Reconfiguring African Studies Workshop at Kenyan Moi University
The African Cluster Centre (ACC) of the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya invited representatives of other ACCs to discuss questions on the topic of “Reconfiguring African Studies” during a workshop held from 19 to 21 February 2020.
By Prof. Dr. Peter Simatei, Director at the Moi University African Cluster Centre (Moi–ACC)
The Moi University African Cluster Centre (Moi–ACC) held a conference on “Reconfiguring African Studies” from the 19 to the 21 February 2020. This was the first Moi–ACC conference, and as such it logically had an awareness raising implication that was purposed to encourage a buy into work of the Centre, and by extension that of the Cluster of Excellence that the Centre is part of, by Moi University researchers. To this end there were presentations by the Centre Director on what the Moi–ACC is about and by the Research Section Spokespersons on the kinds of knowledge that would be produced in those general research areas. The inferred conscientization function of the conference was further served by the fact that the event also served as the Official Launch of the Moi–ACC. That segment of the conference was officiated by the Deputy Vice–Chancellor, Academics, Research and Extension, at Moi University, Prof. Isaac Kimengi, who represented the university Vice–Chancellor.
In terms of the content proper of the conference there were three major components. In the order of the dominance in the Conference Programme (the Programme is part of this report), the first component was the discussion of project proposals that were being developed by researchers in the Centre. Conference participants robustly and critically engaged with the twenty or so presentations on project proposals in progress (there were several instances where several presentations would be made out of a single, big proposal), assessing them (mainly) for viability and potential significance.
Evaluations of the suitability of the project proposals for the general project that is the Africa Multiple: Reconfiguring African Studies Cluster of Excellence were carried out in the light of what came out of the second component of the conference. This second component of the conference was the exploration of the histories of, and the theoretical support for, African Studies that brought to the fore the issues that constitute the raison d’être of the Africa Multiple: Reconfiguring African Studies Cluster of Excellence. In this, invited guests from two ACCs, Prof. Dr. Muyiwa Falaiye (Lagos) and Professor Enocent Msindo (Rhodes) gave key note addresses. Two other guests from University of Addis Ababa, Prof Messay Mulugeta Tefera and Dr. Yekunoamlak Alemu who were visiting Moi University on African Studies related program also made presentations during the workshop.
The third, but by no means the least, of the components was a Mentoring component in which graduate students in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, were encouraged to talk about their research work, and were guided on how to proceed.
To see the workshop programme, please click here.