APN Podcasts


The APN Podcast series is a digital platform providing listeners with shared and informative commentary by academics and practitioners working in the field of African peacebuilding, offering innovative ideas and critical thinking on a variety of themes and topics.

Recorded at various workshops, conferences and meetings organized by the APN, these podcasts are disseminated with the intention of mapping emerging challenges and responding to knowledge and policy gaps, while simultaneously connecting peacebuilding conversations within Africa to those in other parts of the world in an open and constructive manner.

Be sure to also check out Kujenga Amani (Swahili for “building peace”), the APN’s online peacebuilding forum.

Publish That Article! Do’s and Don’ts of Publishing in International Peer-Reviewed Journals

Dr. Rita Abrahamsen offers crucial insights and what and where to publish African peacebuilding research, and how to navigate the arduous review process.

Dr. Abrahamsen is a professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, Canada. She is a widely published scholar, with many of her articles having appeared in leading journals including African Affairs, Journal of Modern African Studies, and Review of African Political Economy. Since 2009 she has served as joint-editor of African Affairs.

10 Lessons on What Policymakers Want

Dr. Laurie Nathan speaks on creating research that will be attractive to and useful for policymakers working on African peacebuilding efforts.

Dr. Nathan is currently the head of the Center for Meditation in Africa at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Over the past decade he has worked extensively with policymakers and a range of international organizations, including the United Nations, the African Union, Southern African Development Committee, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, focusing on capacity building and mediation policy, support, and planning. He is a recipient of an APN research grant (2012-2013).

Case Studies Linking Academia to Policy Organs

Dr. Jean-Bosco Butera outlines three case studies—one concerned with the African Union and two with national governments—to illustrate the challenges, and sometimes the ease, of linking academia with policy.

Dr. Butera is currently the director of the Africa Programme of the United Nations–mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, whose core mission is to stimulate and strengthen teaching, training, and research in peace and conflict studies in Africa. As part of this mission, Butera was instrumental in the creation of the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University. He is a current member of the APN’s Advisory Board.

What Lessons Can We Learn to Help Connect Peacebuilding to Practice?

Dr.’Funmi Olonisakin speaks from her own experiences on current and past approaches to peacebuilding across borders and regions in Africa.

Dr. Olonisakin is the founding director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC) and has served as the director of the Conflict, Security, and Development Group at Kings College London, UK, since 2003. Prior to that she worked in the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict as advisor on Africa. She has held research and visiting positions at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and the Institute of Strategic Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa. She is a current member of the APN’s Advisory Board.

Influencing Policy from within Academia

Dr. ’Funmilayo Para-Mallam pinpoints lessons learned from others’ experiences in the field of peacebuilding and highlights pitfalls to avoid, while putting forward tips of her own from a practitioner’s perspective on bridging the gap between academia and policy.

Dr. Para-Mallam is a senior research fellow at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria. Her research interests include gender and development, culture/religion and development, democracy and governance, conflict management, and peacebuilding. She is also a senior researcher on the DFID-sponsored Religion and Development Programme being conducted by the University of Birmingham, UK, in collaboration with the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER). She is a recipient of an APN research grant (2012-2013).

Do Peacebuilding Communities have Input on Policy?

Dr. Khabele Matlosa discusses the traditional dominance of national governments over the policy sphere and the ways in which communities can seek to increase their say in peacebuilding matters.  

Dr. Matlosa is currently the director for political affairs of the African Union Commission. At the time of this recording, Dr. Matlosa was the program advisor at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/ECA Joint Government Initiatives. He lectured at the University of Lesotho and worked briefly with the Southern African Regional Institute of Policy Studies (SARIPS) in Zimbabwe before his position as director of programs at the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA).

Influencing Policy

 Dr. Awino Okech draws from her experiences and current peacebuilding initiatives to highlight opportunities and challenges in the quest to generate research that impacts policy.

Dr. Okech is a researcher who has been involved in development work for the last twelve years in eastern Africa, the Great Lakes region, and South Africa. Focusing on women’s rights and conflict transformation, her research interests lie in the areas of gender, sexuality, culture, and nationalisms. Dr. Okech’s work is informed by a diverse history that includes her contribution to teaching undergraduate courses at the African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is a current member of the APN’s Advisory Board.

Where is Africa’s Scholarly Peacebuilding Community?

Dr. Tony Karbo explains the landscape of the peacebuilding community in Africa region by region, and mentions several actors that are most influential in creating policy on the continent.

Dr. Karbo is the director of the Karamoja Cluster Project (KCP) and Managing Editor of the Africa Peace and Conflict Journal at the University for Peace, Africa Programme, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is a former senior lecturer at the Institute of Peace, Leadership, and Governance (IPLG) at Africa University, Zimbabwe, and has worked extensively in Africa with numerous organizations working in conflict zones conducting and facilitating training in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

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