Sudanese design course on federalism with help of Forum expert

Richard Simeon (in light grey jacket), one of the Forum’s experts on federalism, leads a roundtable discussion with a group of Sudanese journalists.

A group of Sudanese professors, led by federalism expert and Forum advisor Richard Simeon, gathered in Khartoum recently to design a federalism course for students at Sudan’s universities. The course is part of the Forum of Federations’ program on Federal Governance and Peace in Sudan, funded by Canada’s Department for Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

The interdisciplinary course, scheduled to take place over two weeks in March 2009, will be delivered by prominent academics from around the globe to leading Sudanese scholars from the universities of Khartoum, Juba and Al-Ahfad.

The training will qualify the participants already well established in their respective fields in Sudan — as national experts, allowing them to contribute to political discourse on federalism and peace in the country
Building on the Forum’s experience running academic programs in Iraq, the course syllabus links theoretical and conceptual issues and the experiences of other federal countries to Sudanese needs and concerns. Dr. Simeon noted that "local scholars now have ownership of the program. »
Dr. Simeon will also oversee a second phase of the delivery of the academic program with other universities in Northern and Southern Sudan later in 2009.

The Sudanese members of the working group that designed the course included Dr. Yassir Arat, University of Khartoum; Dr. Samson Wassara, University of Juba and Dr. Amira Badris, Alfad University. The Forum was also assisted by Sudanese federalism scholar, Dr. Omer Awadalla Ali.

During his visit to Sudan, from Jan. 25 to 30, 2009, Dr. Simeon facilitated two roundtables on federalism in divided societies – first with journalists and secondly with faculty members from the universities of Khartoum, Juba and Al-Ahfad. In both of these sessions, participants actively discussed challenges to federalism in Sudan including developing sufficient capacity of trained civil servants to deliver services to the public, tribalism, culture and political history.

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