Mason Partners with Ghana-based African Peace Building Organization
September 21, 2015
By Buzz McClain
George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution will sign a memo of understanding Tuesday, Sept. 22 with 72 Africa, a nonprofit, nongovernment organization dedicated to creating sustainable peace environments throughout the African continent. 72 Africa was founded by Ghana-based Mason alum Clement Aapengnuo.
The signing takes place during a ceremony on Mason’s Arlington Campus at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
“72 Africa will benefit from Mason’s years of experience teaching conflict studies,” said Aapengnuo, who earned his master’s and PhD in conflict analysis and resolution at Mason in ’08 and ’13 respectively. “And 72 Africa offers Mason valuable practical field experience. Faculty and students will have the opportunity for action-oriented research and in exchange, 72 Africa can practice ‘evidence-based’ peace building.”
“It is no coincidence that 72 Africa was established by one of our PhD alumni with deep ties to his homeland,” said dean Kevin Avruch. “S-CAR has long had a mission of supporting such initiatives and building local capacity. Clement Aapengnuo has plans eventually to work across Africa. The relationship with S-CAR will allow our faculty and students to work, as co-facilitators, educators and researchers, to help Dr. Aapengnuo grow 72 Africa into a force for peace and conflict resolution, and further the mission of both institutions.”
Aapengnuo says Mason will help provide a pivotal pillar in his organization’s process of establishing networks for studying and training peace building: Academic credability.
“Mason was one of the first universities in North America to offer conflict resolution studies at the university level,” he said. “This affiliation will contribute enormously to 72 Africa’s plan to promote conflict resolution studies” in Africa.
“It is for me the beginning of a dream becoming a reality,” he said.