Interview With Dr. Mehari: Performance Of The African Union

The African Union and African Politics

Mehari Taddele Maru is a graduate of world class universities: Harvard and Oxford; and a former fellow of very prestigious academic programmes (such as Edward George Mason, Max Planck, Shell, Partnership for Peace) at Harvard and Oxford Universities, the Max Planck Institute and the NATO Defense College, Dr Mehari holds a Doctorate of Legal Sciences (PhD) from JL Giessen University, Germany, an MPA from Harvard, USA, and an MSc from the University of Oxford, UK, as well as an LLB from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

Extensive Pan-African Work Experience Work

With more than 20 or so years of management and professional working experience in the African Union (AU), Addis Ababa University and other think tanks with programmes on foreign policy and geostrategic relations, peace and security, law and governance, strategy and management, human rights, humanitarian and migration issues, Dr Mehari Taddele Maru is Robert Schuman Fellow at European University Institute;  AU/GIZ and IGAD Lead Migration Expert and Member of Technical Committee of Tana Forum, Member of the Advisory Board of Migration Policy Centre of the European University Institute.  He is Senior Fellow at Nation Building Institute of the Kingdom of Thailand, Senior Research Fellow at Institute of Future Studies for Development in Bangkok. He was Chief Strategist for IGAD South Sudan Mediation, a Lead Member of the AU High Level Advisory Group on Humanitarian Affairs. He also thought at Addis Ababa University at Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), Centre for Federal Studies (IFS), and Geneva Center for Security Policy and Ethiopian Peace Support Training Center. He was Visiting Professor and Senior Fellow at the NATO Defense College (NDC), Nigerian Armed Forces Command and Staff College, the UN Institute for Economic Development and Planning (Senegal), and the African Center for Strategic Studies (USA).

As high-level professional staff of the AU Commission, Dr Mehari was Programme Coordinator and Legal Expert at the African Union Commission. He has also served as Chief Strategist and Consultant for the AU and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) departments of Peace and Security, Political Affairs and Social Affairs. He drafted AU various blue print policy documents on migration, peace and security, governance, and humanitarian effectiveness, including AU Border Governance Strategy, Common African Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness, Common African Position on Migration and Development, AU Commission Initiative Against Trafficking (AU.COMMIT), and AU Migration Action Plan (2008-2012). He has also reviewed the AU-EU partnership. He developed the Framework for AU-RECs cooperation on African Governance Architecture (AGA), and served as a resource person for the Pan African Migration Forum.      

Similarly, as a chief strategy consultant to the IGAD including on peace and security and migration, Dr Mehari prepared the Strategy for South Sudan Mediation, Report of the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism of South Sudan and facilitated several South Sudan peace consultations. Furthermore, Dr Mehari drafted the IGAD State of the Region Report, the IGAD Peace and Security Strategy 2020, the State of Peace and Security in IGAD. As migration consultant to IGAD, he has designed the IGAD Migration Action Plan (IMAP), the Migration Priorities programme for East and Southern Africa and developed the Action Plan and re-drafted the IGAD Protocol for Free Movement of Persons and facilitated all National Consultative Meetings on Free Movement Protocol.

Closely working with the AU Commission, Dr Mehari also served Programme Head for Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis at the Institute for Security Studies, and Director for University Reform at Addis Ababa University including as member of the university Senate Policy and committees.

Dr Mehari has also served as resource person to the UN Economic Commission for Africa on Transboundary Resources, IGAD-UN High Level Dialogue, Institute for Peace and Security Study, The Tana Security Forum, Deutsche Gessallschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA), West Africa Network for Peace-building (WANEP), the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Life and Peace Institute (L&PI), the Enough Project, and Not on Out Watch. Dr Mehari also served as the African expert for the review of the Africa-EU partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment as well as higher Education.

Briefings Policy Organs of AU, RECs and UN

As Member of the AU High-level Advisory Group, Programme Coordinator and Programme Head and due to his extensive knowledge and broad expertise on African peace, security and governance, migration and displacement, Dr Mehari has been invited to make presentations at high level decision and policy organs of AU, RECs and UN, namely the Peace and Security Council, the Permanent Representatives’ Committee, AU and IGAD ministerial councils, Regional Economic Communities and the UN Human Rights Council’s Intergovernmental Working Groups. His work has been officially presented, recognized and cited in various decisions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and Council of Ministers and Ministerial Conferences.

Management Experience

Well-trained in both qualitative and quantitative, as well as strategic management methods including popular tools such as Result-based Management (RBM), Value-based Management (VBM), Scenario Building and Foresight Planning, Dr Mehari has wide-ranging experience in performance evaluation, and foresight about future trends and scenarios planning for emerging threats and risks. He has conducted numerous institutional and strategic reviews of several programmes and institutions.

Publications

Published by the globally respected legal and academic publisher (Eleven International Publishing based in The Hague, Netherlands), his recent book entitled The Kampala Convention and Its Contributions to International Law’, examines the African Union Convention on the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons (known as the Kampala Convention), which entered into force on 6 December 2012. With a foreword by Dr Francis Deng, the leading scholar in the field and the Former Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, and an introduction by AU Commissioner of Political Affairs, the book analyses in great depth the provisions of the Kampala Convention in relation to the governance of migration, peace and security, and international law in Africa. He has also published several articles in reputable international and African journals. Click for more details.

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