The Cameroon-Ethiopia Connection: A Visiting Scholar’s Time at AAU

15 August, 2022

The Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), Addis Ababa University (AAU) has had the pleasure of hosting Dr. William Hermann Arrey, Ph.D. as a visiting scholar from Monday 1st until Friday 12th August 2022. Dr. William is a Senior Lecturer and Chairperson of the Department of Peace and Development Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations at the Protestant University of Central Africa (PUCA) in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

His visit to AAU was conducted as part of the academic staff exchange activity of the Capacity Building for the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Post Conflict Societies Project. The project is supported by the UK Research and Innovation and the African Research Universities Alliance. Initiated in January 2021, the project will run until December 2023. The main objective of the project is to develop the research capacity of collaborating African universities, especially in the area of peace and security studies. This, inter alia, is mainly achieved by providing technical and financial support to Ph.D. level students and post-doctoral researchers. The collaborating universities for the project are: AAU; PUCA, Haramaya University; University of Hargeisa; Africa University; and Obafemi Awolowo University.

During his time at AAU, Dr. William taught a Ph.D. course in Peace, Democracy and Development; worked towards strengthening the collaboration between AAU and PUCA; and networked with professionals working in the peace and security arena of the Horn of Africa.

Dr. William teaching a course in Peace, Democracy and Development at IPSS.

One of the highlights of Dr. William’s time at AAU was a courtesy visit paid to the College of Development Studies (CoDS) on Monday 8th August 2022. Accompanied by Ms. Gelila Tesfu, Project Manager at IPSS, Dr. William was greeted by the Dean of  CoDS, Dr. Tesfaye Zeleke, Ph.D., and Dr. Messay Mulugeta, Ph.D., Associate Professor at CoDS. At the top of the agenda for the meeting was a discussion on how to foster a collaboration between CoDS, AAU and the Department of Peace and Development Studies, PUCA. The meeting was instrumental in identifying more than a dozen potential areas of collaboration in teaching, research and others. The initial steps forward for realizing the envisioned collaboration was also mapped out during the meeting.

Dr. William & Ms. Gelila, left, and Drs. Tesfaye & Messay, right, during meeting at CoDS.

A meeting was, similarly, conducted with the academic staff of IPSS on Tuesday 9th August 2022. For this meeting Dr. William was joined by Dr. Mercy Fekadu, Assistant Professor and Mr. Yonas Tariku, Lecturer at IPSS. The meeting provided an opportunity to work out possible areas of furthering the ongoing collaboration between IPSS, AAU and the Department of Peace and Development Studies, PUCA.

Drs. William & Mercy, left, and Mr. Yonas & Ms. Gelila, right, during meeting at IPSS.

The last courtesy visit paid by Dr. William was to the Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) Unit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Office in Addis Ababa on Friday 12th August 2022. CEWARN was launched in 2002 and is a cooperative initiative of the seven IGAD member countries, which are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan and Eritrea. The basic underlying mission of CEWARN is to assess situations that could potentially lead to violence or conflicts and prevent escalation. The staff of the CEWARN Unit briefed Dr. William on the history of CEWRN and its ongoing activities, which was followed by a lively discussion. The briefing and discussion was instrumental in providing a glimpse into some of the work that is being done in terms of conflict prevention in the Horn of Africa.

Dr. William with the staff of the CEWARN Unit at the IGAD Office in Addis Ababa.