Juba University Rift Valley Institute lectures


Juba University-Rift Valley Lectures

Project Summary

Lectures designed to promote public discussion of emerging political and cultural issues in South Sudan.

Problem Addressed

Absence of political and cultural space for public and independent dialogue on political and cultural issues.


University of Juba, Juba

Key Communities

Academics, students, policy makers, public.


2010 - annually and ongoing

Other actors

Danish Institute of International Affairs (DIIS).


Project Description

Since 2010, the RVI has organized an annual series of public lectures at the University of Juba. These lectures are designed to promote public discussion of emerging political and cultural issues in South Sudan. The lectures are co-hosted with the Centre for Peace and Development Studies at the University of Juba. Past lecture topics have included:

  • 22-24 October 2014: Negotiating Peace in South Sudan
  • 6-8 March 2013: Making the Constitution
  • 2-3 June 2011: Culture and Nation
  • 21-23 June 2010: History and Politics

Speakers have included Dr Douglas Johnson, Dr Lam Akol, Dr Alfred Lokuji, David Deng, John Ashworth, Dr Julia Duany, Naomi Pendle, Emeritus Bishop Paride Taban, and Oliver Batali Albino, Akolda Ma’an Tier, Jok Madut Jok, Zachariah Diing Akol, Henry Swaka and many more.

Key Lessons

Radio remains the only truly mass communications device in South Sudan and must form part of behaviour change initiatives aimed at scale.

Combining radio, SMS and grassroots peace mobilisation across the country is a powerful mix that produces a strong sense of ownership by wide audiences.

South Sudan has strong creative and production talent in story telling, scriptwriting and production.

It is critial to produce radio content in multiple languages to ensure relevance and reach.

Quotes from People Involved

Until there is a full and open discussion of the issue, there will be no common understanding of what federalism might mean for South Sudan, and once understood, whether the majority of South Sudanese will want to adopt it." - Dr. Douglas Johnson, University of Juba-Rift Valley Insitute Lecture series, 2014

What's Next?

With recent formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity and the return of formerly peaceful parts of South Sudan to conflict. The lectures are critical moments for discussion and debate about sensitive issues.

If you have any questions regarding the lecture series please contact Ellie Hobhouse, RVI Programme Manager for South Sudan (ellie.hobhouse@riftvalley.net) or Loes Lijnders, Director of the Institute of Applied Research and Community Outreach (iarco.cuofss@gmail.com).

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Rift Valley Institute

The Rift Valley Institute (RVI) is an independent, non-profit organisation working in Eastern and Central Africa. The aims of the Institute are to advance understanding of the region and its diverse communities, connect local knowledge to social and political action, defend freedom of information and promote social justice. RVI programmes include action-oriented research, field-based training, digital archives, distance learning and open-access publishing.

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