I have carried out my internship at the United Nations mandated University for Peace in its Africa Programme (UPAP) in Addis Ababa. My main responsibility was to carry out research on the civil war that broke out in South Sudan. The research is still ongoing. My main duty is to monitor, collect data on conflict situations and carry out interviews with knowledgeable people working on the case of South Sudan. This internship has broadened my knowledge on conflict situations, research methodologies and has given me the opportunity to expand my networks.
I did my internship at Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), an internationally operating, nonprofit, German political Organization which carries out activities through a network of 80 offices world-wide. I have gained a lot of lessons and life skills while I interned at the Addis Ababa Office. I was given the chance to independently organize a high level political meeting, which allowed me to break out of my fear of speaking in public. The EU-AU follow up summit was one of the specially beneficial ones I attended. It had a direct link to the study program. Current issues in the horn like South Sudan crisis and different interests were were all part of the discussion. Knowledgeable scholars on the issue of peace and security were present in different meetings to share their perspectives at play. It was also a task of mine to maintain communications with some of the organizations partners. All in all I would say the internship has definitely helped me prepare well for future job prospects by allowing me to put into practice what I have been learning in theory.
Interning at the African Union Commission was one of the most eye-opening and worthwhile experience of my life. Being part of the Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Division was rewarding. I had the opportunity to get involved in operationalization of some aspects of the African Peace and Security Architecture including the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS), Panel of the Wise (PoW) and the AU Border Programme (AUBP). As a situation room intern, I had the chance to be closely involved in the monitoring and analysis of the conflict situations on the African continent. I also had the opportunity to get involved in meetings with various experts and professionals from other multilateral bodies, agencies and regional organisations dealing with conflict prevention and management on the continent. To me, the best part of the internship was meeting some of the most incredible people, and of course living in a multi-cultural global city of Addis Ababa made the internship complete.
My research internship was undertaken within a local consulting firm – Sorssa Consult. The consultant deployed the intern in the preparation of technical proposal to conduct a baseline survey on the causes of conflict and traditional conflict resolution mechanisms in Somali Ethiopia Region. The consideration for my services was based on the prior knowledge that Sorsa Consult Manager was aware of my enrolment on the course relevant to the field of peace and security. The technical proposal included brief summary of the situation of the study are focusing on information relevant to conflict, outlined the methodology, list of staff, financial offer, a tentative work plan and draft table of contents for report presentation. The proposal was accepted by the client and I was also further involved in the preparation of the inception report.
Alex, an exchange student from the EMGS Programme did an internship at the German Embassy in Kampala. He collected data through semi-structured interviews with representatives from the EU, UNDP, and IMF to draft government statements and political analyses. The internship, as he puts it, 'is a great opportunity to experience the world of diplomacy up close.' At the moment, he is completing an internship at the IPSS in Addis Ababa where he assists the research department in the conceptualization of African-centered solutions. Additionally, he works with his colleagues on the South Sudan Conflict Mapping and Conflict Prevention Management Resolution Strategy. Alexander does not only consider Addis Ababa to be an ideal place for advanced academic and professional training but also enjoys the socio-cultural environment of Ethiopia which he describes as challenging, yet highly inviting at the same time.