UNIMAK Launches Degree Course in Political Science and International Relations

UNIMAK has launched a new degree course: BA. in Political Science and International Relations. Participants will look at some major political ‘pin-ups’ of the 21st century; especially the debate over democratic governance and the relationship between the state and the civil society, the connection between poverty, migration and human trafficking and other forms of human exploitation, climatic change, bioterrorism, nuclear proliferation and globalization etc. All of these issues tell us the study of political science and international relations is a very rigorous, but necessary and timely enterprise.

Philosophy and Objectives of the Study
  • Redefining leadership through special recruitment
  • Create a platform for political debate, seminars and/or workshops that foster and maintain the peace
  • Broaden the scope of citizens’ involvement in politics
  • Promote democracy through dialogue and political tolerance
  • Diplomacy for exploring early warnings of conflicts in the Mano-River Union and thus strengthening Bi-lateral ties with allies.

Further details are given in the brochure in this link.

UNIMAK in Collaboration with Higher Institutions within the Mano River Union

Correspondent Matthew Kanu writes:

The University of Makeni is planning to extend it’s influence in the Mano River Union (the regional grouping of Guinea, Sierra Leone Liberia and Ivory Coast.) Promoting higher education within the Mano River Union is part of UNIMAK’s core values of community engagement. Recently UNIMAK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the King Mohamed Roi VI University of the Republic of Guinea.

Before the signing of MoU ten Guinean students arrived at UNIMAK for a short term course in English Language. UNIMAK provided the services through the School of Languages. After the signing of the agreement 25 students from the King Mohamed Roi VI University arrived on 25th July 2017 to start a four week short term course in English Language.

Visiting students from King Mohamed Roi VI University, Guinea

At the end of the four weeks, having gone through thorough mentorship on the use of English language in speaking, reading and learning, the 25 students received their certificate during the certification ceremony.

Business and Management King Mohamed VI University year two student Ousmane Sow is among the 25 students that received their certificate. He like most of his colleagues expressed satisfaction in the area of delivery from the lecturers and the friendliness of the UNIMAK learning environment.

“At UNIMAK I learned many things from lecturers. I met experienced people during this period and they helped a lot to write and speak English fluently. When I return to Guinea I am sure of getting a good job” he explained.

Visiting Lecturers from King Mohamed Roi VI University, Guinea.

A lecturer of the English Language Department at King Mohamed Roi VI University Mamadou Bhoye Diallo described the experience gained as incredible. “We have learned the English culture; this collaboration will create an impact in the entire African continent” he added .

Diallo believed that learning English will be very necessary for their families. Personally he admitted that they have learned a lot that they will share to other students willing to come to UNIMAK and improve their skills in writing and speaking English. “Here we paid for the quality not the quantity. Am satisfied with the services and humanity of UNIMAK” he explained.

The management and staff of King Mohamed VI University is working on short course programs in other disciplines next year. These programs will be introduced to other universities in Guinea. This will facilitate an ongoing student exchange on various courses ranging from short terms courses to Masters programs in other areas . A team from UNIMAK is planning to go to Guinea .The team includes including the vice chancellor Professor Joseph Turay and others. UNIMAK students can also go to Guinea and learn French.

Registrar and Director of Academic Affairs Rev.Fr. Dr. Francis Sehdu Sesay praised the Guinean students for their willingness to learn. Speaking in an interview prior to the departure of the students to Guinea Fr. Francis informed his audience that the University of Makeni aimed at establishing partnership and collaboration with Higher Institutions within the Mano River Union and ECOWAS in general.

Preparing for Democratic and Peaceful Elections

The Association Rondine Cittadella Della Pace Alumni International Peace Lab and the University of Makeni are embarking on an initiative for democratic and peaceful elections in Sierra Leone. The initiative is directed towards the promotion of democratic and peaceful election before, during and after the March 2018 elections.

Recently a training of trainers on the promotion of democratic and peaceful election in 2018 elections in Sierra Leone was conducted. The training brought together participants from all regions of the country for a period of one month. In turn the trainers will train about 360 people from all sectors of society on the peaceful conduct and monitoring of the elections.

Rondine International Peace Lab ALumni planning for the training of trainers

According to the 2015 Census Report the present population of Sierra Leone is 7 million. Statistics from the National electoral Commission indicated that only 3.5 million people are eligible to vote and be voted for during the 2018 general elections.

Training facilitators were drawn from all sectors of society including the Vice Chancellor of UNIMAK Professor Joseph Turay , the registrar of UNIMAK Reverend Dr. Fr. Francis Sehdu Sesay, the secretary of the Inter Religious Council of Sierra Leone Reverend Moses Kanu and the Association Rondine Cittadella Della Pace International Peace Lab Alumni Jessica Hallak

The Association Rondine Cittadella Della Pace Alumni International Peace Lab facilitator Jessica Hallak concluded the training. She was impressed with the level of commitment exhibited by the participants. “Attending all the sessions of this training for the four weeks period means a lot. It means you are committed in promoting good governance in Sierra Leone.” She explained.

At the end of the training of trainers the 12 participants expressed satisfaction over the level of training received during the one month period. Antony Newman Levey is a participants residing in the southern capital Bo. He said travelling to Makeni every week from Bo to attend the training was significant. He like most of the participants believed that the training built their capacity to monitor and report the electoral process before, during and after the 2018 elections. A resident of Freetown Margaret Dauda also narrated that she now knows the different electoral management bodies and their role in the 2018 elections. “It is not only about monitoring the elections, it is about understanding the functions of the EMBs” she said.

The first elections after the one party rule in the country were held in 1996.With the end of the civil war in 2002 the first peaceful democratic elections in Sierra Leone were held. The country returned to normalcy. In 2004 the first local council elections were held and 19 local councils across the country were established. The country’s democratic credentials grew when the 2007 and 2012 elections were peacefully conducted respectfully.

The University of Makeni Director of Human Resource Veronica Kamara explained that based on the previous and current elections, it is evident that there is lack of awareness for voters regarding the election process. First, there is a lack of “knowhow” on monitoring of elections from state and non state democratic institutions and there is limited awareness raising on how to register and how to vote. “Rondine and the University of Makeni want to bridge this gap and foster a free flow of information during the electoral process” she noted.

New Paper Published

See the new paper on our UNIMAK Publications page written by Dr Alexander Chimange, Lecturer and resource governance consultant in UNIMAK‘S Good Governance Department.