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Institute for Horn of Africa

Studies and Affairs (IHASA)

IHASA – 2010 Conference –June 18th to June 20th, 2010-

Conference Framework Document

A – Overarching Purpose

The overarching purpose of holding the Institute of Horn of Africa Studies and Affairs' 2010 academic conference is to bring together academics, community leaders, students and members of the Diaspora with others interested in issues pertaining to the Somali Region in Ethiopia (Ogaden) to examine ways to promote and advocate for more durable peace with justice.

The IHASA-2010 conference aims to convene an academic conference focusing on the Somali Region in Ethiopia planned for June 18th to June 20th, 2010. This conference intends to attract more than 400 delegates, which will include researchers, scholars, human rights advocates, community developers and members of Diaspora communities from the Horn of Africa.

The main purpose of this conference is to exchange ideas and share knowledge that will assist in moving debate and discourse on the situation of the Somali Region in Ethiopia into the 21st century. The title of this conference will be 'Looking Back & Looking Forward: Critically reflecting on the Somali Region".

Another major purpose, of the IHASA-2010 Conference is to document and disseminate the knowledge and the ideas presented in the conference by publishing conference proceedings.

In addition, the IHASA-2010 Conference about this region aims to enhance the awareness level of the participants through high caliber academic presentations which will highlight the complexity of the history of this region, the plight of the people of its people, the socio-political issues, and human rights situation of this region.

In this three-day event participants will partake and lead discussions, listen to each other and experts on topics on all issues pertaining to the Somali Region in Ethiopia. Furthermore, in addition to submitting written versions of their presentation, participants will develop some policy recommendations for the way forward in addressing the human rights and humanitarian situation of the region.

B- Theme

The core theme for the IHASA-2010 academic conference on the Somali Region is two-fold: the first is to share and exchange knowledge and ideas about the situation of the region, past, present and future. And the second is intended to target people who are knowledgeable about the history, socio-economic development, political and human rights and humanitarian situations of the Somali region in Ethiopia.

The core theme is bi-directional in that it makes salient learning from each other:

to highlight the plight of the people to enhance the awareness level of the participants

to reflect on and identify all the issues, past, present and future that are impacting the situation of the region

to create a platform where healthy debates and exchange of meaningful ideas take place and start broad-based conversations on challenges and opportunities for this region

to create opportunities for networking between academics and community activists

The proposed streams and topic areas will capture/reflect the core theme and its relevant sub-themes or thematic areas.

C-Sub-Themes & Topic areas

Three Sub-Themes and topic areas are proposed for IHASA-2010 Conference. These three sub-themes take into account the core theme for the conference and suggested topic areas which have been informed by early iterations of the conference framework and planning team suggestions.

The Nexus between conflict, peace, human rights and development in the Ogaden region

Topics in this sub-theme will reflect issues pertaining to the nature of the conflict in this region, its historical evolutions and stages. Papers presented in this stream will employ regional, sub-regional, and country level analysis. Issues will include but not be limited to:

Conflict profile: what kind of conflict exists in the Ogaden? Its phases over the years

Stakeholder analysis: who are the various parts of this conflict? Their respective positions, capacities and perspectives on peace

Causes of this conflict: what are the geopolitical aspects? Underlying root causes; factors prolonging etc

Trends and opportunities

Appropriate conflict resolution mechanisms for this region

Topics in this sub-theme will reflect issues pertaining to the impact of protracted conflict such as the one in the Ogaden. The impact it has on the people over the years; and issues related to state sponsored violence targetting civilians; human rights atrocities in this region and identifying challenges and opportunities. Building on the topics and the findings of the first sub-theme papers on this second theme will include but not be limited to:

The impact of protracted conflict on the masses of this region

Current human rights and humanitarian situation of the region

Appropriate conflict resolution mechanism that take into account the complex history of this region including the need for a comprehensive political solution

Building broader-based conversations and dialogue among the people of the Somali region of Ethiopia

Topics in this sub-theme will reflect issues pertaining to mechanisms on how to build bridges between the communities in the nine regional zones. Topics will include but not limited to:

Identifying barriers to broader-based conversation among the people of this region

Building networks that reach out to the diverse groups in the Diaspora

Identifying opportunities to engage in critical dialogue and addressing the disconnection between diverse groups from this region.

Overview of IHASA:

Institute for Horn of Africa Studies and Affairs (IHASA) is a 501c3 national nonprofit organization whose mission is to document, research, analyze, publish and disseminate information on the political and socio-economic justice issues affecting the people in the Horn of Africa and in the Diaspora community. IHASA promotes peace, justice, equality, development and supports policies and actions that contribute to the advancement of good governance and the elimination of conflicts in the Horn of Africa.

IHASA strongly believes that the people of the Horn of Africa, given the opportunities necessary, are productive and the region as being very dynamic and resourceful. IHASA believes that this can be attained through peace, justice, and mutual development as a way of life.

Conference Program Structure & Organization

The conference will include keynote speakers, panels discussing issues facing the Ogaden region and the larger Horn of Africa. We hope that the conference will provide means for the Diaspora to network, share information, and decide how they might mobilize in support of human rights and justice for all inhabitants of the area.

Within the three sub-themes and topic areas, there will be plenary sessions and there maybe simultaneous workshops and panel discussions in breakout rooms.

Examples of Categories of Presentation:

Debate or Roundtables: two or three debaters will present on differing points of view as they exchange insights on a topic of importance to the conference themes.

Expert Lecture: a 45-minute presentation by a single knowledgeable expert in a field relevant to theme of the conference; he or she will share conceptual or methodological innovations through a lecture followed by responses to audience questions.

Paper Presentations: these are submitted either by individual or group presenters; addressing a specific topic in any of the sub-themes.