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ACPST Course: Managing Diversity
Date: 24 - 29 September 2012
Venue: ISS Addis Ababa, 6th Floor Get House Building


The African Centre for Peace and Security Training (ACPST) is mandated to enhance the ability of practitioners to make and implement policies that improve human security in Africa, primarily through short courses and workshops. The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) created the Centre in 2011 with support from the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Established in 1991, the ISS is a leading applied policy research institute with staff from around 16 African countries working in offices in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Senegal.

Course Description: African countries are known for their ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity. Nigeria and Cameroon, for example, are estimated to have 250 ethnic groups each while South Africa has 11 official languages. While some celebrate this diversity, there is also the view that it is implicated in many of the conflicts, wars and economic challenges faced by societies on the continent. Given the basic fact of such diversity, the question arises of how we can manage it for the improvement of human security in Africa. How can we manage diversity to ensure peaceful and rights-respecting electoral politics? How can diversity be handled to ensure the management of natural resources in ways that promote equitable economic development? What sorts of mechanisms can we put in place to ensure that relations between (forced and voluntary) migrants and host communities take on a peaceful and development-enhancing character? How can diversity be managed to ensure transitional justice and developmental post-conflict reconstruction?

In trying to answer these questions attention will be paid to local, national, regional and global instruments, techniques and methods for dealing with diversity. These will range from the setting up of village inter-ethnic councils and the use of ethnic and clan jokes to the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and advocacy of the responsibility to protect (R2P). Language and cultural policy, decentralisation and secession, affirmative action and quota systems will all be considered.

Goals: This course seeks to positively influence policymaking and implementation by giving participants a better understanding of diversity in Africa, its potential effects and how people have tried to harness and exploit it to various ends. It will provide participants with cutting-edge practical skills for managing diversity in realms that run from electoral politics and natural resource management to migration and post-conflict reconstruction. It will also help participants create networks for knowledge and information exchange as well as concerted action for managing diversity to enhance human security in Africa.

Course Participants: State and non-state actors, including those from private and not-for-profit sectors working on human security issues in Africa, will be considered for participation. Practitioners working on issues that impinge on and are affected by inter-communal relations are particularly encouraged to apply.

Language of Instruction: English only. Participants are required to be highly proficient in English.

Participants’ Obligations: The receipt of a certificate is dependent on full attendance and active participation.

Costs and Funding: The ACPST can fund the participation of a few applicants, including their travel, accommodation and tuition costs. Awards will be based on need and require a clear motivation in the cover letter. The ACPST will cover lunch for all applicants throughout the course.

How to Apply: Visit the ACPST website ( and apply online or send a short cover letter and CV with your contact information and that of two referees to Ms Golda Keng at by August 26, 2012. Please use the subject line: "Application-Diversity". Admission is on a rolling basis so apply early as the course could fill up before the deadline.


ISS Addis Ababa
6th Floor Get House Building
Ms. Golda Keng
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