First Research Stay at the African Union
From mid-October to the end of November, the ANCIP researchers Camille Vern, S. Elisabeth Warnck (ReCentGlobe, University of Leipzig) and Jonas Schaaf (PRIF) conducted research at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa. Setting continental frameworks for peace and security, the AU represents a key actor investigated by the ANCIP network. The goal of this first trip to the AU Headquarters was to provide an empirical foundation for the subprojects on which to build our subsequent analyses. In doing so, we engaged with a variety of actors working on site to explore their practices in the context of non-military interventions by the AU.
Investigating the AU Panel of the Wise, one of the pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), Camille Vern established first contacts with key sources in the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) and researched the origins of this organ thanks to the rich material of the African Union archives.
The archives featured also centrally in the research of S. Elisabeth Warnck. Being centrally engaged in conceptualizing the ANCIP database, archival research and establishing first contacts at the AU compound was invaluable to further proceed with the database.
Jonas Schaaf gained deeper insights into politics and practices for the inclusion of civil society actors in AU non-military interventions through his interviewees. With upcoming visits to Mali and Guinea, as well as ECOWAS in Abuja, contacts with practitioners there could already be arranged at AU Headquarters.
In addition to building networks within the AU and collaborating organizations and think tanks, we profited from exchange with the Institute for Peace and Security Studies. It was a particular pleasure to connect with scholars who were themselves at the AU for their research, among them Dr. Ueli Staeger, Rumbidzai Dube, and Selma Kropp.
We would like to thank all the individuals who supported our research during our time in Addis Ababa and enriched our projects. We would like to give special thanks to the African Union Library, as well as Steven Mayega and Sirak Tesfaye from the Archives, who supported us with their knowledge from the first day to the departure day.
CV; JS; SEW