News & Updates
January 24, 2014
Meet Philip Ikita, our next Rotary Peace Fellow from Class 12. Philip is based at the Rotary Peace Center which is affiliated with the University of Bradford in the UK. Philip’s academic work is within the Division of Peace Studies at Bradford, which is the oldest and largest department of peace studies in the world.
Philip is a Sociologist and Development Worker with over a decade of experience in democracy/governance, human rights, conflict management, and peace activism. His experience has found him working both within and outside of Nigeria as a civil society leader, project manager, researcher, trainer, advocate, and campaigner.
In just over a decade, Philip has gained a wealth of experience in his career so far by choosing organizations with which to work that reflect his activism and deep commitment to peace. Prior to taking up residency in the UK for his graduate studies as a Rotary Peace Fellow, Philip served as Program Coordinator for Nigeria’s People’s Democratic Institute. In that role, he facilitated the first International Election Observer Mission to South Africa’s national elections in 2009 for that organization.
Another of Philip’s organizational choices, the Research Triangle Institute International (RTI) in Nigeria, gave him a chance to work on a key component of community development in his position as Training and Capacity Building Manager. Early in his career, Philip served as Program Officer with the Mississippi Consortium for International Development (MCID), Nigeria Country Office. In keeping with Philip’s unwavering commitment to peace, he served as a member of the Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) in Sri Lanka Field Team from 2007-08.
As a Peace Fellow, Philip is focusing his studies on how information technology (IT) models can support citizen and community participation in managing or mitigating conflict and in promoting democracy.
We asked each Peace Fellow two interview questions. Here are Philip’s answers:
1. What is your opinion about the prospects of an end to armed conflict in the next 50 years?
I see a gloomy future with regard to armed conflict in the next 50 years. Arms spending is increasing, and the so-called world military powers continue to flex their muscles. With the growth of technology, warfare is becoming more sophisticated…the U.S. is not at war, but U.S.-made drones are killing hundreds even now. It might get worst in the future.
2. What do you believe are the three most important contributing factors to fostering peace within and among nations?
The three most important factors that foster greater peace among the nations are, in my opinion:
a. The never-dying left movement: anarchists, radical scholars, the workers movement, occupy movement; left activists and the platform of social media…all are forces whose activities tend to pull back powerful governments and states from excesses;
b. Education and increased consciousness of the larger majorities across the nations could prove to be liberating and capable of increasing the peace;
c. Women emancipation and empowerment: in all spheres, in the streets and in government, women are contributors to peace, and I believe increased empowerment of women, increased roles for women in society and government everywhere will foster peace everywhere.
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