Name: Prof. Isaac Olawale ALBERT (Director)
Isaac Olawale Albert is a Professor of African History, Peace and Conflict Studies and the pioneer Director of the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan Nigeria. He bagged his BA (Hons) degree in History at the University of Ibadan in 1985 and did his MA and PhD degrees in African History in same university in 1991 and 1994 respectively. He was a two-time winner of the Africa-wide thesis-writing award of the Council for the Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal (MA in 1992; Ph.D in 1994). In 1999 he was invited by the United Nation’s International Leadership Academy (Amman, Jordan) for a Certificate course in Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution. He subsequently trained in peace processes in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Finland, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, South Africa and several other parts of Africa.
He was appointed as a Junior Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies in 1993 and became a Professor in 2006. He is a conflict analyst and peace process planner. His teaching and research activities broadly cover the two areas. He served as the Director, Institute of African Studies, from August 2010 to July 2013. He transferred his services to IPSS in 2015. He won the Africa Peace Education Prize of the Centre for African Peace and Conflict Resolution of the California State University, Sacramento (USA) in 1996 and the maiden Peace Education award of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Accra, Ghana in 2013.
In 1996, he initiated the academic link between the University of Ibadan and University of Ulster, Northern Ireland in Peace and Conflict Studies, which led to the commencement of Peace studies in Ibadan in 2000. In the process, he served as a visiting peace and conflict studies scholar to a number of universities in the United Kingdom. These included the Centre for the Study of Conflicts, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland; Joint International Programme on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity (INCORE), Peace Programme, Magee College Londonderry, Northern Ireland; International Alert, London; Centre for Defence Studies, King's College, University of London; and Rutherford College, Centre for International Conflict Analysis, University of Kent in Canterbury. He worked with his students in 2000 to establish the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP) to provide practitioner’s perspectives to the peace studies programme.
He was contracted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accra, Ghana in 2006 to provide the framework for establishing the M. A. Course of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana in Peace and Development Studies. He was at the University of Ilorin during the 2008/2009 academic session to establish the university’s Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies which currently runs M.A. and PhD Courses in Peace and Development Studies. He was a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE), University of Oxford in the United Kingdom from 2003 to 2007. He is a lead facilitator of the three MA Security Studies programmes of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra, Ghana and was a lead facilitator of the annual West African Peacebuilding Institute (WAPI) of the West African Network for Peacebuilding in Accra, Ghana until 2012. He is a Consultant to the Ghana Accreditation Board. In this capacity he contributed to the commencement of the Masters in Defence Studies degree programme of the Command and Staff College at Teshie in Ghana.
He was the convener of the 2008 extended workshop on Social History jointly sponsored by SEPHIS (Netherlands) and CODESRIA (Dakar) on “Historicizing Migration”. This project involved scholars from different parts of Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Latin America. Prof. Albert served at various times as a Consultant to UNCHS (Habitat), UNEAD, World Bank’s Urban Management Programme, USAID, USAID/OTI, DFID, Oxfam, IDASA, WANEP, US-African Command, WHO (Geneva), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, GIZ, the AU, ECOWAS, National Defence College (Abuja), Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (The Presidency, Abuja), Institute of Security Studies (Abuja), and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra, Ghana. He was a Consultant to the Africa Peacebuilding Network of the Social Science Research Council (New York); Makerere University Kampala, Uganda; the University of Addis Ababa in Peace Studies. In 2007, he served as the Country Director of the Nigeria Office of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA-Nigeria) to oversee the 2007 elections in Nigeria.
Professor Albert excellently combines knowledge of conflict management scholarship and practice. Therefore he has a close working relationship with security academies globally. He is a Fellow and the current Board Chairman of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP); the Regional Board Chairman of the West African Network for Peace building (Accra, Ghana) from February 2015 to February 2017; a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators; Fellow, Institute of Corporate Administration (ICA) and an Associate Member of the Finnish Folklore Fellows (Helsinki) instituted by the Finnish Academy of Letters.
He was a federal delegate to Nigeria’s 2014 national conference held in Abuja (Nigeria) where he served on the Committee on Immigrations and Related Matters. He was a member of the presidential panel on the Review of Nigeria’s defence policy in 2014 and 2015. He was a Resident Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy in February and March 2016 to start work on his coming book on the media strategies of terrorists. He delivered the 4th Kofi Annan – Dag Hammarskjold Lecture entitled ”Regional Engagement in Peacebuilding in Africa: Perspectives and Challenges” on 4 April 2017. He has published over 30 books and 100 journal articles and chapters in books on issues relating to peace and conflict in Africa.