Nigerian-born United States’ based scholar, Dr Cyril Obi, has been appointed by the New York-based independent nonprofit organisation dedicated to advancing research in the social sciences and related disciplines, Social Science Research Council, to direct its Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa programme.
Obi will combine this new role with that of Programme Director of the SSRC’s African Peacebuilding Network which he has served for the last six years.
According to a statement by the organisation, Obi, a former Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, will build new synergies between these efforts, connecting both pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows and each programme’s broader networks of scholars and partners in the region.
This ambitious goal, with the critical support of Carnegie Corporation of New York, of nurturing an integrated and sustained research capacity in Africa on issues of peace, security, and development, the statement further notes, rests on a strong foundation, as the two programmes have awarded grants to 421 fellows in the past seven years.
Before joining the APN in 2012, Obi was also a Senior Researcher and Leader of the Research Clustre on Conflict, Displacement and Transformation at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden. A widely travelled and published academic, while at NAI, Obi also coordinated a research programme on ‘Post Conflict Transition: The State and Civil Society in Africa’, which involved managing Nordic and African research networks on aspects of the transition from conflict to post-conflict democratisation, justice, peace and development on the continent. He also mentored many African researchers hosted through the Institute’s Guest Researcher’s Scholarship Programme.
Prior to that, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs where he is an Associate Research Professor. In 2004, Obi who obtained his PhD in Political Science from the University of Lagos, was the second recipient of the Claude Ake Visiting Chair at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at the University of Uppsala.