Dr Alice Urusaro Uwagaga Karekezi

Alice Urusaro Uwagaga Karekezi, co-founder of the Conflict Management Center (CCM) at the University of Rwanda where she is based, teaches on peace, security and development. With over 30 years of experience in academia and activism, she is particularly interested in decolonizing African knowledge and systems. She serves on the Scientific Committee of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, a pan-African research organization headquartered in Dakar, Senegal and in the International Network for Governmental Science Advice -Africa Hub Rwanda. 

She practiced law in Paris and Brussels and taught criminology in Butare. She studies endogenous practices and the pursuit of epistemic freedom, particularly against the discourse and implementation of global norms such as transitional justice and how Rwanda has recovered and reconstructed governance philosophies and practices (e.g. Gacaca, Gir’inka) rooted in its post-genocide heritage with a view to its re-existence and transformation. She is completing a book entitled: “Giving meaning to the quest for epistemic justice in Africa. Case of Gacaca in post-genocide Rwanda. » Her research interests span the intersection between gender, law and colonialism; genocide, suffering and literary work, and South-South anticolonial ties, particularly about the (re)construction of the African architecture of peace and security.

Karekezi’s past involvement includes leading a coalition in the late 1990s to ensure that gender-based violence suffered by women during the genocide against the Tutsi was considered in the work of the Criminal Court. International for Rwanda. The activism carried out in this context contributed to the historic conviction of former mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu, and the qualification of rape as a genocidal act perpetrated to destroy a group of people; a first in law.