Conflict Research Network West Africa (CORN West Africa) is a knowledge platform and academic community for researchers based in institutions in West Africa who are working in the field of peace, security, and political violence. CORN West Africa is a growing network with more than 150 members across 35 institutions in West Africa. The Network mobilises researchers to conduct cutting-edge research on peace, security, violent conflicts, and political violence. The Network organises an annual workshop for conflict researchers where members are updated on the state of the art of peace and conflict research and share ongoing and complete research.

The igniting spark of the idea for a network of this kind was the desire to create opportunities for highly trained and ambitious, yet under-resourced and under-utilised conflict researchers in academic institutions in West Africa. One effect of the general government neglect of education across the sub-region is the lack of funding for academics to conduct research beneficial for society and the promotion of knowledge. This challenge was observed to be much widespread among peace and conflict researchers in public universities, many of whom trained in top universities across the world. Since inception, CORN West Africa has made these intellectual assets the drivers of its research agenda and endeavours, creating unique opportunities for them to conduct research relevant for advocacy and policymaking on conflict and peacebuilding in West Africa. As these talents find expression, the path will be cleared to actualise CORN West Africa’s mission and vision.

Mission
CORN West Africa’s mission is to build a vibrant community of West African researchers that conducts research with analytical rigour, theoretical depth and policy relevance. At the core of this community are researchers in academia, those in non-governmental organisations and think tanks with a focus on conflict, and other conflict experts with research expertise. The network aims to become a prominent platform for evidence-based and policy relevant conflict research in the West African sub-region. To actualise this mission, the Network collaborates with reputable local and international knowledge-based institutions and donor organisations invested in policy-relevant conflict research.
Vision
CORN West Africa’s vision is a West Africa where peace interventions by state and non-state entities are based on concrete and reliable data derived from meticulous and credible research. Despite increased funding of peace responses, CORN West Africa recognises the scarcity of reliable data on the experience of conflict in particular conflict contexts across the West African sub-region. West Africa is home to long-established research-based organisations doing impactful work. However, their generalist nature means that they do a little of many things, including peace and conflict research. As a result, there remains a wide gap in the availability of advocacy and policy-relevant conflict research – a gap the Network seeks to fill. An adjunct challenge is conflict data merchandising by some knowledge-based organisations. Therefore, integral in CORN West Africa’s vision is a West Africa where conflict data is de-merchandised, allowing government and non-governmental partners to utilise the data for peace interventions. Guided by this mission and vision, CORN West Africa will:
  • Conduct cutting-edge conflict research beneficial for advocacy and the formulation of policies and programmes to address conflicts in West Africa.
  • Ensure free and extensive dissemination of research outcomes through physical and virtual workshops, conferences, roundtables, symposia, working papers, policy briefs, media briefings and such other means as may be effective.
  • Promote ethical practice and professionalism in conflict research in West Africa.
  • Expose researchers to innovations in conflict research.
  • Provide advisory to government and non-governmental stakeholders involved in conflict management and the promotion of peace.
Our Story
Our story started in the Peace Corridor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. Coming from Nigeria, our Co-Founders were doctoral researchers at the Centre for Research on Peace and Development (CRPD), KU Leuven, Belgium. During that period, CRPD attracted researchers from all over Africa and provided a fertile ground for African researchers working on issues of peace and conflict to share ideas. It was in the context of the debates among doctoral researchers in Leuven that our co-founders proposed the idea of Conflict Research Network West Africa (CORN West Africa). CORN West Africa took root in 2018 as a loose network of conflict researchers and has since been formally incorporated as a non-profit under Nigeria’s Company and Allied Matters Act 2020, with Registration Number 1848471. The first activity of the network was a Regional Workshop on Armed Conflicts and Political Violence in Nigeria organised at the Lagos State University, Ojo in July 2021. The network organised a follow up webinar on the politics of vigilantism in Ghana and Nigeria in August 2021. Since then, CORN West Africa has continued to grow, bringing opportunities to researchers within the network and leading new innovative research on peace and conflict in the region.
Founders
Abdul-Gafar Tobi Oshodi is a Political Science Lecturer at Lagos State University in Nigeria. His research interests broadly revolve around international relations, comparative politics and development studies – with strong bias for China in Africa, the ‘youth question,’ nation building in multi-ethnic countries, and qualitative methodologies. He was a fellow of the Social Science Research Council’s (SSRC) Next Generation of Social Science in Africa program (2013-2014). He was awarded the American Council of Learned Societies African Humanities Program (ACLS/AHP) Postdoctoral Fellowship (2020-2021) and 2022 MIASA Fellowship at the University of Ghana. Abdul-Gafar holds a PhD in Social Sciences from KU Leuven and co-founded the CORN – West Africa.
 
Tarila Marclint Ebiede is a Political Scientist. His research straddles political violence, the impact of violent conflicts on local governance, youth and violence, peacebuilding and security in Nigeria. He has published his research outputs in leading academic journals and has informed programmatic intervention of international institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) in conflict affected societies. He has held fellowships and research awards from institutions in Europe and North America. Tarila holds a PhD in Social Sciences from KU Leuven and He is a co-founder and Director of Conflict Research Network West Africa (CORN – West Africa).
Advisory Board
Arnim Langer is Director of the Centre for Research on Peace and Development (CRPD), Professor of International Politics and Chair Holder of the UNESCO Chair in Building Sustainable Peace at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven).
   
Zachariah Mampilly is the Marxe Endowed Chair of International Affairs at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, CUNY. He is the Co-Founder of the Program on African Social Research.
   
Severin Yao Kouamé is a research professor of Sociology at the Université Alassane Ouattara Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire. He is the founder and coordinator of Indigo Côte d’Ivoire.
Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso is Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at Brandeis University and Co-Chair of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies (FTGS) Section of the International Studies Association (2020 – 2023).
Onyinye Onwuka is Head of Mediation and Coordination of Regional Political Affairs, Directorate of Political Affairs, Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, The ECOWAS Commission, Abuja, Nigeria.
Graeme Blair is Associate Professor of Political Science at UCLA and Co-Director of Training and Methods, Evidence in Governance and Politics.
Ukoha Ukiwo is Technical Lead of the Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) programme. He was Programme Manager of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) from 2013-2017.
Cyril Obi is a program director at the Social Science Research Council, New York, where he leads the African Peacebuilding Network (APN) and the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa programs.
Our Partners
Our partners in CORN West Africa include:
  • United States Institute for Peace (USIP)
  • Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • UNU-WIDER
  • Lagos State University

Our Team

Tarila Marclint Ebiede is a Political Scientist. His research straddles political violence, the impact of violent conflicts on local governance, youth and violence, peacebuilding and security in Nigeria. He has published his research outputs in leading academic journals and has informed programmatic intervention of international institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) in conflict affected societies. He has held fellowships and research awards from institutions in Europe and North America. Tarila holds a PhD in Social Sciences from KU Leuven and He is a co-founder and Director of Conflict Research Network West Africa (CORN – West Africa).
TARILA MARCLINT EBIEDE

DIRECTOR

Timipere Felix Allison has more than a decade of professional experience in development research, and development programming. He has extensive experience designing research and implementing development programmes on governance and democratisation; conflict transformation, and countering misinformation and disinformation. He has worked with organisations in Nigeria, Japan and New Zealand. His core competencies are development research; programme management; critical thinking; mentorship and personnel management; and organisational administration. Timipere earned a doctorate in International Development at Nagoya University, Japan.
TIMIPERE FELIX ALLISON, PHD

PROGRAMME COORDINATOR

Ebimboere Seiyefa is a Lecturer and former Acting Head, Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, Baze University, Abuja. and was acting Head of the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy. She is the author of Why Organised Violence Thrives in Nigeria? The Problem of Elite Political Culture. Her research expertise and interests include, Governance for security in West Africa and Security Studies. Ebimboere holds a PhD in International Relations and Social Studies from Coventry University. She is also a Co-Founder and co-host of An African Perspective Podcast.
EBIMBOERE SEIYEFA

HEAD OF RESEARCH

Esther Beckley is a Doctoral Researcher at University of Malta. She specialises in gender, peace and conflict studies. Her main research areas are gender and peacebuilding, Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR), postconflict reconstruction and development, and child soldiers. She served as a consultant to the Maltese Ministry for Foreign, European Affairs and Trade on the development of Malta’s first National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. She is a member of Malta’s Oversight Committee for the implementation of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
ESTHER BECKLEY

MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR

Sulley Ibrahim is a One Ocean Hub Postdoc Fellow based at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He previously worked with the Accra-based Africa Centre for Security & Counter Terrorism as Head of Programs, and later, Acting Executive Director between 2019 and 2020. Sulley has conducted extensive research on peace education in Africa, focusing on Kenya. Sulley holds Ph.D. in Social Sciences from KU Leuven, Belgium.
SULLEY IBRAHIM

COORDINATOR, GHANA

Tina Goin Lou Virginie Tra is a sociologist, specialized in conflict research. Her research is focused on governance of natural resources in conflict contexts. She is an associate researcher at Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques in Côte d’Ivoire. She graduated of the University of Basel in Switzerland in 2018 in Social Anthropology. She earned her PhD from the University of Basel. Tina is also member of the Educational Research Network for Network for West and Central Africa (ERNWACA).
TINA GOIN LOU VIRGINIE TRA

REGIONAL COORDINATOR, FRANCOPHONE WEST AFRICA

Dare Leke Idowu is an Assistant Lecturer in the Political Science and International Relations Programmes of Bowen University Iwo, Nigeria where he is researching Cultural Diplomacy, Soft Power of African States, Regional Power Dynamics, Migration and Conflict Studies. His recent articles have been published in the Creative Industries Journal, Round Table, The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs and the Conversation Africa. He has contributed chapters to books published by Palgrave Macmillian and Lexington Books.
DARE LEKE IDOWU

PUBLICATIONS OFFICER

Judith is a final-year student of English and Literary Studies at Niger Delta University.<br /> She is an Executive Assistant at Conflict Research Network West Africa. Highly skilled in data entry, project management, internet research as well as general admin tasks, she has an honors certification in Virtual Assistance from ALX and Fundamentals of Digital Marketing from Bayelsa Tech Hub.
JUDITH TRUST OBUA

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

en_USEnglish