Puneet Varma (Editor)

Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations

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Religious affiliation  Jesuit, Catholic
Academic affiliation  Hekima University College
Founded  2004
Address  Nairobi City, Kenya
Type of business  Institute within college
Established  2004; 13 years ago (2004)
Chancellor  Most Rev. Tarcisio G. Ziyaye
Principal  Dr. Agbonkhiameghe Orobator, SJ
Director  Dr. Elias Omondi Opongo, SJ
Location  Kangethe and Ngong Roads Nairobi City, Kenya

Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) is an institute within Hekima University College run by the Jesuits in Nairobi, Kenya. Founded in 2004, HIPSIR offers both certificate courses and a master's degree (MA), while sponsoring conferences that bring together experts from across the continent and from abroad.



The Institute educates men and women in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. It aims "to build a society where human dignity is respected, human rights promoted, faith and justice upheld, economic and natural resources shared equitably, international relations founded on principles that promote and respect human life, individuals and institution in power are held accountable, and academic excellence is pursued with the aim of achieving full human potential for good."


The Master of Arts Degree in Peace Studies and International Relations is a two-year programme on conflict resolution and transitional justice in post-colonial Africa. The fourth semester is spent in research leading to a thesis/report. The degree may be taken over four years, and in day or evening classes. Students come from throughout Africa and from countries as diverse as Poland, Ireland, India, Costa Rica, Korea, Indonesia, and Venezuela. Graduates have placements in academia as well as with NGOs, governments, and UN institutions. In its first 10 years, 104 students graduated from the masters program.
Courses taught at HIPSIR (incomplete list): African Culture & Conflict; Communication for Conflict Resolution & Culture of Dialogue; Conflict Resolution; Diplomacy; Environment & Disaster Management; Ethics of War & Peacebuilding; Identity & Conflict; International Economics; International Human Rights Law; International Peacekeeping Missions; International Relations; International Security; Refugees, International Law, & African Politics; Regional Integration, Globalization, & Peace.
HIPSIR attracts experts from Europe, the United States, and the United Nations to its conferences, like that on Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies in Africa.

Research and publications

HIPSIR publishes HIPSIR Newsletter and The Peace Dialogue. Areas of concentration in the Institute can be gathered from the following articles and books published by its staff.

  • Stormes, James, et al. (2016). Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies in Africa. Nairobi: Paulines Africa. ISBN 9966-08-981-0.
  • Opongo, Elias O. and Chikwekwete, Dadirai (2015). Building Social Conscience through the Continuing Formation of the Laity: Focus on Catholic Prossionals. Harare: Africa Forum for Catholic Social Teaching (AFCAST). ISBN 9780797463097.
  • Orobator, Agbonkhianmeghe E. (2015) The Church We Want: Foundations, Theology and Mission of the Church in Africa. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa. ISBN 9966089330
  • Opongo, Elias O., and Kaulemu, David (2014). Catholic Leadership in Peacebuilding in Africa. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa. ISBN 9966088172.
  • Opongo, Elias O. (2013). "The African Union and a liberal peace agenda to conflict." In Murithi, T., ed., Handbook of Africa's international relations. New York: Routledge, pp. 62–73. ISBN 9781857436334.
  • Opongo, Elias O. (2013). "Historical Dynamics of the Northern Uganda Conflict: A Longitudinal Struggle for Nation Building." In Kenneth Omeje and Tricia R. Hepner, ed., Conflict and Peacebuilding in Africa's Great Lakes Region. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 85–106. ISBN 9780253008428.
  • Opongo, Elias O. (2013). "Between Violence, Reconciliation Rituals and Justice in Northern Uganda." In A.E. Orobator, Practicing Reconciliation, Doing Justice, and Building Peace: Conversations on Catholic Theological Ethics in Africa. Nairobi: Paulines Publications. ISBN 9966087400.
  • Opongo, Elias O. (2013). "Inventing Creative Approaches to Complex Systems of Injustice: A New Call for a Vigilant and Engaged Church," in Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, ed., Reconciliation, Justice, and Peace: The Second African Synod. New York: Orbis Books. ISBN 9781570759161
  • Wansamo, K. (2007). "Towards building stability in a multinational/ethnic society: conflicts in Sidaamaland, Ethiopia." (Doctoral dissertation, Lancaster University).
  • Collaborating Jesuit social centers in Africa and Madagascar

    From information gathered in 2005, the Jesuit Secretariate in Rome gave this report on Jesuit social centers in the region that included a focus on education. Foundational years are given in parenthesis.

  • CEPAS DRC (1965) Centre d'Etudes pour l'Action Sociale. Emphasis: study of political transition in the DRC. Publications: Revue Congo-Afrique (10 numbers), monographs on specific social themes.
  • CERAP Ivory Coast (1962) (INADES) Centre de Recherche et d'Action pour la Paix. Emphasis: politics, democracy and human rights. Publication: Débats, Courrier de l'Afrique de l'Ouest.
  • CEFOD Tchad (1966) Centre d'études et de formation pour le Développement. Emphasis: management training. Publications: Tchad et culture (monthly), Revue Juridique Tchadienne Centre Urumuri.
  • Jesuit Hakimani Centre Kenya (2001). Emphasis: advocacy and consultancy. Publications: Points of View ( quarterly), Bulletin of Jesuits of Eastern Africa.
  • Centre Social Arrupe Madagascar (2004). Emphasis: animation and assessment of the social apostolate. Publication: Journal Lakioa et Madagascar (since 1930).
  • Centre Culturel "Urumuri" Rwanda (2004). Emphasis: values of Rwandan culture.
  • JCTR Zambia (1988) Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection. Emphasis: empowerment of local communities. Publication: Quarterly Bulletin and Policy Briefs.
  • KATC Zambia (1986) Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre. Emphasis: training in organic agriculture. Publication: Sunrise (bimonthly).
  • References

    Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations Wikipedia

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