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Centres of Excellence

Post-conflict Societies

At the Institute for Peace and Security Studies

The meaning of post-conflict societies in Africa is contentious and widely contested, especially today when Africa’s post-conflict contexts and conflict dynamics have invariably garnered potentials to escalate and de-escalate.

Moreover, the interstitial organs of post-conflict societies are not limited to human costs and sufferings from intrastate conflicts alone, but implicate the neighbouring countries, regions and the world. Many factors play into the contentions and contestations of post-conflict societies including post-colonial legacy, post-cold war intrastate conflicts, wars of revolution that established tenuous regimes, the failing, dishonest and poorly implementable peace agreements, election related and post-election violence, climatic change, terrorism and national and trans-national organised crimes, to mention but a few.

Relapses in volence and crimes in Africa

Emergence and spread of civil war and conflict in a Post-Cold War period in Africa

Pervasiveness of tense situations, unstable period of peace in Africa

In light of these factors, there is a strong need for a holistic and transformative post-conflict framing and post-conflict social structures, systems, policies and development at different levels.

IPSS understands Post-conflict societies from the holistic and conflict transformation lenses, where processes of societal change take place over time, and on a case-by-case basis. Working for  post-conflict  societies includes  a lot of interrelated  processes  such as deepening  the peace course through political reforms and reconciliations, peace education,  peace support operations,  humanitarian engagements and economic development  that  create  employment opportunities. These ultimately lead into a sustainable transformation of the political economy of violence in a country.

About IPSS and the CoE in Post-conflict Societies

The Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University (AAU) was established in 2007 with the vision of becoming a premier African institute for knowledge production and dissemination in the field of peace and security. The institute has excelled in this area, ranking among the top 50 think tank in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 University of Pennsylvania Global Go To Think Tank Index Reports.

IPSS was selected by the ARUA Secretariat to host the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in 2017. The CoE is hosted by IPSS at AAU with the main objective to facilitate and advance education and training, and African-led research knowledge generation and dissemination in conflict prevention, management, and post-conflict reconstruction and development by providing a platform for learners and educators at national, regional, continental and global levels.

CoE Objectives

Provide Education and professional training

Undertake research on pertinent issues of post-conflict societies in Africa

Publication and dissemination of research outcomes on post-conflict reconstruction and development in post-conflict societies in Africa

Foster experience sharing between African scholars, professionals, practitioners and decision makers on issues of post-conflict societies

Serve as a think-tank for Pan-African institutions (such as Pan African Union Commission and Regional Economic Communities/mechanisms), and member states in post-conflict societies

Research Outputs

The objectives of the CoE will be accompanied with these outputs:

  • Publication of a peer-reviewed journal focused on post-conflict societies
  • Organisation of continental-wide conferences in the thematic areas of post-conflict societies every year
  • Annual production of a report on the state of peace and security in Africa
  • Production of handbooks on post-conflict reconstruction in post-conflict societies
  • Setting-up of a database/knowledge sharing centre (online resources, e-book)
  • Host PhD and post-doc research  positions  from the ARUA every year

Collaboration with other institutions

While IPSS hosts the Post-conflict Societies Centre of Excellence, the Centre partners with Makerere University (Uganda), the University of Ibadan (Nigeria), the University of Nairobi (Kenya), and the Political Science and International Relations Department of Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia). The centre further benefits from a pool of existing IPSS partners who will offer technical and financial support to the realization of its goals. Some of IPSS’s existing partners include the European Centre for Development Policy Management, the Woodrow Wilson Centre, UN University of Peace, the United States Institute for Peace, the Institute for Security Studies, University of Leipzig, several Ethiopian universities, and international organisations such as the African Union, and United Nations Liaison Office to the African Union.


Contact Person: Dr Mercy Fekadu Mulugeta

T: +251 11 245 660   or +251 91 208 3840
P. O. Box: 1176
Addis Ababa