The Secretariat of the Tana Forum is pleased to announce that Sekou Toure Otondi, a PhD candidate at the University of Nairobi, is the winner of the 2016 Tana Forum Annual Essay Competition on the theme of “Africa in the Global Security Agenda”.

Sekou Toure Otondi is a PhD candidate (International Studies) from the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, University of Nairobi. His areas of interest include: foreign policy analysis, regional integration, with a specific focus on East African Community integration process, as well as migration issues in the east and Horn of Africa sub region. He holds a Master of Arts degree in International Studies from the same institutions, which he attained in December 2014. Sekou Toure Otondi is also a blogger/columnist for the African Exponent, an online media outlet that focuses on in depth analysis of social, economic and political issues across the globe, and more specifically within the African context. Some of his other writings have appeared in the Horn of African Bulletin, the Conversation Africa, and national newspapers in Kenya.

The selection committee consisted of academics and practitioners at IPSS and other organizations. They reviewed essays submitted in both English and French from universities across the continent, and examined them with close attention to the relevance of the arguments and innovation in current peace and security issues resolution.

The authors of the top three essays win a complimentary trip to the Tana High-Level Forum in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia on 16-17 April 2016. Mr. Sekou Toure Otondi, as the highest-scoring student, will make participate on a panel and make a presentation to the Forum’s participants, who will include African heads of state and other high-level dignitaries and officials. The second and third place winners are Lawrence Mhandara from the University of Zimbabwe and Mesfin Beyene from Addis Ababa University.

The Secretariat launched the essay competition in 2015 with the aim of generating knowledge around the topic of peace and security from a youth perspective. The competition forms part of a consultative debate that is envisioned to policy building and development.

The Tana Forum is an independent initiative of the IPSS and of eminent African personalities, including the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi. It is an informal gathering of African decision makers, peace and security stakeholder groups, and their large constituencies, for an open discussion of security issues and challenges on the continent.

Source: Tana Forum
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