The Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies (AAIPSDS) is a novel initiative between a continental Non-Governmental Think Tank & Advocacy Group, called Pan-African Strategic & Policy Research Group, (PANAFSTRAG) and a state tertiary Teacher training institution, known as Niger State College of Education in Northern Nigeria .
AAIPSDS was established in 2002 after due consultations by the collaborating partners. During this period, the curriculum for its first academic programme, the Professional Diploma in Peace and Development Studies was developed and also the physical and administrative structures were put in place. The programme took off during the 2003/2004 academic session
The pervasive nature of conflict, insecurity, and under-development in the post cold war period has had far reaching implications for peace and development in Africa . In Africa today, the number of people without access to opportunities, and resources is on the increase. Wars and internal conflicts are destroying lives and properties as well as creating millions of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The failure of many African states to provide human security and human development, the increasing marginalisation of Africa by forces of globalization, the inadequacies of dominant approaches to the management and transformation of African conflicts, as well as the collapse of traditional conflict management mechanisms have all made it necessary to develop innovative development and conflict transformation models suitable to Africa’s socio-cultural environment.
The Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies (AAIPSDS) is therefore a response to the need for innovative, effective, and efficient Afrocentric conflict transformation and development methodologies. Thus, the core philosophy of the Institute is succinctly encapsulated in the statement of the former United Nations Secretary –General Mr. Kofi Annan that “The prevention of conflict begins and ends with the promotion of human security and human development” It aims to develop these through research and by equipping a core of African practitioners with the intellectual and practical skills to identify, prevent or transform potential conflicts for sustainable development and human security.
AAIPSDS is an independent/autonomous organisation with a separate and distinct legal personality from the founding institutions. The collaborating Institutions are responsible for the appointments of members of the Governing Council and Academic Advisory Board. AAIPSDS is managed by the Governing Council and Academic Advisory Board with representatives for the collaborating institutions & other appropriate institutions. The Boards are responsible for formulating policies for the successful management of AAIPSDS. AAIPSDS is headed by a Director who is responsible for the day to day running of the affairs of the institute.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) dully signed by the collaborating institutions clearly spelt out all issues necessary for the smooth running of the institute.
AAIPSDS is named after Gen (Dr) Abdulsalami A. Abubakar GCFR, CSG, the former Nigerian Military Head of State (1998-1999) who handed over to a democratically elected civilian government on May 29 th , 1999.
Since his retirement, he has been actively involved in the activities of Pan-African Strategic & Policy Research Group, (PANAFSTRAG) as the President, PANAFSTRAG International and the Chair, Early Response Committee.
In Africa , the use of “elders” in mediating in conflicts has been employed by AU and other regional organizations such as ECOWAS, SADC, and ECCAS among others. Gen (Dr) A.A. Abubakar is among one of the African leaders who have presented himself for selfless peace building and peacemaking works within and outside the West Africa sub-region.
• 2000- Appointed by UN Secretary General as a Special Envoy to deal with the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
• 2004- Facilitated Peace meetings that ended the crisis in Liberia
• 2004- Appointed by the AU in July 2004 as Special Envoy to Sudan & Chad
• He also contributed immensely to the development of the institute in many regards.
• After due consultations, the management of AAIPSDS decided to rename the Institute from “Institute of Peace and Sustainable Development Studies (IPSDS)” to “Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies (AAIPSDS)” in 2004.
AAIPSDS has uniquely structured its training programmes to suit the needs varied groups and organizations. It offers opportunities through its short residencies to combine personal needs, career and education.
• Why should I study at AAIPSDS?
• A unique mixed blend of the academia and professionals on the field as resource persons
• Focused programmes with a wide range of areas of specialization for participants/students
• Short residencies that offers opportunities to combine personal needs, career and education.
• Provide opportunities to balance theory and practice through a well organized internship/practicum programmes
• Adopts a variety of delivery methods with the adult learner in mind such that learning is meaningful and enduring
• An Academic Advisory Board of reputable leaders in the field
• The campus is located in a state with many tourist attractions
• Participants/students enjoy a low student-teacher ratio (Approximately 2:1)
AAIPSDS faculty are leading professors and professionals from different disciplines with great wealth of experience in their chosen field. AAIPSDS doesn’t employ directly but rather the faculty teaches on a regular short term basis under a contractual agreement. Thus, they are usually drawn from varied institutions, and organizations with different specialties.
• Conducive lectures & seminar rooms
• Learning resource centre with internet connectivity
• A quite and serene environment
• Current state of the multimedia strategies for presentations
• A unique holistic approach to learning which offers opportunities with direct practice.
• Provide insight and understanding to innovative, efficient and effective Afrocentric Conflict transformation and development methodologies
• Identify sources of conflict & threats to human security and development
• Recognize and manage conflict at different levels among varied groups
• Enhance skills & provide sound knowledge base in responding to the challenges in mediation, International Civilian Peacekeeping, Emergency and Disaster Management among others.
Indeed, this is an issue of serious concern among prospective students who are interested in pursuing a course in peace and development studies. It is a vast discipline, it also depend on the area of specialization and interest of individual prospective students. Opportunities could include government agencies, civil society organizations, or international and regional bodies. For more information see career paths.