Senior Executive (MPSA)

Senior Executive MPSA (SE – MPSA)


  • Institute for Peace and Security Studies

The Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) is a continental academic/think tank on peace and security in Africa. IPSS’s work is built on three pillars namely: Academic programmes, evidence-based research and outreach. The work of IPSS at the regional level is inscribed into its collaboration with the African Union.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalizing the collaboration was endorsed by the AU’s Executive Council in January 2010. In conducting these various activities, IPSS has so far collaborated with various continental organizations, embassies, and governmental as well as non-governmental organizations.

The institute is also a centre of excellence on peace and security on the continent and highly ranked as an academic institution (47 top Think Tank in 2019) in Sub-Saharan Africa according to the Global Go To Think Tank Index. IPSS mandate with the Africa Union was renewed in (May 2018) to implement programmes under the Africa Peace and Security programmes. The capacity of its staff is diverse with working experiences in the areas of academic research, training and policy dialogues. Furthermore, IPSS strives for the vision and mission of a premier institution for knowledge production and dissemination in the field of peace and security.

  • Context

The African Union (AU), together with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RMs), play a decisive role in maintaining peace and security in Africa. However, key stakeholders in these institutions often lack opportunities to enhance their technical expertise and practical knowledge and to engage in cross-institutional dialogue. Against this background, in 2010 the AU mandated the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University (AAU) to establish the Africa Peace and Security Programme (APSP). This Pan-African programme aims at promoting advanced education, applied research, policy advice and dialogue on the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).

The adoption AU Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council in 2002 heralded the build-up of African institutions in the field of peace and security. An ever-broadening understanding of the peace/development nexus now means that security has become an issue for organizations that previously played key roles in development, and vice versa. With the growing number of African institutions now engaged with peace and security issues, the quest to recruit and retain high caliber professionals has grown substantially. It is expected that an increasingly sophisticated array of institutions involved in peace and security issues across the continent would require tailor-made and cutting-edge training and professional development programmes for existing and newly recruited staff in order for them to perform well. Therefore, the changing complexities of peace, security and conflict management now demand that professionals engaged in the field are well-trained, properly exposed and up to date to be able to perform new tasks or address new imperatives. The Senior Executive Programme in Managing Peace and Security in Africa (MPSA) is designed to meet these imperatives.

The Senior Executive programme in Managing Peace and Security in Africa (SE-MPSA) is built upon the already hugely successful Managing Peace and Security Programme (MPSA) which commenced in 2010. The Senior Executive Programme option offers an executive education to very senior executives in the area of peace and security – the programme for enhanced transformational leadership in the field of peace and security. Uniquely designed, the SE-MPSA is specifically designed to deepen and consolidate senior executives’ understanding of the complex dynamics of peace and security issues as well as advancing their career competencies through executive training that help them address their leadership objectives, institutional challenges, and professional development goals.

The Senior Executive programme in Managing Peace and Security in Africa features a compressed format (weekend only sessions), a regional case study contextualized in a continental and global configurations that highlights real-life challenges of peace and security, facilitated team meetings with accomplished peers, and one-on-one professional coaching sessions aimed at helping you develop your own creative leadership style.

The course is very innovative while international best practice has served as benchmarks. Its curriculum responds to the peace and security needs of AU member states and REC’s. Its most distinguishable features are:

  • Executive format: participants study while staying with their jobs; the course blends attendance with distance learning;
  • Thematic focus on Africa: the diversity of African problems and African solutions are taken as the main reference and examined in great detail (rather than seeing them as particular cases of universal phenomena);
  • A pragmatic, constructive, participant-centered, case-study based, interactive and experience-oriented methodology: workshops, dialogue with experts and resource persons as well as problem-solving and interaction among participants rather than lectures and learning from the book.

Based on the above principles, the programme creates a flexible learning environment emphasizing creative thinking, problem solving and interrogation of assumptions and preconceived ideas. The use of case-study approach in their regional embeddedness, simulation exercises and a variety of learning techniques makes the programme unique. On the whole, the programme strives to make the learning experience engaging, relevant and forward-looking for senior executives. In addition to these topic related competencies, by the end of the programme, our senior executives will have gained valuable generic attributes and skills most notably: situation assessment and analysis; strategic thinking and activity-oriented planning, ability to apply ideas with research and policy context and communication competencies among others.

If you are a specialist or senior executive contributor with at least 10 to 15 years of work experience and perceives an outstanding prospect for increased leadership responsibilities, the Senior Executive Programme for Managing Peace and Security might be right for you. Through experiential learning and a rigorous curriculum embedded in conflict prevention, management and post-conflict reconstruction you will immense yourself with cogent approaches to understanding the “whys” and “how’s” of addressing the challenges of peace and security. You will also advance your skills through transformational leadership and innovation while strengthening your institution’s competitive advantage.

  • IPSS Capacity and Strength in the Field of Training

By virtue of the growing complexity of peace and security issues facing Africa, and the corresponding shortage of human capital resources, the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) seeks to bridge specific knowledge gaps in the areas of peace and security. The institute has enormous scope as a major institutional hub for regular and short-term training and capacity development in the area of peace and security. IPSS has the capacity to attract, retain and mobilize a vast network of expert resource persons from around the continent (and beyond) to provide scientific and pedagogic support in most peace and security thematic spheres.

The Institute is in a position to leverage its formal working relationship with the AU Commission, especially with the Peace and Security Department, PSD (APSA), Political Affairs Department (AGA); and by extension with other Departments and Units to deliver practical peace and security solutions in more structured, value-added and results-oriented ways. Finally, IPSS routinely receives direct inquiries/requests to package a wide range of demand-driven short courses on peace and security and related topics for mid-management and senior executives on the continent.

IPSS, therefore, recognizes the felt need to calibrate and expand the frontiers of knowledge in the areas of peace and security to enhance the professional and capacity development of senior officials working in those areas. There are, however, a handful of Africa-based institutions already running selected programmes at the strategic level on related peace and security issues. What make those offered by IPSS, and by extension, sets the Institute apart are:

  • Institution-specific: Tailor-made and demand-driven to meet the capacity development needs of specific institutions, especially that of the AU but also RECs/RMs, national and multilateral development partners and interested participants;
  • Action-oriented: Specifically aimed at deeper understanding of, and finding creative solutions to, pressing peace and security concerns; including those linked to governance and development;
  • Client-driven: Rather than run omnibus programmes, IPSS training bouquets are essentially client-driven. This requires IPSS to first take deep cognizance of the priority needs of clients (and the specific gaps to be filled) in the design and delivery of programmes;
  • Advocacy (and sensitization) focused and multiplier effect: Place emphasis on scaling up the capacities of different institutions (multilateral institutions, civil society, not-for-profit international NGOs, private sector, etc.) across the continent. This, in turn, would enable participants to gain deeper and nuanced understanding of the changing imperatives for peace and security issues, in general, and how they might better influence policies and practices to manage them;
  • Promote internal knowledge building and sharing: This is towards enhancing practical human capital development and greater productivity amongst stakeholders in broad African peace and security issues/spheres.
  • A pragmatic, constructivist, participant centered, project based, interactive and experience-oriented methodology: workshops, dialogue with experts and resource persons, as well as problem-solving and interaction among participants rather than lectures and learning from the book.

Training Objectives

The principal aim of the Programme is to groom and enhance the capacities of leaders to understand and commit to addressing evolving challenges of governance in the areas of peace and security.

Focusing on the overall spectrum of conflict prevention, management and peacebuilding, participants shall be exposed to the entire gamut of objectives, mandates, mechanisms and procedures which are marshalled to address the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. In essence, this training aims at equipping participants with key information, concepts and practical know-how and insights into the nexus of conflict, peace, security and development

I. On the knowledge dimension, the training seeks to: 
  1. Introduce participants to the concepts in peace, security and development;
  2. Enabling participants to understand, reflect and experience how peace, security and development nexus play out in practical terms;
  3. Allow participants to reflect on and discuss current issues on the mechanisms relating to the prevention, management and resolution agenda of peace and security issues on the continent;
II. In terms of the attitudinal dimension, this training aims at: 
  1. Enabling participants to appreciate the enormous requirements geared toward addressing peace and security challenges on the Africa continent within global configurations, and in doing so, assist participants develop innovative leadership skills to address the challenges of peace and security on the continent;
  2. Reinforce participants understanding of the Peace and security instruments that are instrumentalized to resolve, manage and build peace;
  3. Deepening participants appreciation of the strengths, weaknesses and challenges of peace and security architectures on the continent
III. In terms of skills development, this training will focus on: 
  1. Strengthening/developing participants ability to reflect on the whole spectrum of steps and tools in preventing, managing and resolving conflicts on the continent;
  2. Deepen participants understanding and appreciation of the specific mandates, powers and functions of Africa’s regional and sub-regional organizations in peace and security issues, and finally;
  3. Enable participants to improve their presentation and communication skills.

Module Structure

Module I
  • Introduction to Peace and Security in Africa
Module II
  • Perspectives on Violent Conflicts in Africa
Module III
  • Conflict Prevention and Early Warning
Module IV
  • Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation
Module V
  • Conflict Interventions: Peacekeeping, PSO’s and Military Interventions
Module VI

Part I: Week 1 (Two Options)

  • Gender Peace & Security
  • Migration Governance

Part II: Week 2

  • Transitional Justice and Reconciliation after violent conflict

Credit Hours: Senior Executive Programme

Module No. Module Credit Hours ECTS*
M. 601 Introduction to Peace and Security in Africa 6 14.25
M. 602 Perspectives on Violent Conflicts in Africa 4 9.5
M. 603 Conflict Prevention and Early Warning 4 9.5
M. 604 Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation 4 9.5
M. 605 Conflict Interventions: Peacekeeping, PSO’s and Military Iinterventions 4 9.5
M. 606

Part I (Two Options) Week I

  • Gender Peace & Security
  • Migration Governance

Part II: Week II

  • Transitional Justice and Reconciliation after violent conflict
4 9.5
M. 607 Research on Peace and Security Issues 6 30



32 91.75

*ECT: European Credit Transfer System

Structure of Programme 

I. Course Methodology

Each module employs innovative andragogic techniques to enhance the learning experience. These include:

  • Expert inputs and exchange with top-notch scholars and practitioners in the field of expertise
  • Group work and simulation exercises in which participants apply the acquired knowledge and skills and relate them to their own experiences
  • Peer exchange whereby participants exchange and share best practices and develop strategies to address potential challenges in policy areas
  • Executive format study format whereby participants embark on self-study to deepen their conceptual knowledge on peace and security issues
II. Expected Outcomes and Benefits to Participants
  1. Develop a critical and nuanced understanding of peace and security issues facing the continent vis-à-vis the global configurations in which the nexus of peace, security and development are played out;
  2. Acquire analytical tools to assist participants enhance their skills of critical thinking on peace, conflict and security issues in Africa based on real-world case studies;
  3. Develop a better understanding of African perspectives on peace and conflict resolution and their potential to inform policy for addressing contemporary social conflicts on the continent;
  4. Deepen participant’s knowledge and understanding of the relevant concepts and theories of peace, conflict, and security and how to apply them to the analysis of African issues and conditions;
  5. Critically interrogate key concepts and theories in peace and security studies to reveal any subterranean interests they tend to promote, as well as their explanatory powers and practical limitations within the African contexts;
  6. Enhance their capacity to reflect critically on existing concepts, theories and policies, and where necessary, go beyond them to explain African conflict, security and peacebuilding challenges and develop suitable evidence-based remedies;
  7. Evaluate in a critical and constructive way, the efforts made by African states and relevant regional and international institutions in specific processes of conflict intervention and peacebuilding mechanism;
  8. Expand their understanding of the major impediments to resolving specific conflict and insecurity situations on the continent and how to counteract the impediments to build sustainable peace;
  9. Expand their capacity to analyze practical conflict and security issues, and to develop constructive policy briefs and publishable policy papers capable of enriching the insights of policy making.
III. Target Group

Senior level executives working at continental institutions (Africa Union, Regional Economic Communities, REC’s, Multilateral institutions such as United Nations Agencies, diplomats, senior military officials, senior executives from Non-governmental organizations, etc.) who are responsible for formulating strategic policies on peace and security issues across the continent and their sphere of work.

IV. Admission Requirements
  • The academic requirements for the Programme require that applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in relevant disciple from an accredited institution of higher learning;
  • That applicants are very senior executives with at least 10 – 15 years of work experience

The non-academic requirements are:

  • Applicants must preferably be a citizen of a Member State of the African Union. International applicants are encouraged to apply;
  • Work experience in peace and security or related field and/or aspire to work in the area of peace and security;
  • Have a good command of English, the medium of instruction at IPSS;
  • Have personal qualities such as leadership abilities, motivation, originality, intellectual independence, insights and maturity and demonstrated commitment to peace and security
V. Certification: Degree Nomenclature 

The certificate to be awarded is Master of Art Degree in “Executive Master’s Degree in Managing Peace and Security in Africa”.