The Rotary Peace Fellowship At Makerere University Rotary Peace Center – An Insight Look

Written by ;

Ndzi Divine Njamsi

Rotary Peace Fellow at Makerere University Rotary Peace Center

Cohort 4 (2022 – 2023)


My name is Ndzi Divine Njamsi from Cameroon. I am a Rotary Peace Fellow from Makerere University and a Positive Peace Activator. I am a peacebuilding professional with over eight years in the field working on youth capacity building in peacebuilding, governance and democracy. My interest in applying for the Rotary Peace Fellowship started in November 2019, I was researching on the best peacebuilding program that I can apply to build my capacity, then I saw the Rotary Peace Fellowship. Immediately I took interest in the program and applied. I applied for the Rotary Peace Fellowship 3 times consecutively with the latest one in February 2021. By the first week of November 2021, I received an email of my selection at the Makerere University Rotary Peace Centre in Kampala – Uganda for the Rotary Peace Fellowship. I was very excited about it because I knew that it would be another opportunity for me to acquire more skills in peacebuilding for my community.

Experience at the centre

I have a positive experience of my time at the Makerere University Rotary Peace Center. First, the warm welcome and hospitability of the Rotary Peace Center staff led by Professor Helen N. Nkabala (PhD), the lecturers and Rotarians were all very welcoming and hospitable to us during our stay in Makerere. We never missed home while studying at the peace center because it had become our second home. Each host counsellor made sure they visited their respective students and also invited us to the different Rotary club engagements.

Secondly, the rich-in-content courses provided by the peace centre were amazing! The courses provided at the Makerere University Rotary Peace center are those that align with the African realities of conflicts resolution. Some of the courses were on Conflict Analysis and Mapping, Human Rights and Governance, Justice and Accountability, Positive Peace, Mediation, Trauma-Informed Peacebuilding, and cultural approaches to peace. For the implementation of our social change initiative and reporting, we had courses on Community Engagement, Project Management, Report Writing, the sustainable development goals and factors affecting sustainability and applying them in our professional and community engagements. These courses were blended with theories and practice as the lecturers were mainly facilitators and allowed us (the peace fellows) to take ownership of the courses in order to better understand what is expected of us during the post-fellowship field realities.

The focus of this 10 weeks learning opportunity was to reassert Rotary’s mission, vision, and peacebuilding work, combined with the Makerere University Rotary Peace Center. Together, looking at how trainees can make use of and improve upon Rotary’s network and capacity to prioritize its areas of focus to address societal needs. All this, of course, was done in a bid to effectively contribute towards enhancing peace and good in the world. I was very satisfied with the content of the training they offered and their commitment to service!

Community Engagement

The best moments of my studies at the Rotary Peace Center of Makerere University was the community engagement (field trips). It was an opportunity for me to learn the practices of the content that I have been studying in class. The peace center made it possible for us to be in direct contact with the local communities. The visit to the Kampala urban slums, the visit to the Buganda kingdom on the cultural based approach in peacebuilding, the field visit to MYDEL at Mengo on the role of community-based approach in peacebuilding, the visit to the Vision Group focused on understanding the role of journalism in peacebuilding, the field trip to Bududa to learn how natural disasters can lead to conflict in the community, case of the landslides in December 2019 that led to more than 1000 confirmed deaths with many others reported missing, causing more than 850 people to be internally displaced[1]. Finally, our field trip to Kigali-Rwanda (the Kigali genocide memorial and trip to Bugisera village) enabled me to understand how hatespeech spread over the radio led to the 1994 Rwanda genocide and the death of between 500,000 to 1 million people. These figures include both Tutsi and Hutu.[2] I had first-hand information from the different sites we visited and I could feel the pains and sufferings of the population because of man-made conflicts (crimes and hatespeech) and conflicts caused by natural disasters. The community engagements have made me to understand that both Makerere University in partnership with Rotary International are working to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and to make the world a safe haven through the training of peacebuilding professionals that will positively impact the world.

How the concert will help peace initiatives

It will be an excellent fundraising opportunity!.

From its name, AFRICA PEACE CONCERT, the concert will help in attracting more funds. Funds will be acquired through the sales of tickets to people coming from all over Africa. Much funds will be raised through that approach. Secondly, some business men and women will like to advertize their products at the concert’s venue and it will be an excellent opportunity to generate funds from there. By taking into consideration that individuals, Rotary clubs in Uganda and Regionally, local and international organizations will also be part of the concert, some funding will also be raised through this method because the objective of the concert is to foster peacebuilding works in the communities. They will support the program financially and materially too. Sincerely, accomplishing peacebuilding goals and those of the Makerere University Rotary Peace Center without adequate funding is blurry. There are lots of excellent project ideas on peacebuilding out there. Some have been developed and kept in project banks but these projects lack money for them to be implemented. Funds for stationaries, relevant documentation and transportation must always be available for the smooth running of peace projects. Without funding for the implementation of these wonderful peace initiatives, they will just be aimless hopes. In as much as funding has been received so far, there is a dire need to do more. This will be very much possible through the concert.

It will be an excellent networking opportunity!

Money is not everything and there are plenty of things that can make a person’s life more fulfilling!  Networking is one of those things! Networking is undoubtedly one of the most significant skill to have as a peace crusader. Knowing how to go about networking with the right people and institutions is primordial. This is because the guests of the Africa Peace Concert requires vast networks with people working in civil society, government, community leaders, Rotary clubs and humanitarian organizations. As such, it will be an exellent opportunity provided to the guests coming from all over Africa with the refined networking tools and platform to bridge such connections in order to develop new strategies to foster peacebuilding efforts and to expand the works they run in their respective communities as peacebuilders and to improve the working conditions to do more in their respective countries.

It will be an opportunity for more visibility!

This concert will be an opportunity for peace crusaders to make known the work they do, thus gaining more visibility. Through this, they may attract likeminded people who would support with technical knowledge and financially too. This support will be vital in upgrading their project activities and impact. At the regional level, the concert will make known local organizations and peace crusaders that do not have visibility and hence attract sponsorship.  Secondly, businesses will gain visibility through this concert. There are some business men and women from the neighboring countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania that may want to showcase their businesses at the concert’s venue. Therefore, the concert will be their best bet to make known their businesses to the world.

It will promote love and peaceful coexistence!

There is some pleasant healing and reconciliation that music brings to humanity! It is important to note here that the Africa Peace Concert in the Pearl of Africa will bring about an increased understanding amongst the guests and enable them to realize the humanity in them irrespective of their social status and their origins.[3] Duke Osino in William Shakespear’s Twelfth Night affirms the above statement through the phrase «If music be the food of love, play on!»[4], when he expresses his love for Olivia. YES! Music is the food of love and conflicts (electoral violence, farmer-grazer conflicts, land disputes and other forms of conflicts) have been prevented through peace concerts and led to reconciliation. To a further extent, people have gotten married in life through their attendance of a musical concert. Therefore, the Africa peace concert to take place at Speke Hotel Munyonyo on November 4th, 2023.

It will lead to an inter-generational dialogue!

There is one thing that Africa has in common. It is the «everlasting war» between the youths and the elders. African youth see the elderly as old and obsolete while these same elders consider the youths as inexperienced and lack wisdom, thereby leading to conflict and political apathy. So the Africa peace concert will bridge the gap between the youth and the elders and as a policy recommendation for African Leaders attending this peace concert, their governments should engage the youths in an inter-generational dialogue. This inter-generational dialogue will build in young people a culture of meaningful political participation and discourse with their elected representatives. This will blend both the wisdom (of the elders) and physical strength (of the youths) to move the democracy and development of the continent forward, thereby leading to good governance and a sustainable peace in Africa.

The concert will build a Pan-Africanist spirit among guests!

As revealed above, guests coming from all over Africa into the Pearl of Africa will not only love the country but they will see themselves as being at home. The hospitability of the Pearl of Africa is very unique in Africa and with the holding of the concerts, guests will realize that Africa is one. A Pan-Africanist spirit for the love of africa and Regional Integration[5] will be fast forward through the strategic meetings that will also be taking place side by side the concert. If we want to achieve the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and transform Africa into the global powerhouse of the future[6], then this concert will be a strategy to obtain it especially through the display of some Uganda’s traditional dances for peacebuilding. 

[1] Kabunga, A., Okalo, P., Nalwoga, V. et al. Landslide disasters in eastern Uganda : post-traumatic stress disorder and its correlates among survivors in Bududa districtBMC Psychol 10, 287 (2022). accessed on August 16, 2023 at 3 :51pm W.A.T

[2] Marijke Verpoorten ; The Death Toll of the Rwandan Genocide: A Detailed Analysis for Gikongoro Province

In Population. Volume 60, Issue 4, 2005, pages 331 to 367

[3] accessed on August 17, 2023 at 1 :36pm W.A.T

[4] William Shakespeare ; Twelfth Night, Bliss Sands & Co, London, 1898

[5] Brendan Vickers : A Handbook on Regional Integration, towards Agenda 2063.



Africa Union. (2015). Agenda 2063 ( ). Addis Ababa: African Union Summit.

Kabunga, A. O. (2022). Landslide disasters in eastern Uganda : post-traumatic stress disorder and its correlates among survivors in Bududa district. Uganda: BMC Psychol .

Shakespeare, W. (1898). Twelfth Night. London: Bliss Sands & Co.

United Nations Mission in South Sudan. ( Accessed on August 17, 2023 at 1 :36pm W.A.T). Kapoeta.

Verpoorten, M. (Volume 60, Issue 4, 2005, pages 331 to 367). The Death Toll of the Rwandan Genocide: A Detailed Analysis for Gikongoro Province In Population. Kigali.

Vickers, B. (2017). A Handbook on Regional Integration, towards Agenda 2063. London, United Kingdom: Commonwealth Secretariat.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like these