Bridging Diplomacy and Academia: USIU-Africa Hosts Simulation Exercise on Climate Change

By Caleb Mukhwana.

On April 5, 2024, the United States International University Africa (USIU-Africa) became the epicenter of a groundbreaking collaboration between academia, government and the diplomatic corps as it hosted a Simulation Exercise on Climate Change. This flagship event was a mimic of the African Union Committee of Heads of States and Governments on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). It was marked by dynamic discussions and insightful deliberations, aimed to foster a deeper understanding of global climate challenges while exploring innovative solutions. The simulation exercise was themed ‘Advancing the Future of Sustainable Development: Unlocking Innovative Development in the Context of Climate Change in Africa.’

Distinguished guests, including Ambassador (Rtd) Salim Mohamed Salim from the Ministry of Foreign & Diaspora Affairs, Mr. Pius Ogolla and Ms. Ivy Mburu (both from the Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany) among others joined the International Relations Faculty to grace the occasion with their presence. The presence of these delegations from the diplomatic circles together with members of faculty and scholars emphasizes the importance of bridging diplomatic expertise with academic inquiry.

The event commenced with welcome remarks from Prof Biko Adera, the Simulation Class Convener, and Dr. Moses Onyango, the Chair of International Relations Department. After several other speeches from invited guests, a key note address was given by Ambassador Salim Mohamed Salim, whose wealth of experience in international relations provided invaluable insights into the intersection of diplomacy and climate action.

Thereafter, participants and other observing students immersed themselves in simulated negotiations, mirroring real-world diplomatic scenarios. Drawing inspiration from best practices gleaned from several weeks of preparations and rehearsals, participants collaborated to develop strategies aimed at mitigating climate change on a global scale with a special focus on Africa. The Simulation Exercise not only provided a platform for learning but also served as a catalyst for innovation. Participants leveraged their diverse backgrounds and expertise to propose innovative solutions, demonstrating the power of collaboration in addressing complex challenges.

Throughout the event, the chief guest, Ambassador Salim along with other distinguished guests actively engaged with participants both in the plenary and caucus sessions. As main observers, they offered valuable guidance and feedback to the participants during and after the exercise. Their presence underscored the importance of constructive dialogue between academia and government in shaping effective policy responses to climate change.

As the Simulation Exercise drew to a close, participants reflected on the invaluable lessons learned and the potential for real-world impact. They came up with three concrete resolutions that will be shared with the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs as well as the African Union Office for consideration. The event served as a testament to USIU-Africa's commitment to fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and empowering future leaders to tackle pressing global issues.

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