AU, UNHCR and Red Cross Appreciation: International Bodies reward Prof. Rutinwa as founder of Humanitarian Law Education in Africa

Mon, 04.Sep.2023 20.11

By Special Correspondent, CMU

The African Union (AU), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have presented a special award to Professor Bonaventure Rutinwa, a University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) alumnus and Associate Professor of Refugees Law for the distinguished role as one of the founders and pioneers of humanitarian law and policy training in Africa.

The unique recognition from these global highly reputable organisations was offered to Prof. Rutinwa, who is also the UDSM Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academics, at the 6th Session of the AU Humanitarian Law and Policy Training Programme (Livingstone Syllabus) held in Bujumbura, Burundi from 28th to 30th August 2023‎.

According to the information released at this event, Prof. Rutinwa and other fellows have been very instrumental in formulating, teaching curriculum, and strengthening the training on humanitarian law and policy in Africa which has been “a pillar for the effective functioning of the African Humanitarian Agency through capacity building of member states to be able to adequately respond to the humanitarian situation in the continent”.

The training, which is held annually, is named the Livingstone Syllabus for its first session in 2017 was conducted at the Livingstone Falls town in Zambia and is part of the African Union’s objectives to develop the new Humanitarian architecture in Africa. It equips various actors, in the humanitarian line of work, to broaden their understanding of the international legal framework and to come up with innovative solutions in handling humanitarian situation.

“The training has helped in the promotion of the implementation of AU Instruments and its vision laid out in the AU Agenda 2063 as well as an understanding of Pan-African ideals and doctrine. It has aimed, ultimately, to achieve the effective protection and assistance of affected persons, through an improved understanding of the provisions in these instruments and their effective implementation”, states the AU information.

Meanwhile, Prof. Rutinwa said he was very grateful for this recognition and thanked the organisations for such an honour of his long-term and substantial contribution he has provided on curriculum development, teaching and researching on humanitarian law and policy in Africa.

Commenting on this award, UDSM Vice Chancellor, Prof. William A. L. Anangisye, said that the recognition to Prof. Rutinwa signified the substantial scholarly contribution which UDSM had made in issues related to humanitarian law and policy and refugees protection.

Prof. Rutinwa has taught and researched extensively as well as offered consultancies and public service on humanitarian law and policy, especially on refugee laws and policies, refugee protection and security for many years at country and international levels.

The 6th Session of the Livingstone Syllabus in Burundi, 2023

The 6th Session of the AU Humanitarian Law and Policy Training Programme (Livingstone Syllabus) which was held in Burundi this year was organised by the Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development (HHS) of the African Union Commission (AUC), International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

It was attended by the AU Commission, African Ambassadors accredited to Ethiopia and Permanent Representatives to the AU, Experts, and members of Parliament from AU Member States, Representatives of AU Organs and Regional Economic Communities and key stakeholders, Media, and Youth Representatives.