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Global & Area Studie|College of Arts & Science

Ahmed Rhazaoui

Visiting Senior Scholar in Global Studies

Ahmed Rhazaoui started his career in academia, teaching at NYU, Richmond College (NY) and Mohamed V University in Rabat before corporations (TNCs) on African countries. Moved to UN HQ in NY to continue working on TNC activities and impact globally and the UN effort to draft an International Code of Conduct on TNCs. Then off to the UN Development Program (UNDP) in the late 1980s to work in the field on development challenges as Deputy then Resident Representative and UN Coordinator.  In that capacity, he led the UNDP teams in  Guinea, Niger, Rwanda, Cameroon joining the United Nations in the late 1970s. Spent the next thirty years at the UN in various capacities, starting as economic officer in the UN Africa HQ in Ethiopia where he worked on the impact of transnational, Senegal and Syria with shorter stints in Chad, DRC, Mali and Tunisia.

The UN career was capped in 2004 by his appointment as Director of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General. UNOWA ’s objective is to bring the UN peacemaking work to the field by focusing on conflict prevention, management and post conflict reconstruction in West Africa.

Among the highlights of his UN career was the lead role in coordinating the work of the United Nations for the reconstruction of Rwanda in the immediate aftermath of the 1994 genocide. In Syria, he focused on the promotion of reforms prior to the Arab Spring, an effort that was overtaken by events after he left the country at the end of his assignment.

After the UN he resumed his academic career as Visiting Professor in Ifrane (Morocco), and taught  at Paris-Descartes/Sorbonne, Georgetown and Tsukuba University (Japan). He combines his academic work with consulting for the UN on peace and development issues.

Academic training: Whitman College (BA, Political Science), Univ. of S. Carolina (MA, International Studies), New York University (Ph.D., Political Science and Economics) and the University of Chicago (Post-Doc, Islam and social change in MENA).

Finnish connection: married to Lena from Finland, his second adopted country.

INST 499-01/ 5990-01
TOPICS : THE UN SYSTEM : The UN and Africa’s development challenges
T, 3 :10-5 :40pm (3 credits)
Dr. Ahmed Rhazaoui, Senior Visiting Scholar in Global Studies, Spring 2015
UN Development Program career diplomat and Professor at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco
The course will focus on the role played by the UN (Agencies, Funds and Programmes) in helping Africa deal with its many challenges, including conflict  prevention, management and post-conflict reconstruction ; peace building and peace making ; poverty reduction ; meeting the Millennium Development Goals ; dealing with globalization and various international crises ; promoting human development ; confronting health challenges (HIV/AIDs, Ebola, Malaria..) ; and other related issues.
The course would begin with a survey of theoretical approaches to development (modenization, dependency, human development..) as well a description of the UN as a peace making and a development institution. The empirical part would focus on countries/regions where I had a first hand experience in West Africa and Central Africa and East Africa, with highlights on countries/regions that have been victims of conflict (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Rwanda, Somalia, DRC, Mali and the Sahel region).
Two textbooks will serve as references for the UN and Africa’s development :
Karns and Mingst : International Orgnization : the politics and processes of global geovernance
Naomi Chazan et al : Politics and society in contemporary Africa

In addition, readings would be assigned from journal articles and various relevant websites.


Ahmed Rhazaoui

Visiting Senior Scholar in Global Studies
Ross Hall 238

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