Building South Sudan's First Peace Library

By: 
Andrew Blum

As the result of the historic referendum in January 2011, South Sudan is scheduled to become the world's newest independent nation on July 9, 2011. The University of Juba is South Sudan's flagship institution of higher education. During the war years in Sudan, when Juba was a garrison town, the University was located in Khartoum. It is now midway through the long process of relocating back to Juba.

May 25, 2011

As the result of the historic referendum in January 2011, South Sudan is scheduled to become the world's newest independent nation on July 9, 2011. The University of Juba is South Sudan's flagship institution of higher  education. During the war years in Sudan, when Juba was a garrison town, the University was located in Khartoum. It is now midway through the long process of relocating back to Juba.

Given Sudan's history of conflict, USIP believes that one of the most important units of the University is the Centre for Peace and Development Studies (CPDS). The Centre, which is now in Juba, is devoted to both educating a new cadre of Sudanese in peacemaking and development and to action-oriented research on these issues in order to guide policymakers and civil society.

For several years, the CPDS was hindered by a near total lack of educational materials. When USIP program officer Andrew Blum visited the Centre in 2010, he was shown the "library" of the Centre, which consisted primarily of a collection of outdated pamphlets on peace issues.

To help remedy this situation, USIP provided a grant in January 2011 to the Centre to establish the first peace library in South Sudan. The grant provides funds for nearly a 1000 books, shelving, and for training on how to manage a library, including developing systems for lending and making future acquisitions.

To have a chance of successfully managing its immense peace and development challenges, the Universities of South Sudan will have to produce individuals who are well-trained on these issues and produce solid research on how these challenges should be addressed. The Peace Library at the University of Juba will contribute to the capacity of the Centre for Peace and Development studies to do both.
 

May 25, 2011
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