Department of International Relations and Diplomacy

COLLEGE OF SOCIAL AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES AFE BABALOLA UNIVERSITY, ADO EKITI.

KM 8.5, AFE BABALOLA WAY ADO EKITI, EKITI STATE P.M.B 5454

PROGRAMME TEL: 08034728540, 08134810433                                               

EMAIL:  ird@abuad.edu.ng

HOD: Dr Adaora Osondu-Oti, PhD.

ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND DIPLOMACY (IRD)

At inception on 4th January 2010 Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) admitted students into the College of Social and Management Sciences (SMS), being one of the pioneer Colleges of the University. At the end of the first Session, which ran from 4th January to August 2010, the University admitted students into International Relations and Diplomacy (IRD)in the Second session which started in October 2010. At that time, International Relations and Diplomacy (IRD) was among the Programmes (Peace and Conflict Studies, Intelligence and Security Studies, Political Science) under the Department of Political Science and International Studies, headed by Prof, R.F. Ola. IRD have had different Programme Coordinators/Programme Heads starting with, Mrs. ToluIfedayo (2010-2013); Ambassador Tunji Kolapo (2013-2015); Prof. Adeolu Durotoye (2015-2017); and Dr. Ajinde Oluwashakin (2017-2018). In January 2019, the University Senate approved 8 programmes in the College of SMS that became full-fledged Department;and International Relations and Diplomacy was one of them. In the same month(January 2019), the University appointed the pioneer Head of ‘Department’, in the person of Dr. Adaora Osondu-Oti. Dr. Osondu-Oti is currently the Head of Department of International Relations and Diplomacy.

THE DEPARTMENT’SPROGRAMMES/ACTIVITIES

IRD has many programmes/activitiesput in place for the overall development of its staff and students. Aside the enriching and diverse courses offered in IRD, the Department every semester organises a seminar/workshop where students and staff are enlightened on diverse issues relating to international relations.

In 2016, under the leadership of Prof-Adeolu Durotoye, IRD initiated the Diplomatic Dialogue Forum. The Forum is aimed at bringing seasoned diplomats (serving or retired) and international relations scholars from across the global diplomatic community to address, educate and share their experiences with our students and the entire university community at large on topical issues relating to international relations. The first dialogue was organised by Prof. Durotoye in 2016 and we had the privilege of hosting the Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria. The second Dialogue was in 2017 and IRD, under the leadership of Dr. Ajinde Oluwashakin hosted retired Ambassador Adegboyega Ariyo and Professor W. A Fawole. In 2018, Dr. Ajinde also hosted Professor Emeritus and retired Ambassador, Prof. Alaba Ogunsanwo and Dr. David Aworawo.

In 2019, the Department under the leadership of Dr. Adaora Osondu-Oti, hosted Retired Ambassador Humphrey Orjiako (the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations and Other International Organisations at Geneva; also the former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein); and Professor of Political Science and International Relations, from the Department of Political Science University of Jos, Prof. W. O. Alli.

During the Dialogue, Guests are given different topics to discuss, and papers are presented. For example, in the past dialogues, different topics were treated such as Israeli-Palestinian Issue under Trump; Nigeria-Malaysia Relations; Africa and the Changing Global Dynamics: Issues and Challenges, among others. The Department has a monograph titled, Diplomatic Dialogue Series, where all papers presented during the Dialogue are published.

The Department has been engaging in many other activities. In March 2019, the Department under the leadership of Dr. Adaora Osondu-Oti, for the first time celebrated the International Women’s Day. In line with the theme of the 2019 International Women’s Day, ‘Balance for Better’, the Department invited experts and renowned scholars from health sciences and Social Justice Department to discuss the topic, “Victims and Victimisers: Men, Women and Gender-Based Violence.” The Department on April 3rd, 2019 organised a Seminar called, “Health and Wealth Seminar”. It was aimed at educating both students and staff in the Department and the College on the importance of maintaining good health, because as the saying goes, ‘health is wealth.’

On April 9th 2019, the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy hosted the Society for International Relations Awareness (SIRA). SIRA represents a unique ensemble of foreign policy and international relations experts. Its members are drawn from Foreign Service, Academia, Security sector, Trade Unions and Civil society in general. SIRA engages in interactive Session with postgraduate students of International Relations in various Nigerian universities on Nigeria’s foreign policy. Afe Babalola University is the first Private University SIRA had visited for an Interactive Session, and this was made possible by the Head of Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, Dr. Adaora Osondu-Oti. SIRA’s discussion with our students centered on ‘Nigeria’s Foreign Policy and the Question of Collective Security.’ Our students and staff not only had the opportunity of gaining from the wealth of experience of renowned scholars of political science and International Relations such as Prof. Nuhu Yaqub, but also got the opportunity to become members of the association.

Staff in the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy have engaged in different staff development programmes. They have attended conferences and workshop at national and international levels. Some have served as resource persons. For example, three members of our staff, supported by the University, travelled to South Africa in 2016 to attend a conference organised by the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute.

WHY CHOOSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND IPLOMACY

A degree in International Relations and Diplomacy provides students with the requisite knowledge and analytical skills that they need to make sense of happenings around the world, thrive in any work environment, and make impact in the society. The inclusion of ’Diplomacy’ distinguishes this course from all other courses of its kind in the country, as such students are equipped with diplomatic skills and prepared for career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International organisation,  and Ambassadorial positions. As ambassadors-in-training, students, have multiple opportunities every year to participate in the Model United Nation (MUN) program which helps them understand the workings of the United Nations.

As a totality of human activities and a distinct field of academic study, International Relations and Diplomacy is an all-encompassing discipline that cuts across all human endeavors. Hence, students take core sets of courses in the departments of Economics and Political Science. Our students are exposed to theories and also gain first-hand knowledge through their academic field trip to different countries which quip them with the required skills and worldview to function effectively in a globalized world.

IRD: A DEPARTMENT OF FIRST CHOICE

In October 2010, when admission into International Relations and Diplomacy programme started, the discipline received the highest number of applicants in the College of Social and Management Sciences. IRD is a Course of first choice for most students, and this was evident in the number (133 students) of admitted students in the first year. This trend has continued; from inception to date, IRD has admitted over 700 students, and has continued to have the largest number of students in the College. The reasons are nor far-fetched. The discipline of International Relations and Diplomacy is a revered one; moreover our graduates could fit into almost all governmental and governmental sectors/organisations.

Today, our graduates are making significant impacts in the society. In 2018, five of them travelled through AIESEC as international volunteers in different schools in Egypt. Some have served as interns in international organisation in Switzerland, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the United Nations (UN). Others are either working with NGOs, Embassies, government parastatals, or are pursing postgraduate degrees. IRD has produced not less than 15 first class graduates. Two of our first class graduates in 2014 were offered job as Graduate Assistants in the Department, and they are currently rounding off their Master’s Degree programme in our Department. This is a great progress as our students have become lecturers and our colleagues too.

Another great attraction to the Department is the fact that we have well-qualified staff that specialize in various areas of International Relations, ranging from Human Rights, Gender Studies, International Law, Middle East in World Politics, Asia and the World, Conflict and Conflict Resolution, etc.  Our students are also meant to take compulsory foreign language courses- Chinese and French, which become great selling points for them outside the shores of the University. It is important to state that our student in 2014 won the Chinese Government Scholarship to study in China because of her excellent performance in Chinese language Courses taught in the Department.

In 2017 and 2019, the Department produced the best graduating students in the College of Social and Management Sciences. The current Provost of the College of Social and Management Sciences Prof. Adelou Durotoye is from the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy (he assumed office in 2017).   The Department has hosted lecturers from other universities on sabbatical leave such Dr. Jamiu Oluwatoki; Prof. David Adeyemo and Dr. J. Akanbi from Lagos State University, Obafemi Awolowo University, and Adekunle Ajasin University respectively.

The Department yearly organises academic field trip for its students to expose them to the practical aspect of the Course. Students have visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja to interact with their staff; U.S embassy in Abuja and other relevant organisations such as ECOWAS, UN headquarter in Abuja, etc. They have also visited foreign countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, etc.

After graduating two sets of Bachelor Science Degree Students, IRD applied to the NUC to start Master’s degree programme, and the Department’s application was approved in 2017 after NUC verification. The first set of Master’s students were admitted in 2017/2018 Session, and they were ten (10) in number. In the last few months, all of them successfully defended their Master’s Thesis. The second set of Master’s students were admitted in 2018/2019 Session, and they are at verge of finishing their Course work. The Department is preparing to start Ph.D. programme in the 2019/2020 academic year.

Since 2010,IRD has been a Department of pride and a Department known for its outstanding success. The Department’s great transformation cannot be delinked from the commitment and dedication of its Heads, and staff, that work towards the production of students that would be found worthy both in character and learning. The current members of staff in the Department are Dr. Adaora Osondu-Oti (HOD); Dr. Ajinde Oluwashakin; Dr. Opeyemi Ade-Ibijola, Mr. Fatokun Samuel; Mr. Rotimi Opeyeoluwa, Mr. Michael Ineh-Dumbi and Miss Oluwatomilade Olominu.

IRD is a Department in fast motion!!!

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