ResCongo held its second annual conference from 9-10 October 2019, in collaboration with the SSRC’s Understanding Violent Conflict (UVC) program, the University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN), Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de Bukavu (ISP-Bukavu), and the Conflict Research Group (CRG) at Ghent University, at Hôtel Beau Lieu in Bukavu. UVC director Dr. Tatiana Carayannis was invited to attend as a member of the advisory committee. ResCongo invited members and interested researchers to submit abstracts, draft papers, and present their work through a call for proposals. The theme of the conference was “Citizenship, Conflict and Cross-Border Mobility: A Look at DRC and its Neighbors.”
The conference began with opening remarks from Godefroid Muzalia, Professor at the department of history & social science at the ISP-Bukavu and head of the research group for conflict and human security (GEC-SH) at the University Research Center of Kivu. Over the course of two days, conference leaders and participants held panels on topics ranging from “Dynamics of armed groups and contexts of insecurity” to “Socio-professional mobility and cross-border trade.” Prominent Congolese researchers led most of the panel discussions, while Dr. Carayannis was asked to co-lead a discussion on methodologies, the usefulness of scientific research, and how scientific research can best inform public policy.
ResCongo, the first national Congolese network of researchers working on peace and security issues, is a virtual platform that promotes and facilitates exchanges among Congolese scholars, connecting and enhancing the participation of these researchers in international academic and policy discussions. ResCongo was created in October 2016 and is coordinated by Professor Jose Bazonzi (UNIKIN) and Professor Godefroid Muzalia Kihangu (ISP-Bukavu & GEC-SH).
Support for the creation of the website and virtual presence of ResCongo comes from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), while funding for the conference was provided by LSE’s Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) through the UK Economic and Social Research Council and Global Challenges Research Fund (ESRC-GCRF). For more information on ResCongo, please see their website: http://rescongo.org/ and Twitter handle @ResCongo.