The Institute for Regional Integration and Development is a unique Specialist Post-Graduate University Institute for research and training in regional integration. It brings together academics, researchers and practitioners to provide conceptual, policy and practical instruction of the highest standard on regional integration and global governance. This is intended at building capacity for Africa’s Regional Communities.
IRID aspires to be the most emblematic centre for the study of African Integration producing graduates with lifelong enthusiasm for African integration. IRID is being developed to the breeding ground for the bureaucrats of Africa’s Regional Communities.
One of the main challenges faced by Africa’s regional communities is the lack of adequate capacity to effectively design and implement regional integration programmes at both the regional and national levels. On the other hand, lack of understanding of the opportunities that regional integration brings has also ensured that people do not fully take advantage of those opportunities.
Regional integration is a complex process; to navigate this important process requires expertise for:
policy formulation and analysis; managing the process; negotiating treaties, protocols and other regulations/policies; understanding the process; participation in the process - to exploit opportunities; and, training/teaching about the process
If Africa must achieve and enjoy the fruits of integration then it will need to build capacities to nurture and deliver these fruits.
The key strategy for a way forward therefore must be in sustainable capacity building; research and training institutions to address regional integration are an absolute necessity.
The situation not-withstanding, this region has not had an institution that offers comprehensive and inter-disciplinary training in regional integration. At the end of 2011, the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) set up the Institute for Regional Integration and Development (IRID) to fill this lacuna.
To be the leading University Institute for Regional Integration Research and Training in Africa
(a) Interdisciplinary Approach
IRID draws on a wide range of competencies. These include expertise in the core regional integration foundational courses as well as in the various subject disciplines:
(b) Practical and Relevant Training
Regional integration is both theoretical and practical - learners will need to be taken through practical case studies and subsequently, most seminars at IRID are practitioner-led. The region has many veterans of the AU, EAC, COMESA, IGAD and national governments who also possess good academic qualifications. IRI is working with these veterans to enrich the experience of its students. These practitioners, who hold IRID Fellowships, contribute to research at IRID and lead seminars.
Consequently, CUEA is a university that offers practical, up-to-date and therefore relevant training in regional integration.
(c) Excellent Facilities
IRID is housed at CUEA’s ultra-modern Learning Resource Centre (LRC). The LRC is the region’s most up-to-date conference facility. The complex houses a sound-proof conference centre with electronic voting facilities and interpretation booths; the new CUEA library, with a Regional Integration Section, and catering facilities.
(d) International Environment
CUEA is a regional university: its staff and students are from across the region. This regional/international profile enriches the experience of the CUEA learners; enrolling at CUEA automatically gives one a regional/international experience.
(e) Partnerships - Private Sector Engagement
IRID is also partnering with the private sector, especially with firms that have a presence across the region. Senior staff with regional responsibilities at these firms will participate in enriching seminars at IRID.
(f) Partnerships - Institutional Linkages
IRID is already setting up partnerships with institutions that have a long history in training in regional integration so that IRID staff and students can benefit from this external expertise through joint research, visiting fellowships and even sharing of library resources