The University for Peace Africa Programme (UPAP) was established in 2002. Its establishment was based on extensive international consultations that were held in ten countries around Africa, which aimed at developing a programme that responded to the true needs, aspirations and obstacles for education for building peace in Africa.
In October 2002, the results of the consultations were endorsed by an Advisory meeting of African partners in Maputo, Mozambique and were based upon to retain the following key programmatic areas:
- Strengthening Peace Research in Africa and its Linkage to Policy
- Peace Education
- Information Dissemination
- Media and Communication
These guided the first years of UPAP that focused on the development of curricula and teaching materials and the delivery of a range of short courses, workshops, conferences and seminars in various parts of Africa.
In recognition of the fact that the initial years of the programme were formative, a planning and evaluation meeting was held in August 2005. The meeting adopted an approach of identifying and consolidating activities within a number of key themes that will guide the Programme’s work.
The eight key themes identified are the following:
- Foundation on Peace and Conflict Studies
- Peace and Development
- Gender and Peace Building
- Justice, Human Rights and Peace
- Non Violent Transformation of Conflicts
- Media and Peace
- Regional Integration and Human Security
- Endogenous African Methods of Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution
Basing all its undertakings on real needs and actions as agreed upon with partners, UPAP has from its inception adopted a consultative approach in its operations. Thus, a second consultative meeting was held with this spirit in March 2007 in Addis Ababa, which defined three key areas of focus, Teaching, Training and Learning, Research and Outreach.
The consultative meeting also defined the following objectives for the Programme:
- Offer high quality professional, academic and training programmes in collaboration with partner institutions across the continent
- Develop a Pan-African Resource and Learning Centre in Peace and Conflict Studies
- Serve as a focal point in Africa for training, research and documentation in the areas of peace and conflict
- Develop a network of people and institutions working in the area of peace and security in Africa
Presently UPAP closely works with 27 formal and active partner universities and research centers across the continent from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where it is based. It also works actively with the Pan-African women’s organization, Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) in Senegal.