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University to host IPRA conference

22,Jan 2016
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University of Sierra Leone together with the government will be hosting the ‘International Peace Research Association’ (IPRA) Conference from 27th November to 1st December 2016 with an expected number of over 500 international delegates.
This information was revealed by the University’s Management at a press conference held on 19th January 2016 at Fourah Bay College campus.
Speaking on the terms of why Sierra Leone was selected to host the IPRA international conference, Senior Lecturer and Director, Alumni and International Relations Bernadette Cole, explained that the country was chosen on the bases of maintaining peace and stability after the dreadful eleven years civil war.
Mrs. Cole further explained that the country has made significant improvement in peace consolidation, democratic development, conflict prevention and development which has placed the country into the lime light of being, as she put it, the Mecca of peace and stability.

She emphasized on the importance of the IPRA conference as it offers a unique opportunity to show case the country as a beacon of hope for successful peace-building, conflict prevention and sustainable development.
The Vice Chancellor and Principal, USL, Professor Ekundayo J. D. Thompson said this will be the 26th Biennial General Conference of IPRA and fortunately Sierra Leone is hosting the conference, noting that it will bring development which will be beneficial to the country’s development and economic growth.
Professor Thompson mentioned that USL is working in collaboration with the University of Northumbria, United Kingdom (UK) and University of Sakarya, Turkey, which are the international coordinators to help facilitate the success of the conference in Sierra Leone.
The brain and facilitator of peace and conflict studies in Sierra Leone, Mrs. Memunatu Pratt explained that IPRA is an International non-governmental organization seeking to advance trans-disciplinary research into the conditions of sustainable peace.
She informed journalists that the organization encourages worldwide cooperation designed to assist the advancement of peace research.
Memunatu Pratt further explained that the conference will help Sierra Leonean scholars to research on related issues of peace building and development.
She said that during the conference several papers will be presented on conflict prevention, post conflict transformation and conflict, disaster and sustainable development debate, stating that sub-committees have been established by the University administration where interested individuals can submit their papers before they can be submitted to the international committee for selection and the deadline for submission of abstract and panel proposals is 3rd March 2016.
She called on the media to help disseminate the significance of the conference and its benefit to the country’s development. She however noted the challenges involved in organizing such a big event and in that regards the university administration is calling on the government, MDAs and other institutions to support them.
The university’s administration also mentioned about their strategy in providing security during the conference as they will be working with the security stakeholders in the country to enhance effective and efficient security to the arriving delegates.

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