Borders, War, Peace and Regional Integration Schemes in Africa

The project investigates how the porosity of African borders might exacerbate war and conflict and the way in which this impacts on regional integration on one hand, and the extent to which regional and continental integration could contribute towards cooperation, peace and well-being in Africa on the other hand. The project goes beyond the analysis, description and/or outlining of the causes of conflict in Africa. It engages in a serious consideration of initiatives and innovations that can be put in place or are already being employed on the ground, within the current regional and continental integration debates and practice.

Project leaders: Dr Inocent Moyo (University of Zululand), Dr Chris Nshimbi.



Call for papers ‘Transnational conflicts in Africa: Migration, mobility and peace’

Geographies for Peace

2017 IGU-UGI Thematic Conference

23-25 April 2017

La Paz, Bolivia

Transnational conflicts in Africa: Migration, mobility and peace

While wars and conflicts in Africa generally occur within the territorial boundaries of affected states, they tend to spill over across borders into proximate and neighboring countries. Most victims of such wars and conflict also share historical and ethnic backgrounds with kith and kin in neighboring countries and tend to flee, for refuge and asylum, to the peaceful proximate neighbors. Cases have been recorded in which governments in the conflict ridden states openly accused their neighbors of fueling the conflict in the accuser’s territory. Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda in the Great Lakes Region are good contemporary cases in point. This session will explore the dynamics of the transnational nature of conflicts in Africa and examine the relationship between conflict and the spatial mobilities of borders, as well as the migration regimes within which states that share contiguous borders in given geographic territories are embedded. In this CFP, we invite papers that interrogate these themes as well as topics including, but not limited to:

How do the contiguous border regimes in Africa precipitate the fueling of transnational conflict?

What patterns do such conflicts follow?

Who are the victims and the perpetrators? Could transnational dynamics of conflict provide the basis for negotiating lasting peace or, on the contrary, do they fuel conflict?

Are there any linkages between, among others, coloniality of borders, conflict, and sociocultural and ethnic relations?

What role could the porosity of borders in Africa play in sustaining and perpetuating conflict?

Could the porosity of African borders and migration patterns also provide a foundation for building peace?


Dr. Christopher Changwe Nshimbi (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

Dr. Inocent Moyo (University of Zululand, South Africa)

An abstract of no more than 250 words in English or Spanish should be sent to and and on or before 1 December 2016.

For more information on the conference visit the website here.

Call for papers ‘The African Union and African Economic Community: Territorial and economic arrangements for peace in Africa’

Geographies for Peace

2017 IGU-UGI Thematic Conference

23-25 April 2017

La Paz, Bolivia

The African Union and African Economic Community: Territorial and economic arrangements for peace in Africa

Concerned with the plight of especially women and children as major victims of wars, civil conflicts, human rights violations, humanitarian disasters, gender-based violence and violent conflicts, and genocide, the African Union (AU) has committed to speeding-up actions that will “silence the guns by 2020” in its Agenda 2063, in order to make peace a reality for all people in Africa. This resonates with sustainable development goals (SDGs) 5 and 16 to achieve gender equality and promote peace, justice and strong institutions for development. These attempts conform with the AU’s plans to establish a continental free trade area (CFTA) in 2017. The CFTA should lead to the establishment of the African Economic Community (AEC) in 2028, according to the Abuja Treaty for the Establishment of the AEC. Besides low intra-regional trade, persistent war and conflict are commonly cited as a major reason and evidence of the failure of regional integration, in Africa at least. In this regard, a connection exists between conflict on the one hand and regional integration and peace on the other, based on the understanding that peace is essential to unimpeded trade, development and inter-state cooperation. Against this background and in this CFP, we invite papers that interrogate these themes as well as topics including, but not limited to:

How does obsessive regard for territorial sovereignty impact on the readiness and the extent to which the supranational AU, the AU Commission (AUC) and respective member states can and intervene in domestic conflicts occurring in African states?

Does the absence of war guarantee a peace that ensures distribution, location and spatial organization of economic activities leading to successful regional integration?

Practically, how can ambitions to establish a single geo- political and economic space from Africa’s tapestry of states, economies, cultures and customs by the AU be translated into a mosaic of grassroots, meso- and macro- level actors committed to peaceful coexistence?


Dr. Christopher Changwe Nshimbi (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

Dr. Inocent Moyo (University of Zululand, South Africa)

An abstract of no more than 250 words in English or Spanish should be sent to and and on or before 1 December 2016.

For more information on the conference visit the website here.

Brazil as a security and development provider in Africa, New policy paper by Frank Mattheis

Policy Paper - MattheisHow is the role of external actors in Africa changing and what consequences does this have for the European Union (EU) and its strategic position on the continent?

The research project ‘The EU, the US and the international strategic dimension of Sub-Saharan Africa: peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa’ seeks to address these questions in a series of policy papers. The first set of papers has just been published, covering the role of new and old actors such as Brazil, China, the Gulf States, Turkey and the US. In depth case studies on the Horn of Africa and an overarching policy report are to follow soon.

Senior research fellow Frank Mattheis contributed a policy paper on the role of Brazil as a security and development provider in Africa. It focuses on both the identity and the materiality of Brazil’s growing role on the continent, identifies the country’s current main challenges, and outlines opportunities for triangular cooperation with the EU.

The project is lead by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), with the support of Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

“Zimbabwe is reaching a breaking point”, by Eric Manyonda and Ruth Murambadoro

by Eric Manyonda and Ruth Murambadoro, GovInn senior researcher

On the 24th of August 2016 the Zimbabwe Republic Police clashed with protesters over a planned demonstration led by a coalition of opposition parties and the civil society.

Since the birth of the citizens’ movement, #ThisFlag earlier this year, there has been an increase in sporadic outbursts of citizens demanding the government to deliver on its election promises. As such, the citizens who in spite of their political affiliations joined forces and launched a mega demonstration on the 24th of August through which they demanded the president Mr RG Mugabe to step down.
Initially the police had attempted to block the protest by rejecting the clearance application that had been made by the protesting parties in accordance with the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). According to the POSA, any groups of people intending on holding a meeting are required to notify the police of the event and get permission. This according to the Act, is done to protect and prevent the gatherings from turning violent. Upon notice of the ‘Mega demo’ the police rejected the application citing lack of manpower to monitor the event. Opposition parties however sought the intervention of the high court, which acted in their favour by overturning the decision of the police. Armed with the high court ruling the opposition parties went ahead with their planned demonstration and launched the Mugabe Must Go Now campaign.

Zimbabwe Unrest 2016

To their dismay, the peaceful protestors were caught up in the crossfire as police had been deployed heavily armed to attack and disrupt the protest. The innocent protestors were forced to run for their lives while the police fired water cannons, teargas and even button sticks to disperse the crowds. The dire situation also agitated some already desperate protestors who retaliated to the police attacks by torching police vehicles, looting and launching attacks on businesses in the city, thereby escalating the violence to unprecedented levels. By Friday the violence had intensified pushing the government to increase the police force and even deployed the military, a phenomenon that last occurred in Zimbabwe during the food riots of 1998.

Though a state of emergency has not yet been declared, the military is now guarding the capital city Harare and some parts of the country are under heavy security surveillance. It appears as if Zimbabwe has reached its breaking point and the government is desperately trying to prevent the Arab Spring phenomenon.

All pictures by Eric Manyonda

“Sport, Security and Language in African and European perspectives”

Student members of the European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA) are pleased to announce their soft seminar to mark the European Union’s anniversary. Entitled “Sport, Security and Language in African and European perspectives” the seminar will explore sports migration from Africa to Europe, the multi-linguistic model of the European Union and its applicability to African regional and sub regional organisations as well as the challenges posed to Europe by radicalism and terrorism. The event will take place on Monday the 16 May 2016 in the seminar room at Old College House. GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti will provide opening remarks and guest speakers include GovInn senior research fellow John Kotsopoulos, Sofia Moeira de Sousa (Deputy head of the EU delegation to South Africa) Angelo Fick (ENCA current affairs and news analyst) and Dr. Samuel Adeyemo (senior lecturer at the Department of Education & management policy studies, UP).


ESASSA Flyers (2)


Date: Monday 16 May 2016

Time: 14:00-16:00

Venue: Seminar room, Old College House, Hatfield Campus, University of Pretoria


GovInn and the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria honored to co-host the 2016 Southern Voices Network Conference

On March 21-24, 2016, GovInn, the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Wilson Center Africa Program, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the Human Science Research Council (HSCR), and the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) hosted the annual Southern Voices Network conference in Pretoria, South Africa.

The theme of the conference was “Building Peace through Inclusivity: Strengthening Economic, Social, and Political Inclusion in Africa.”

The Southern Voices Network (SVN) is a continent-wide network of African policy and research organizations that works with the Africa Program of the Wilson Center to bring African analyses and perspectives to key issues in U.S.-Africa relations.
– See photos from the conference in the photo packet here.

“Europe needs idealism and pragmatism simultaneously” BDLive 06/04/2016

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 “THE terrorist attacks in Brussels highlight the overall fragility of Europe, a continent affected by the worst convergence of crises since the Second World War. After Paris a few months back, the fact that bombers have now targeted the administrative capital of the European Union carries a powerful symbolic message…”


Associate Fellow


As a researcher, Dickson Ajisafe is passionate about sustainable peace, international security, transnational terrorism, radicalisation, violent extremism and human development in Africa, Europe, Middle-East and other hemispheres. He is a PhD candidate, specialising in International Relations at the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria. He possesses a Master degree in African and European Cultural Relations at the University of Pretoria, a year Master studies in Politics and Public Administration at Konstanz University, Germany and a Master degree in International Relations from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria.
Dickson has participated in international seminars, workshops, professional training and academic discussions in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, France, and Hungary. He is a recipient of international scholarships, training and professional awards from South Africa, the USA, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Russia and Norway. His story of accomplishment has been featured by the European Commission in ESAA magazine, Pretoria News, GovInn Webpage and UP WebNews. Dickson is skilled in research, capacity building, training, human development, project and programme management.


Contact him at


Call for applications: Fully-funded full-time collaborative PhD in ‘Transdisciplinary Approaches to Wildlife Security’



The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) at the University of Pretoria are accepting applications for a fully-funded, full-time PhD studentship starting in April 2016. GovInn, the University of Pretoria and CSIR have a national and worldwide reputation for excellence in research, innovation and the application of innovative solutions to complex problems.

  • Qualification type: PhD
    Location: Pretoria, working at the CSIR
  • Eligible nationality: South African
  • Funding amount: ZAR220, 000, tax free
  • Hours: Full time
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Applications:  Open until position is filled

This studentship is part of a collaborative transdisciplinary research project between CSIR and GovInn on alternative approaches to the governance of resources in South Africa and Southern Africa. Research under this particular project simultaneously focuses on two domains: 1) wildlife crime (with a focus on rhino poaching) as a security challenge and 2) transdisciplinary science for addressing complex international/regional security problems. The research, which is the first- ever attempt to use such an approach on such a scale, will make use of innovative, transdisciplinary methods. It will involve a variety of local, national and international stakeholders in driving socioeconomic policy and will make practical recommendations for policy innovation and change in South Africa and its region.

The studentship offers:

  • R220,000 tax free
  • Full Time
  • The opportunity to be part of a transdisciplinary team working on ground-breaking research on a major national/regional project.
  • The opportunity to work and collaborate with established researchers at the University of Pretoria and CSIR.Specifically, the successful candidate will be requested to focus on one of these topics in dealing with wildlife crime:
  1. regional and international cooperation;
  2. national law enforcement;
  3. the role of local communities and societal stakeholders.

A number of perspectives can be adopted to address the complexity of wildlife crime. These include:

  • Participatory governance;
  • Conservation;
  • International cooperation;
  • Transnational organised crime;
  • Law enforcement; and
  • Sustainable livelihoods.The successful candidate will be expected to fulfil class and academic requirements at the University of Pretoria, conduct research, as well as assist with administrative and other tasks. He/She will also be responsible for identifying research questions and choosing methodologies aligned to the transdisciplinary research topic.The studentship will be awarded at the PhD level. The requirements are:
  1. A relevant Master’s degree in the social sciences.
  2. At least two years of work experience.
  3. Excellent writing and communication skills.
  4. Good command of English and knowledge of at least one local language.
  5. Applicant will be required to pass a security clearance.

Prospective applicants should send the information below to

• A full academic CV, demonstrating relevant experience, knowledge of methods and publications (if any).

• A two page description of how they intend to approach the problem in one or more of the three topics mentioned above.

For further information about the research project please contact Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti ( ), Dr. Duarte Goncalves (  or Dr. Christopher Nshimbi (


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