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The Great Lakes Course covers the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, providing a deep historical and social context to the current political and humanitarian dynamics in the region. The Co-Directors of Studies for the course will be Yolande Bouka and Marco Jowell. They will be joined by a team of leading regional and international experts. These will be…

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The 2019 Horn of Africa Course examines the Somali-speaking lands, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and northern Kenya. It explores the historical and contemporary features that make the Horn the world’s most crisis-ridden region.

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Due to operational reasons beyond RVI’s control, this year’s annual Field Courses will now be held in Entebbe, Uganda rather than Ethiopia. Entebbe was the location of the first Great Lakes Course in 2010. RVI is excited to be returning to Uganda, and looks forward to holding all three courses on the shores of Lake Victoria. Entebbe International Airport is well served by international and…

The Institute recently wrapped up its fifteenth year of annual field courses, which were held this year in May and June in Kenya. The one-week intensive courses covered an array of historical and contemporary issues in the Horn of Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, and the Great Lakes regions. They were attended by 83 participants and taught by 32 teachers.

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In June and July, the Rift Valley Institute will hold the 2019 annual field courses in Ethiopia. Now in their sisteenth year, each course examines a different sub-region within eastern and central Africa: Sudan and South Sudan, the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa. They offer a dawn-to-dusk programme of lectures, seminars, panel discussions and debates. Bringing together new research, fresh…

Western donors are struggling to maintain leverage on the increasingly authoritarian regimes in the Great Lakes region, whose desire to remain in power through formal, legal and informal means block efforts at governance reforms. While economic forecasts for most of the region are stable—due to rising commodity prices and the slowing down of inflation—it will remain a challenge to translate…

Over the last year, there have been several momentous and largely unpredicted changes in Sudan and South Sudan. In Sudan, after 30 years in power, Omar al-Bashir was ejected from the presidency following months of popular protests. This triggered an on-going re-ordering of the country’s political system with the outcome as yet unknown. In South Sudan, after five years of stop-start war, an…

The past year has seen unprecedented changes in the Horn of Africa. These followed the appointment of Abiy Ahmed as Prime Minister of Ethiopia in April 2018, who set about a series of internal reforms, as well as brokering a rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea. This was coupled with the continuing involvement of the Gulf states in the Horn’s politial processes, with particular influence…

​Civil war seems settled as a permanent feature of politics in both Sudan and South Sudan. State and parastatal armed actors, insurgents and armed groups of various sorts are a regularized part of the Sudans’ political economy and ecology, in which civilian non-combatants are the primary victims