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Press Release: Strengthening Pan-African Relationships
31 May 2012

For Immediate Release

Dr. Jakkie Cilliers
Executive Director
Institute for Security Studies
Tel: +27 (0) 12 346 9500/2

Strengthening Pan-African Relationships

On 24 May 2012 Dr Jakkie Cilliers signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) with the Lagos-based Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) as well as with the Abuja-based Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR).  In the case of the NIIA Professor Bola A. Akinterinwa, Director General, signed the agreement. Dr Joseph Golwa, Director General, signed on behalf of the ICPR. The agreements seek to strengthen cooperation in a wide range of areas, including research, training and capacity building towards adding value to knowledge in a range of areas that relate to international affairs and promoting human security in Africa. For the ISS the agreements are part of the efforts by the Institute to partner with key organisations in Africa`s pivotal states and to enhance the Pan-African ownership of the work of the ISS.

At a ceremony marking the signature of the MoU, Professor Akinterinwa hailed the MoU as a milestone in the NIIA-ISS partnership. He congratulated the ISS on its pan-African vision, particularly the focus on human security, which he said was in consonance with the vision of the NIIA. In this context, he reconfirmed the commitment of the NIIA to strengthen collaborative efforts in all areas of mutual interest towards the realisation of the objectives of the MoU.  Speaking at the signing ceremony at the IPCR headquarters in Abuja, Dr Golwa stated that the agreement would enable the two organisations to share experiences and resources in the promotion of peace and security in Africa.

On his part, Dr Cilliers expressed deep gratitude to his hosts and underscored the importance of the partnership, emphasising that, for the ISS, it represented an important step to the achievement of the vision of the Institute. He noted that the focus on human security placed a responsibility on state and non-state institutions to promote peace and security. In this context, he stated that the ISS would look to the NIIA and IPCR as key partners for its work in West Africa, particularly towards improving human security in the sub-region. Dr Cilliers was accompanied by ISS Dakar director Dr Deogratias Barakamfitiye and Ambassador Olusegun Akinsanya, the regional director of the ISS office in Addis Ababa.

About the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA)

The Nigerian Institute for International Affairs (NIIA) was established in 1961 as a centre of excellence for the scientific study of international relations; it seeks to promote a deeper understanding of Nigeria`s foreign policy, international relations, and global cultures and peoples. In this context, the mission of the NIIA is to encourage and facilitate the understanding of international affairs and of the circumstances, conditions and attitudes of foreign countries and their peoples; provide and maintain information on international issues and promote the study of and inquiry into international affairs; serve as a think tank to the government on foreign policy and matters affecting international relations including in the areas of capacity-building; as well as establish contacts with other organisations with similar objectives. The Institute accomplishes these objectives by means of conferences, lectures and discussions, and by the preparation and publication of books, reports, or otherwise as may seem desirable so as to develop a body of informed opinions on world affairs.

About the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR)

The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) was established in 2000 by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a think tank on matters of domestic and regional peace-building and conflict management for the purpose of facilitating national and regional integration. In this context, the IPCR`s vision has been to be the leading research and policy centre of excellence in peace research and conflict analysis in Africa and a global intervention agency in conflict situations, as well as the trainer of first choice in Africa on peace, security and democratic values. Since its establishment, the IPCR has been promoting peace and security internally in Nigeria and around the continent; conducting research on the causes, patterns, dynamics, actors, and forces behind conflicts and insecurity in Nigeria and Africa; publishing and disseminating information from field researchers to inform conflict resolution methods and challenges in Africa; getting practically involved in various mediation initiatives and conflict management and resolution and providing the Federal Government with relevant policy options on fundamental issues required in designing an effective and durable peace process. Its major activities have included organising and supporting policy-relevant courses, national or international seminars, symposia, conferences, workshops, training programmes and other actions that are vital for capacity-building in conflict prevention, management and resolution.

About the Institute for Security Studies

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is a pan-African organisation that undertakes applied policy research, provides teaching and training as well as technical assistance. The Institute is headquartered in Pretoria, South Africa, with offices in Cape Town, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Dakar, Senegal. The ISS works for the advancement of sustainable human security in Africa. It seeks to mainstream human security perspectives into public policy processes and to influence decision makers within Africa and beyond. The objective of the Institute is to add critical balance and objectivity by providing timely, empirical research, teaching and implementation support on sustainable human security issues to policy makers, area specialists, advocacy groups, and the media.