The post cold war years have been marked by violent conflicts in different past of the world. In 1995, there were over thirty conflicts all over the world and all of them are intra state conflicts or internal wars. The belt of these conflicts revolves around two major regions of the world - Eastern Europe and Africa. For obvious reasons the focus of attention of the western powers who won the Cold War is in Eastern Europe. Billions of dollars have been spent on the war in Bosnia, while the crisis in Rwanda, and the Great Lakes Region of East and Central Africa have not received enough attention. The marginalisation of the African continent in the scale of global priority amidst festering conflicts explains the need for a customised African Peace Studies programme.
Of equal importance, is the fact that at present, Africa is relatively ill-represented in the world wide provision of education and research organisations engaged in the study of peace and conflict. All the universities and institutes with responsibility of analysis of African conflicts are located outside the continent. In the whole of sub Saharan Africa there is no university where peace and conflict studies are undertaken as an independent academic programme.
The University of Ibadan, as one of the leading universities in Africa with an outstanding commitment (35% of the student bodies) to postgraduate education is particularly well placed to take the lead in rectifying this shortcoming. The university has a full range of relevant academic disciplines already well established. It has a range of existing post graduate courses relevant to issues of peace and conflict in a variety of settings. It has a strong team of professorial and other academic personnel actively engaged in research in relevant areas. It is around these strengths that an interdisciplinary Masters Programmes in Peace and Conflict Studies is to be built by the university. The Programme is to be housed by a Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.
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