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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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African Cluster Centres

“Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence welcomes new partners

After one year of preparations and deliberations, the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence has announced the partner institutions that will have the status of African Cluster Centres (ACC). The new ACCs will serve as nodes for joint research initiatives and networks within the cluster. To a first call for expressions of interest in May 2018, 55 African universities and research institutes responded by sending letters of intent and first sketches of ideas for future collaboration. An independent selection committee later chose ten institutions that were invited to submit full applications. After visits to these ten institutions in February 2019, the selection committee convened once again to choose those whose research foci and African Studies agenda provided the best matches for the objectives of the new research network. Based on the recommendations of the committee, the cluster’s Academic Committee selected the University of Lagos (Nigeria), Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya), Université Ouaga 1 Professeur Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Ougadougou, Burkina Faso), and Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa).

While the four ACCs will be the main partners in the cluster’s endeavor of reconfiguring African Studies, many of the proposals submitted suggest further avenues for collaboration and network building in the field of African Studies. Professor Ute Fendler, the cluster’s Vice Dean of Internationalisation & Public Engagement, therefore not only congratulated the successful institutions on their nomination, but also thanked all applicant institutions for their willingness to enter into academic exchange with the Africa Multiple cluster. The cluster will seek to create possibilities for other institutions to join the regional research networks in Africa. The four ACCs will be equipped with the financial means for own research, thus enabling them to make their own contributions to the cluster’s agenda. They will be the cluster’s on-site research partners in Africa, facilitating the exchange of ideas; the mobility of researchers; the collection of and access to data; and above all offering a platform for reflexive research on the continent itself. The ACCs’ responsibilities will include initiating and conducting research projects linked to the cluster; connecting its members to the large cluster network in Africa and beyond; organising and hosting international conferences; and providing a platform for academic exchange at doctoral and postdoctoral levels. The overall aim is to promote a generation of young academics whose objective, like that of the cluster, is to reconfigure African studies through transdisciplinary approaches that create new insights into the multiplicity of Africa and its diasporas.


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