5th Annual Student-led conference

The Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) of Hekima University College, Nairobi, Kenya is organizing and hosting the 7th Annual Student led conference which is a one-day conference on the 18th October 2019 on the theme - The Scramble for Africa in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities – to make an in-depth exploration of the topic under the following sub-themes:

1. The Africa continental free trade area: An answer to Africa's trade and development issues?
2. Migration, human trafficking and modern slavery; A new African reality
3. The impact of foreign aid/development loans on Africa's development
4. Representation of Africa in the media today
5. Xenophobia and Ultra-nationalism: An emerging Trend in Africa
6. The role extraction industry plays in modern economy in Africa

The purpose of this conference is to bring together students from various higher learning Institutions, with diverse areas of study, to explore the place of Africa in the contemporary Society while creatively looking at how the Africans can take advantage of the new wave of Exploration in the continent.
It is therefore our pleasure to invite graduate and post-graduate students who would like to Present papers on any of the sub-themes above to submit an abstract of no more than 250 Words by the latest 30th September 2019.

For further information or any inquiry, please call the numbers above or send an email to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Students Led conference 2019 - Poster

 

A visit to the Hekima university college chapel during the TRRR conference

TRRR Article webI can do yoga in this chapel, Dr. Waltrina Middleton, delegate at the TRRR conference expressing her love for the Hekima University College chapel.


The 8th Transatlantic Round table Conference on Religion and Race (TRRR) was convened in Nairobi, Kenya, at Hekima Institute of peace studies and International Relations (HIPSIR). Hekima is a Christian and Jesuit Institution that offers MA in peace studies and international relations, and BA in theology. In addition, the college has a center for research, training and publications. The T triple R conference is a community of discourse on religious responses to issues of race and brings together religious leaders, scholars, civil society organizations and governmental leaders in round table discussions.

Coincidentally, the 2019 theme of the TRRR conference, 'old divisions new social formations: Africa and the diaspora', fits with the symbolism of the painting in the Hekima chapel. They are not only thought provoking but also presents an urgency for action.

As you step in the university, the Hekima University College chapel is eye catching. It's central location within the compound, the beautiful garden plants and the stained-glass doors welcomes you to a place of worship and adoration. As delegates get seated, one could easily notice a steady and intent look in admiration of the paintings and other art behind the center alter of the chapel. Dr. Elias Omondi, director of HIPSIR and a Jesuit priest, took the stage to brief the delegates and students on the triptych at the alter which was designed by an African Jesuit artist and scholar from Cameroon, Fr. Engelbert Mveng. The beautiful image at the center depicts an elevated Christ with a lustrous bright yellow color at the background, he said. At his feet are two figures, one with arms stretched out to him and the other pointing at 'the city'. This magnificent image is sandwiched by scenes from the bible; on the right, is the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and on the left is the miracle of Cana.

Strategically located at the bottom center of the middle panel is 'the city of Nairobi'. In an article published in 2012, Fr. Kpanie Addy, points out to the symbolism and ambivalence of the city through 3 lenses; First the biblical perspectives. Enoch as the first city of the bible, which originated as a place of refuge and protection for Cain and but also a birthplace for civilization and invention. Furthermore, the bible notes the emergence of several other cities, some representing evil like Sodom and Gomorrah while some others are outstanding like Jerusalem. The second perspective is within the African context. In this context, the city is representated in a clear dichotomy of the rural and urban, one that can be viewed as a deliberate establishment by the colonial masters of a social structure that restricts black people's access to the urban cities. Thus, a place of alienation, exclusion and exploitation but also a place of acculturation and survival especially in the contemporary society. The third perspective is that of the artists. A lens that encapsulates the first two perspectives. According to the Fr. Mveng, the city represents the church in its inherent ambiguity. Whereby racism among other evils proceed Christ's mission even among the missionaries on one hand and on the other, is the active role played by the church in advocating for social justice and peace in conflict situations.


 By: Faith Ondeng | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Kwale Field Visit Report

KwaleThe second lot of the Ongoing Chartered mediators Course training had its planned field visit of Kwale County on 2nd September 2019. The visit targeted mining areas in the County with an intention of getting firsthand information from the miners through observations as well as holding consultative discussions with them. The places that were visited included the following.

Figure 1: Map of Matuga Sub-county


 

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Mban Leadership Training

Mban articleHekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) conducted a 3 day workshop on Christian Leadership and Peacebuilding in Mban Parish Migori with the target audience being 29 church leaders from the parish. The feedback from the participants and the main facilitator Mr. Michael Tanya was overwhelming. The training was aimed at reaching more people at the grassroots through the trained church leaders. Who were advised to visit the different Christian communities and train them on the topics tackled

 

Trans-Atlantic conference on Religion and Race (TRRR)Conference

TRRR Article webThe Trans-Atlantic conference on Religion and Race was held from 1st -5th July 2019 at Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR). The conference was attended by over 60 participants different cultural diversities and religions across the globe. The conference was divided into 2 sections; Pre-conference and the main conference. The pre- conference involved site visits to Kibera and Eastleigh in a bid to learn more on what the local community CBOs are doing to promote peace and unity among people of different diversities. The conference brought together scholars from different religious and cultural back grounds and the main conference handled various topics in relation to religion and race. It started off with a topic on East African Perspectives on the Old divisions and new social formations which touched on Regional politics, Conflict and reconciliation in Eastern Africa. Issues such as the Immigration crisis and the church's response to the same were discussed and policy reforms proposed in order to intervene in the crisis.. Read more

 

Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Course

Conflict Training webHekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) held a 5 day training on conflict resolution and peace building from 22nd to 26th July 2019. The training was attended by 21 participants from different institutions and organizations working for peace including; Fellowship of Councils of Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA), the National Cohesion and Integration Comission (NCIC), the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC), the All African Conference of Chruches(AACC) and Global One. Ms Florence Mpaayei (senior advisor and co-ordinator, Peace Practice at HIPSIR) was the main facilitator assisted by Mr. Benard Okok (Senior Technical Advisor, Interfaith Relations and Peace building, East Africa Region office of World Vision) and Ms Jacque Anundo (a clinical Psychologist from Chiromo Hospital). The training covered a range of topics such as Conflict Analysis and theories, Peace building, psychosocial support and reconciliation amongst others. The topics were also gendered throughout the training in the spirit of UNSCR 1325.

 

Early Career Researcher (ECR) Workshop

ECR WORKSHOP 1Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) hosted a two day Early Career Researcher (ECR) workshop on 16th and 17th July 2019. The workshop brought together over 35 participants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Ethiopia with a great focus on peace, security and conflict. This  was mainly meant for Early Career Researchers and academics, especially PHD holders (less than 10 years) and PhD students. It was co-hosted by Africa Leadership Centre (ALC), King’s College London and the British Academy. Prof. Funmi Olonisakin the founding director ALC and Dr. Sarah Njeri a research associate with ALC were among the delegates present.

 

The rise of Omar Al-Bashir and the Dynamics That Led to His Ouster

Sudanese President Omar Al-BashirSudanese President Omar Al-Bashir with Sudan amry forces in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]

Since the wave of independence hit Africa in the 60s, the continent has had its share of problems with leadership, but few problems bemoan its people as the recurring problem of dictatorship which has been a key hindrance to the social, economic and political potential of the continent. Though most dictators like Mobutu Sese Seko and Idi Amin were ousted through coups, and others like Omar Bongo of Gabon died in office, a crop of dictators stood the test of time and managed to hold on to power even as times changed. Omar Al-Bashir is an epitome of such dictators, solidifying his legacy as one of Africa's most prominent strong men with a record 30 years in power. read more

 

Chartered Mediators In Ukunda and Kwale County

Ukunda kwale 2The second batch of chartered mediators had a second training on July 2019 from 22nd to 25th July 2019 in Ukunda, Kwale County. This particular training had 12 participants with a gender representation of 5 women to 7 men who had been selected by attractive industry companies and community based organizations (CBOs).

This training was enabled with support from Misean Cara.

 

THE TRANSATLANTIC ROUNDTABLE ON RELIGION AND RACE

Conference 3The conference was held from 1st -5th July at Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR). It was divided into 2 sections; Pre-conference and the main conference. It was attended by people from different cultural diversities and religions across the globe.
On the first day( Monday 1st), the guests were taken for cultural visits to Kibera and Eastleigh in a bid to learn more on what the local community CBOs are doing to promote peace and unity among people of different diversities. On the Eastleigh visit, they visited the Eastleigh Fellowship Centre (EFC) the CBO reaches out to Somalis through various programmes which include; Sports, Education and conducting medical camps in collaboration with other organizations. On the Kibera visit the guest had a chance to visit Polycom Development Project which is a Women Empowerment and Girl child welfare organization, working to mobilize, organized and develops voices of women/girls living in urban slum settlements. On the second day different local organizations working on peace in Kenya gave their presentations including Vocal KE, Footprints for change amongst others.

The conference brought together scholars from different religious and cultural backgrounds. Each day had a main theme discussed. For instance, on the 2nd the presentations were mainly from different local organizations on what they do for peace, on the 3rd, the main theme was on the East African perspective on religious diversities and conflicts, on the 4th it was on the immigration crisis and promotion of women empowerment and on the 5th was on cultures of development, empowerment and agency and the final overview and report on the discussions.
The conference handled various topics in relation to religion and race. It started off with a topic on East African Perspectives on the Old divisions and new social formations which talked about Regional politics, Conflict and reconciliation in Eastern Africa and the different responses to the conflicts and socio-religious diversities through mediation frameworks, the Catholic social teaching on conflict and other methods of bringing different cultures together for peace and understanding. Issues such as the Immigration crisis and the church response to the same were discussed in a bid to come up with ideas and policies to resolve or intervene in the crisis.
Generally, the conference informed on the key roles played by religion, culture and race in bringing about conflicts and also in resolving the conflicts and promoting peace in the society. For instance, as pointed by one of the speakers Dr James Mwita from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, that Religion is the best option for conflict mitigation and has contributed to responding to the ethnic land conflicts in Kenya. It also appreciated the efforts by different religious organisations in mitigating conflicts and peace building processes. The conference was important in networking through institutional partnerships and community building.

 

Promoting Inter-Faith Dialogue in Kenya

Jamia 1The students from Hekima University College attended an open day at Jamia Mosque in Nairobi-Kenya, on Saturday, 27/10/2018. According to the Jamia Mosque Committee, the event served: firstly, to enhance a better understanding of Islam; secondly, to promote harmony between different religious and cultural groups; and thirdly, to demystify Islamic practices and traditions. The event was also attended by students from other universities around Nairobi. Seven students, accompanied by Rev. Dr. Peter Knox, SJ, Dean at Jesuit School of Theology, represented Hekima.

The event started off with a brief introduction to the symbols and rituals conducted by Muslims when they are praying in the mosque. This included the five prayers done during the day and the meaning of some Arabic words, to get a better understanding of Islam. For the following session, the participants were invited to Mihrab, the niche of the mosque that indicates the qibla (direction of Mecca), and in which the Imam stands to preach. The Iman of Jamia Mosque thanked the participants for having honored their invitation and emphasized the fact that as human beings, we come from the same God (Allah). Consequently, all human beings are called independently to their religion to live in peace and respect one another. According to him, Christians are closer to Muslims than any other religion. Muslims and Christians are called to cohabitation and collaboration. In addition to that, Muslims strictly respect the message that comes from God and preached by all prophets, including Jesus. Hence the prophet Muhammad constitutes the achievement of all prophecies.

For the last session, the Jamia Mosque Committee invited participants to the Multipurpose Hall where participants were invited to ask questions and give some remarks about the event. The questions asked by the participants were around the controversial verses in the Qur’an, the role of women in Islam, the importance of Jihad and hadith in Islam, Sharia, religious extremism, interfaith dialogue, conflict in the Middle East involving Islamic countries, etc.

Jamia 2From Hekima University College, Fernando Baleia SJ, a student of MA in Peace Studies, gave a brief remark on the significance of the event and congratulated the Jamia Mosque Committee for having organized the event. It was especially appreciated because two weeks earlier, Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations had organized its Third International Conference which focused on Religious Extremism and Violence in Africa: Reviewing the Practice of Intervention & Inter-Religious Dialogue.

In closing, the event allowed participants not only to learn about Islam but also to interact with one another as a better way to promote interfaith dialogue.

All the participants went home with an English translation of the Holy Qur’an from the Muslim Community as a sign of gratitude. We hope that other similar events will be organized in order to promote peace and avoid conflicts between religions.

Fernando Baleia SJ

 

 

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5th Annual Student-led conference

5th Annual Student-led conference

The Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) of Hekima University College, Nairobi, Kenya is organizing and hosting the 7th Annual Student led conference which is a one-day conference on the 18th October 2019 on the theme - The...

Read more

A visit to the Hekima university college chapel during the TRRR conference

A visit to the Hekima university college chapel during the TRRR conference

I can do yoga in this chapel, Dr. Waltrina Middleton, delegate at the TRRR conference expressing her love for the Hekima University College chapel. The 8th Transatlantic Round table Conference on Religion and Race (TRRR) was convened in Nairobi, Kenya, at...

Read more

Kwale Field Visit Report

Kwale Field Visit Report

The second lot of the Ongoing Chartered mediators Course training had its planned field visit of Kwale County on 2nd September 2019. The visit targeted mining areas in the County with an intention of getting firsthand information from the miners...

Read more

Mban Leadership Training

Mban Leadership Training

Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) conducted a 3 day workshop on Christian Leadership and Peacebuilding in Mban Parish Migori with the target audience being 29 church leaders from the parish. The feedback from the participants and...

Read more

Trans-Atlantic conference on Religion and Race (TRRR)Conference

Trans-Atlantic conference on Religion and Race (TRRR)Conference

The Trans-Atlantic conference on Religion and Race was held from 1st -5th July 2019 at Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR). The conference was attended by over 60 participants different cultural diversities and religions across the globe....

Read more

Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Course

Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Course

Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) held a 5 day training on conflict resolution and peace building from 22nd to 26th July 2019. The training was attended by 21 participants from different institutions and organizations working for...

Read more

Early Career Researcher (ECR) Workshop

Early Career Researcher (ECR) Workshop

Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) hosted a two day Early Career Researcher (ECR) workshop on 16th and 17th July 2019. The workshop brought together over 35 participants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Ethiopia with...

Read more

The rise of Omar Al-Bashir and the Dynamics That Led to His Ouster

The rise of Omar Al-Bashir and the Dynamics That Led to His Ouster

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir with Sudan amry forces in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency] Since the wave of independence hit Africa in the 60s, the continent has had its share of problems with leadership, but few problems...

Read more

Chartered Mediators In Ukunda and Kwale County

Chartered Mediators In Ukunda and Kwale County

The second batch of chartered mediators had a second training on July 2019 from 22nd to 25th July 2019 in Ukunda, Kwale County. This particular training had 12 participants with a gender representation of 5 women to 7 men who...

Read more

THE TRANSATLANTIC ROUNDTABLE ON RELIGION AND RACE

THE TRANSATLANTIC ROUNDTABLE ON RELIGION AND RACE

The conference was held from 1st -5th July at Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR). It was divided into 2 sections; Pre-conference and the main conference. It was attended by people from different cultural diversities and religions...

Read more

Promoting Inter-Faith Dialogue in Kenya

Promoting Inter-Faith Dialogue in Kenya

The students from Hekima University College attended an open day at Jamia Mosque in Nairobi-Kenya, on Saturday, 27/10/2018. According to the Jamia Mosque Committee, the event served: firstly, to enhance a better understanding of Islam; secondly, to promote harmony between...

Read more

The South Sudan Crisis: What is the way forward for peace?

The South Sudan Crisis: What is the way forward for peace?

The South Sudan Crisis: What is the way forward for peace? Lucy Poni Modi Lucy Pony Modi is currently pursuing her MA degree in Peace Studies and International Relations at HIPSIR, Hekima University College. The signing of a new peace deal between President...

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Physical Address: Riara Road, off Ngong Road
Tel: +254 20 386 0109 | +254 20 3860102
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Email: secretary.hipsir@hekima.ac.ke