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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Africa’s Great Lakes region encompasses Rwanda, Burundi, the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and parts of western Uganda. RVI has worked in the region since 2010 when the Institute held its first Great Lakes Course in Entebbe, Uganda. The course has since then been held in Bujumbura (Burundi) and Jinja (Uganda). In 2012 the RVI launched the Usalama Project (‘peace’ or ‘security’ in Swahili), a multi-year programme of research, publication and public discussion aimed at building a deeper understanding of armed groups in the eastern DRC, with a view to providing a knowledge base for the reform of the Congolese armed forces. The project, which ended in 2019, had three phases: 1) Understanding Congolese armed groups (2012-2013); 2) Governance in Conflict (2015-2016); and 3) Insecurity in the City (2018–2019). Subsequently, RVI has carried out research in the DRC on the political economy of land in Bukavu as part of the Just Future alliance.