Fellows Meet in Addis Ababa for Workshop, Stopping at the African Union Along the Way
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—The Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program held its seventh workshop from July 13-17, 2015. The workshop took place in partnership with the Institute for Peace and Security Studies of Addis Ababa University. Thirty-five fellows of the 2015-2016 cohort were in attendance for the workshop. While some fellows had participated in prior workshops, many were new to the Next Gen network. Over the course of five days, fellows acted not only as peer mentors, but many became close colleagues with the intention of beginning collaborative research projects together or sharing resources often unavailable to their peers. In the process, both a research community and a community of practice was forged.
Throughout the week, fellows exchanged feedback with their peers and workshop facilitators. Fellows focused on sharpening the research questions they asked, worked to match appropriate methodology to their research questions, and they discussed the sometimes precarious paths taken in navigating a university career.
Workshop facilitators and fellows met in small breakout groups, with attention given to each individual's dissertation. Fellows gathered to explore thematic similarities linking research programs. Breakout groups worked on a range of topics that linked their projects including conflict and violence, political institutions, and livelihoods. Additionally, fellows benefited from a series of panel discussions with workshop facilitators—senior faculty in African universities—as well as visiting lecturers from the Institute for Peace and Security Studies.
Finally, fellows also toured the African Union during the workshop. The visit included an in-depth question and answer session with one of the African Union's delegates on Peace and Security and a tour of the African Union's situation room where fellows explored strengths and weaknesses of the AU's early warning conflict system.