA) at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University (AAU) has many reasons to celebrate. As one of the AAU graduate studies programmes accredited by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, MPSA awards students with a master’s diploma (MA) upon successful completion of the study programme. Since being launched in 2010, MPSA has graduated more than 300 professionals coming from more than 49 countries across Africa and beyond!

MPSA is an executive master’s programme aimed at senior- and mid-level officials from the African Union (AU), the eight officially recognised Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and the Regional Mechanisms (RMs) working as part of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). MPSA has also prioritised the admission of officials from AU Member States and international institutions as well as members of the diplomatic community and representatives of non-governmental and civil society organisations based in Addis Ababa and across Africa.

As the result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2011 by the AU and the AAU/IPSS and renewed in 2018,1 the programme was established in response to the call by the African Heads of State and Government for ‘the need to address the dynamics of peace and security on the continent as an intellectual challenge’. Building upon as well as developing the skill sets of professionals working in peace and security across APSA institutions were central aims for creating the MPSA pro­gramme, which remain key goals to this day. As stated in the MoU, the IPSS is to ‘provide academic training and un­dertake applied research in the area of peace and security with a view to strengthening the capacity of the AU, the RECs/RMs and other relevant stakeholders in the preven­tion, management and resolution of conflicts’.

At the IPSS, the executive master’s programme is hosted by the African Peace and Security Programme (APSP), a programme funded by the Federal Republic of Germany (Ministry of Economic Cooperation and De­velopment (BMZ) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and implemented through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). In addition, the ge­nerous support from the African Union (AU), the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Norway, the Danish Institu­te for International Studies (DIIS), Italy, Switzerland, the University of Peace (Belgium), and the African Leadership Centre (Kings College London, United Kingdom) ensures the sustainability of MPSA.