South Africa/Kenya (CERM-ESA)

Start of the third CABLES Training for Centres of African Excellene in Accra

The third offering of CERM-ESA’s Capacity Building Programme for Lecturers and Supervisors (CABLES) has kicked-off successfully in Accra this morning. A group of 25 participants representing the
West African-German Centre of Excellence for Governance for Sustainable and Integrative Local Development
West African-German Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Rural Transformation
Congolese-German Centre of Excellence for Microfinance
Ghanaian-German Centre of Excellence for Development Studies and the
– Namibian-German Centre of Excellence for Logistics

are engaging in questions of postgraduate supervision, curriculum development and interpersonal competencies for excellent teaching. The week-long professional development programme is the last in a row of three international and cross-disciplinary CABLES offerings that DAAD  has sponsored for those lecturers, researchers and supervisors, who contribute to the success of the Centres of African Excellence.

Participants and facilitators of the CABLES@WA2019

Academic Persecution: Independent International Crime or Subject to a Connection Requirement?

Academic Persecution: Independent International Crime or Subject to a Connection Requirement?

Around the world today, Turkey, Hungary , China, Syria, Iran & Uganda, scholars  and academics are attacked because of their words,  ideas and their place in society. Those seeking power and control work to limit access to information and new ideas by targeting scholars, restricting academic freedom and repressing research, publication, teaching and learning.

Scholars ask difficult questions and that can be threatening to authorities whose power depends on controlling information and what people think. When academics are silenced or subjected to self censorship their communities are disadvantaged. Every year thousands of academics across the world are harassed, censored tortured and killed. The persecution of academics has occurred repeatedly in the course of human civilization. Notable examples are the migration of the Greek scholars from Constantinople to Italy, the expulsion of the Huguenots from France , the intelligenzaktion of scientists and academics in occupied Poland and the arrest of Sudanese  biology Professor Farouk Mohammed for teaching evolution.

On 2nd June 2019, I submitted an Article 15 communication to the Office of the Prosecutor(OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The communication calls upon the ICC to conduct a preliminary examination on persecution as a crime against humanity committed against scholars and academics in Uganda. However, the purpose of this article is not to discuss the merits of the communication but rather to moot the conversation on academic persecution and its place in international criminal law as an independent crime. Is persecution an independent international crime or does it require a connection element?

Article 7(1)(h) of ICC Statute ,Connection Requirement and Ambiguities

The crime of persecution has always been subject to debate and raises fundamental questions.

Is persecution an independent international crime ?

Does the crime of persecution require a connection element?

Article 7 of the ICC Statute in the verbatim states that a crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population,with knowledge of the attack The ICC statute further describes the crime of persecution in (Article7(1)h) :Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court. The statute goes on to  provide that for the purposes of the above : Persecution means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity.

The ICC elements of crime provides the following  constitutive elements for the crime of persecution including the mental element as follows:

  • The perpetrator severely deprived, contrary to international law, one or more persons of fundamental rights.

  • The perpetrator targeted such person or persons by reason of the identity of a group or collectivity or targeted the group or collectivity as such.

  • Such targeting was based on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in article 7, paragraph 3, of the Statute, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law.

  • The conduct was committed in CONNECTION with any act referred to in article 7, paragraph 1, of the Statute or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia(ICTY) has a measurable body of  jurisprudence when it comes to the international crime of persecution. For example, out of the ninety (90) who to date have been convicted by the ICTY, forty(40) had been charged with the crime of persecution. It is important to note that the crime of persecution was hardly applied in international or national law before the start of the ICTY proceedings. The ICTY case law dealing with the crime of persecution is one of the most important contributions of the ICTY to international criminal law. This body of jurisprudence clearly rejects that the crime of persecution needs to be subject to a connection requirement. The (ICTY), in the Kupreškič case, affirmed that:The Trial Chamber rejects the notion that persecution must be linked to crimes found elsewhere in the Statute of the International Tribunal.

The other dilemma that has emerged is the problematic formulation by the International Law Commission (ILC) work on the proposed crimes against humanity convention. The ILC formulation provides for a rather troubling connection requirement for the crime of persecution with specificity to geneocide and war crimes. Article 3(1)(h) of the Draft ILC Articles reads as follows: Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or in connection with the crime of genocide or war crimes. The chairman of the ILC drafting committee Mr. Mathias Forteau stated in his report that the act of persecution defined in sub-paragraph (h) refers to any act “in connection with the crime of genocide or war crimes” while the ICC Statute refers to “any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court”.

I do argue that the use of the terms “in connection with” is vague, problematic and susceptible to many interpretations and misinterpretations. In sum these ambiguities trigger the need to moot a conversation on the international crime of persecution especially the persecution of scholars and academics and its place in international criminal law. Is it an independent international crime without a nexus to other crimes?If i  were to give the text of the statute its ordinary meaning or interpretation, persecution as a crime against humanity is an independent international crime without the need for a connection requirement. To my knowledge the connection requirement has no basis in international law and was merely a juridictional filter by the drafters of the text.

Scholars like Professor Gerhard Werle in the second edition of his book principles of international criminal law explained that “The requirement of a connection was intended to take account of the concerns about the breadth of the crime of persecution. With this accessorial design, the ICC Statute lags behind customary international law, since the crime of persecution, like crimes against humanity, has developed into an independent crime

Academics and scholars do belong to an identifiable group or collectively because of their scholarship. Perpetrators especially repressive and dictatorial regimes target such person or persons by reason of their identity as a group. The perpetrators often severely deprive, contrary to international law, one or more persons of fundamental rights. It is important to note that the crime of persecution as a crime against humanity is not about numbers, the text of the elements of crimes uses the wordperson or persons”. In Turkey as of 2016 approximately 23,400 academics were persecuted by the Turkish authorities. In Uganda as of December 2018 Dr. Stella Nyanzi was arrested and 45 academics at Makerere university were sacked without due process. The appaling  emergence of  academic perseuction across the globe needs to be viewed from an international criminal justice persective.

In sum the travaux preparatoires among government delegates during the negotiations of the ICC Statute clearly illustrates that the connection requirement was simply a compromise clause and merely a jurisdictional filter. I do believe that the requirement of a connection to other crimes was simply used as jurisdictional filter considering the scope of persecution as an international crime. The unsettled field of international criminal law often tends to create new constituencies that ought to be subjected to further academic interrogation. The need to moot a conversation on academic persecution as an international crime  is not only neccesary it is timely.

Samuel Matsiko is a research fellow at the Amsterdam Center for War Reparations.He is also an early-career investigator and research fellow with the EU Cost ActionJustice360– Global Atrocity Justice Constellations”  . Email:  matsikosam@syrianlegalnetwork.nl.

CERM-ESA offers up to six DAAD in-country/ in-region Master’s scholarships and up to two PhD scholarships

THE EAST AND SOUTH AFRICAN-GERMAN CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES AND MANAGEMENT (CERM-ESA) at Moi University announces up to

6 Masters Scholarships for our Master of Education in Research Programme,
funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) starting from the 1st of September 2019

Please read the full text here: Announcement for_M_Scholarships_in-country_2019

and up to

2 PhD Scholarships in Sociology of Education funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) starting from the 1st of September, 2019

Please read the full text here: Announcement_D_Scholarships_in-country_ 2019

 

CERM-ESA graduate awarded for her academic achievement at Mandela University


Sarah Jemutai, winner of the ‘best dissertation in the Humanities’ award

 

The evening of June 21, 2018 was a particularly special one for CERM-ESA Master’s student Sarah Jemutai, her supervisors as well as for her family and friends. Sarah, who graduated cum laude, was selected as the recipient of the Nelson Mandela University Council’s best Master’s Degree by Dissertation in the Humanities Award, which she received during the Academic Awards Dinner held at Port Elizabeth’s Feather Market Hall. The dinner is an annual event to acknowledge academic excellence, both in undergraduate and postgraduate studies across all of the faculties at Nelson Mandela University. Excellence is one of the university’s six values and is believed to be central to the institution’s striving for a sustainable future.

Sarah completed her Master’s degree by dissertation, an academic journey which requires commitment, sustained hard work and diligence. Her dissertation is entitled ‘The effect of using a six-brick Duplo block guided play approach on pre-school learners’ visual perceptual abilities’. The study situates itself within the pre-existing body of knowledge around the development of children’s visual and spatial abilities, which belies reading, writing and mathematics. However, through her research, Sarah identified that pre-existing studies have focused on older children who are already literate and who are being educated within a Western context. In light of this gap, the focus and dimensions of Sarah’s study are particularly topical. In focusing on the use of a six brick Duplo block intervention in one South African and one Kenyan school, Sarah argues that children’s development is accelerated through teachers’ facilitation of guided play using the six brick Duplo block approach. In turn, these findings have implications for curriculum developers, early childhood advisors and teachers when designing instructional materials that promote the development of reading, writing and numeracy skills in pre-literate children.

Not only does her study attest to the ever-evolving ways in which we conceive of educational methodologies and innovation, but her outstanding academic achievement demonstrates the potential of committed hard work, which sets an inspiring example for CERM-ESA students to follow.

Deadline extended to June 25th – 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference

Dear all, as we still have some free slots for our alumni conference, we have extended the application deadline to June 25th. For those presenting their work in the conference, tickets for international travel, catering and accommodation will be provided.

2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference

Ghana, 06th – 09th November 2018

Abstract submission until June 25th 2018

Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education

The promotion of sustainable development is the result of an unprecedented global consensus about the need to foster economic development in ways that reduce poverty and inequality, to enhance political participation and good governance, without destroying the natural environment that forms the substrate of human life, taking into account both the needs of current and future generations. The ideals encompassed in the original formulation of the concept are broadly shared in public discourse and among important political institutions, as demonstrated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Many academic institutions, as well as individual researchers, conduct research, design curricula, and train students in order to generate the required knowledge and professional expertise to transform public policies towards sustainable development. The DAAD Centers of Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa agree on the importance of promoting sustainable development and advance sustainability through:

  • Research, producing innovative knowledge, approaches, and technologies helping to attain sustainable development
  • Training highly qualified professionals who can contribute to sustainable development working in multiple sectors within and outside of universities
  • Engaging in outreach activities promoting the DAAD Centers’ results, products and alumni

Since the nexus between the DAAD centers and their contribution to Africa’s sustainable development has not yet been explicitly addressed, we would like to invite you to the Second DAAD African Centers of Excellence Alumni Conference, which will address the topic Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education.

The Conference will be held in Accra, Ghana from 06th to 9th November 2018 at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), based in the University of Ghana, Legon. The 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference results from a collaboration between ISSER, the Ghanaian-German Center for Development Studies (GGCDS), and the ISSER/GGCDS Alumni Network (IGAN).

We are interested in the experiences and contributions that the DAAD Centers of African Excellence have made towards the promotion of sustainability through their research, but also through the expertise they bring to bear in their professional practice. We also want to discuss where the alumni see additional potential for promotion of sustainable development by the centers. Thus the contributions should address the following questions:

  • How has/can your research contributed/contribute to sustainable development?
  • How can/does the training received at the centers contribute to your professional practice in promoting sustainable development?
  • How could the centers further enhance students’ capabilities towards the promotion of sustainable development?
  • How can interdisciplinary cooperation between the African Centers of Excellence help to enhance sustainable development?

While focusing on sustainable development in general, we are interested in fostering (interdisciplinary) discussions that relate to the many facets of sustainability addressed in the various centers:

  • Science, knowledge production and education
  • Logistics, economic development and financial inclusion
  • Natural resources governance and mineral extraction
  • Governance and law
  • Agriculture, rural development and rural-urban transformation
  • Migration and social mobility

The conference will be organized in thematic workshops. In these workshops the core questions outlined will be addressed. The output from individual workshops and the plenary discussion will be captured and compiled in a conference report. This report will detail current successes, identify capacity needs, and potential areas of future collaboration.

In order to participate, please send an abstract (not more than 500 words) of your intended presentation and a short summary of your curriculum vitae (including, if applicable, your most relevant publications). Please also indicate in which thematic workshop you would like to present your work (e.g. Science, Knowledge production and education; logistics, economic development and financial inclusion; natural resources governance and mineral extraction, etc.). Proposals shall be sent to the email addresses igan.ghana@gmail.com and Tetteh.alumni@gmail.com with the subject “Abstract – application to the 2nd DAAD Alumni conference” until June 15th 2018. A scientific committee with members from ISSER, GGCDS and of the ISSER/GGCDS alumni network will select the participants based on the quality of their proposal, their academic and professional activities, and the thematic pertinence of their contribution. Gender balance and diversity among participants (including all DAAD centers for African Excellence) will also be considered.

For those alumni presenting their work in the conference tickets for international travel, catering and accommodation in Accra will be provided.

Here the tentative programme: Alumni Conference 2018-Call for applicationsAP-14.06.18

CERM-ESA Capacity Building Programme – Scholarships for staff at Centres of African Excellence!

Dear colleagues at the Centres of African Excellence,

CERM-ESA would like to announce its Capacity Building Programme for Lecturers and Supervisors in the DAAD funded Centres of African Excellence (CABLES).

The programme aims to further support the Centres’ work and efforts to offer excellent study and research opportunities. Hence, lecturers and supervisors who contribute to the Centres’ success and carry a substantial teaching and supervision load are the main target group for this year’s programme. Up to 6 lecturers/ supervisors of each Centre qualify for a full scholarship (travel, subsistence and study fees) to participate in the CABLES-programme.

The first CABLES-programme will take place between the 9th and 18th of August 2018 at the  Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. This programme is offered to lecturers and supervisors of the Centres of African Excellence in South Africa and Namibia. Please see the poster/ handout attached and forward it to your colleagues in the Centres of African Excellence. We will also ask you as managers of the Centres to provide us with a list of names of your lecturers and supervisors in the Centre indicating the teaching load / contribution to the Centre’s work.

The second CABLES-programme is planned to take place at Moi University in October 2018 for all Centres of African Excellence in East Africa. The third CABLES is planned in 2019 for the West African Centres of African Excellence. More information on these is forthcoming.

Background: following from CERM-ESA’s mid-term evaluation and discussions with DAAD, CERM-ESA has developed this programme as one of its pillars for the second funding phase (starting in 2019) and for the Centre’s long-term perspective and sustainability strategy. It was decided that the programme should be offered in a first pilot phase to all Centres of African Excellence. Please have a look at the programme contents below. We hope that they are relevant to you and your academic staff.

Please see the attached PDF document for more information.

With kind regards,

your CERM-ESA team   Capacity_Building_Programme_Proposal_2018-ENGLISH_Flyer

REMINDER – CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference – send your abstract until June 15th 2018

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference

Accra, Ghana, 06th – 09th November 2018

Abstract submission until June 15th 2018

Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education

The promotion of sustainable development is the result of an unprecedented global consensus about the need to foster economic development in ways that reduce poverty and inequality, to enhance political participation and good governance, without destroying the natural environment that forms the substrate of human life, taking into account both the needs of current and future generations. The ideals encompassed in the original formulation of the concept are broadly shared in public discourse and among important political institutions, as demonstrated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Many academic institutions, as well as individual researchers, conduct research, design curricula, and train students in order to generate the required knowledge and professional expertise to transform public policies towards sustainable development. The DAAD Centers of Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa agree on the importance of promoting sustainable development and advance sustainability through:

  • Research, producing innovative knowledge, approaches, and technologies helping to attain sustainable development
  • Training highly qualified professionals who can contribute to sustainable development working in multiple sectors within and outside of universities
  • Engaging in outreach activities promoting the DAAD Centers’ results, products and alumni

Since the nexus between the DAAD centers and their contribution to Africa’s sustainable development has not yet been explicitly addressed, we would like to invite you to the Second DAAD African Centers of Excellence Alumni Conference, which will address the topic Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education.

The Conference will be held in Accra, Ghana from 06th to 9th November 2018 at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), based in the University of Ghana, Legon. The 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference results from a collaboration between ISSER, the Ghanaian-German Center for Development Studies (GGCDS), and the ISSER/GGCDS Alumni Network (IGAN).

We are interested in the experiences and contributions that the DAAD Centers of African Excellence have made towards the promotion of sustainability through their research, but also through the expertise they bring to bear in their professional practice. We also want to discuss where the alumni see additional potential for promotion of sustainable development by the centers. Thus the contributions should address the following questions:

  • How has/can your research contributed/contribute to sustainable development?
  • How can/does the training received at the centers contribute to your professional practice in promoting sustainable development?
  • How could the centers further enhance students’ capabilities towards the promotion of sustainable development?
  • How can interdisciplinary cooperation between the African Centers of Excellence help to enhance sustainable development?

While focusing on sustainable development in general, we are interested in fostering (interdisciplinary) discussions that relate to the many facets of sustainability addressed in the various centers:

  • Science, knowledge production and education
  • Logistics, economic development and financial inclusion
  • Natural resources governance and mineral extraction
  • Governance and law
  • Agriculture, rural development and rural-urban transformation
  • Migration and social mobility

The conference will be organized in thematic workshops. In these workshops the core questions outlined will be addressed. The output from individual workshops and the plenary discussion will be captured and compiled in a conference report. This report will detail current successes, identify capacity needs, and potential areas of future collaboration.

In order to participate, please send an abstract (not more than 500 words) of your intended presentation and a short summary of your curriculum vitae (including, if applicable, your most relevant publications). Please also indicate in which thematic workshop you would like to present your work (e.g. Science, Knowledge production and education; logistics, economic development and financial inclusion; natural resources governance and mineral extraction, etc.). Proposals shall be sent to the email addresses igan.ghana@gmail.com and Tetteh.alumni@gmail.com with the subject “Abstract – application to the 2nd DAAD Alumni conference” until June 15th 2018. A scientific committee with members from ISSER, GGCDS and of the ISSER/GGCDS alumni network will select the participants based on the quality of their proposal, their academic and professional activities, and the thematic pertinence of their contribution. Gender balance and diversity among participants (including all DAAD centers for African Excellence) will also be considered.

For those alumni presenting their work in the conference tickets for international travel, catering and accommodation in Accra will be provided.

See the attached file for the tentative program: Alumni Conference 2018-Call for applications

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference – send your abstract until June 15th 2018

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference

Accra, Ghana, 06th – 09th November 2018

Abstract submission until June 15th 2018

Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education

The promotion of sustainable development is the result of an unprecedented global consensus about the need to foster economic development in ways that reduce poverty and inequality, to enhance political participation and good governance, without destroying the natural environment that forms the substrate of human life, taking into account both the needs of current and future generations. The ideals encompassed in the original formulation of the concept are broadly shared in public discourse and among important political institutions, as demonstrated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Many academic institutions, as well as individual researchers, conduct research, design curricula, and train students in order to generate the required knowledge and professional expertise to transform public policies towards sustainable development. The DAAD Centers of Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa agree on the importance of promoting sustainable development and advance sustainability through:

  • Research, producing innovative knowledge, approaches, and technologies helping to attain sustainable development
  • Training highly qualified professionals who can contribute to sustainable development working in multiple sectors within and outside of universities
  • Engaging in outreach activities promoting the DAAD Centers’ results, products and alumni

Since the nexus between the DAAD centers and their contribution to Africa’s sustainable development has not yet been explicitly addressed, we would like to invite you to the Second DAAD African Centers of Excellence Alumni Conference, which will address the topic Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education.

The Conference will be held in Accra, Ghana from 06th to 9th November 2018 at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), based in the University of Ghana, Legon. The 2nd DAAD Centers for African Excellence Alumni Conference results from a collaboration between ISSER, the Ghanaian-German Center for Development Studies (GGCDS), and the ISSER/GGCDS Alumni Network (IGAN).

We are interested in the experiences and contributions that the DAAD Centers of African Excellence have made towards the promotion of sustainability through their research, but also through the expertise they bring to bear in their professional practice. We also want to discuss where the alumni see additional potential for promotion of sustainable development by the centers. Thus the contributions should address the following questions:

  • How has/can your research contributed/contribute to sustainable development?
  • How can/does the training received at the centers contribute to your professional practice in promoting sustainable development?
  • How could the centers further enhance students’ capabilities towards the promotion of sustainable development?
  • How can interdisciplinary cooperation between the African Centers of Excellence help to enhance sustainable development?

While focusing on sustainable development in general, we are interested in fostering (interdisciplinary) discussions that relate to the many facets of sustainability addressed in the various centers:

  • Science, knowledge production and education
  • Logistics, economic development and financial inclusion
  • Natural resources governance and mineral extraction
  • Governance and law
  • Agriculture, rural development and rural-urban transformation
  • Migration and social mobility

The conference will be organized in thematic workshops. In these workshops the core questions outlined will be addressed. The output from individual workshops and the plenary discussion will be captured and compiled in a conference report. This report will detail current successes, identify capacity needs, and potential areas of future collaboration.

In order to participate, please send an abstract (not more than 500 words) of your intended presentation and a short summary of your curriculum vitae (including, if applicable, your most relevant publications). Please also indicate in which thematic workshop you would like to present your work (e.g. Science, Knowledge production and education; logistics, economic development and financial inclusion; natural resources governance and mineral extraction, etc.). Proposals shall be sent to the email addresses igan.ghana@gmail.com and Tetteh.alumni@gmail.com with the subject “Abstract – application to the 2nd DAAD Alumni conference” until June 15th 2018. A scientific committee with members from ISSER, GGCDS and of the ISSER/GGCDS alumni network will select the participants based on the quality of their proposal, their academic and professional activities, and the thematic pertinence of their contribution. Gender balance and diversity among participants (including all DAAD centers for African Excellence) will also be considered.

For those alumni presenting their work in the conference tickets for international travel, catering and accommodation in Accra will be provided.

See the attached file for the tentative program: Alumni Conference 2018-Call for applications

Graduation!

Today, CERM-ESA’s first cohort of eight Kenyan Master’s scholarship holders are graduating from Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. We are extremely proud of our pioneer group of students who ventured to do a Master’s by Research in Education programme and worked hard under difficult circumstances to achieve their goal! Thanks to all supervisors from Mandela University, co-supervisors from Moi University and mentors from the CERM-ESA Faculty who supported the students tirelessly in their reserach journey. A 100% passrate and half of the students graduating with CUM LAUDE is fantastic!

Congratuations and have a wonderful day, Sarah Jemutai, Lily Yego, Zainabu Ramadhan, Ezekiel Chemwor, Ann Waithera, Janet Ronoh and Cornelius Rugut! And to you too, Robert Gamba, receiving the award on behalf of your late father, dear Josphat.

Enjoy! CERM-ESA community from Kenya, Germany, Tanzania and Uganda is with you in thought today!