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Happy Day for Graduate Who Receives PhD in Conflict Transformation

12 Apr, 2017

Dr Chinedu Thomas Ekwealor who was awarded a PhD degree in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies from UKZN.

Dr Chinedu Thomas Ekwealor was all smiles after UKZN awarded him his PhD in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies.

Ekwealor, who is the Academic Development Officer for UKZN’s School of Social Sciences on the Pietermaritzburg campus, completed his degree within two years under the supervision of Dr Khondlo Mtshali and Dr Sadiki Maesera.

His thesis, titled: The Nexus Between the United Nations Security Council Reform and Peacebuilding in Africa, won the prestigious National Research Foundation (NRF) Doctoral Innovation Scholarship. Ekwealor, originally from Nigeria, was among the four percent of international students in South African universities and institutions of research who were awarded the scholarship.

According to his research, the current configuration of the most powerful global political institution, the United Nations - especially its Security Council - is ‘biased and instead of engendering peace and security, precipitates conflicts, crises and wars in Africa making the continent responsible for over 70% of global conflicts.’

 ‘To transform global conflicts and wars, my research suggests a “geographic representivity” of members at the permanent chamber in order to negate the domineering effects of permanent class on non-permanent Africa and South American regions,’ said Ekwealor.

‘The Security Council, comprising 15 members, is governed by the veto-wielding five nations of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. My research finds that the permanent five nations are not equal in strength and power - some are more equal than the others. I noted that Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa are all eligible to serve as permanent members of the Council.’

Ekwealor is currently serving as an Assistant Professor at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE), based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and assists the university in curricular development and lecturing Conflict Transformation modules. He is the pioneer president of the UKZN International Students Association and is the former President of the World Youth Movement for Democracy, representing the sub-Saharan African region from 2014 to 2016.

Ekwealor is the Chairman of the Nigerian Union in South Africa as part of the Pietermaritzburg Constituency, and is a recipient of the Rick Turner Academic Excellence and Community Leadership Scholarship.

Melissa Mungroo

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