Universiteit Leiden

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Africa knows!

Wednesday 2 December 2020 - Friday 4 December 2020

This conference is organised within the framework of the Africa 2020 year. It will be organised with many partners from Africa and Europe and comprises of 50 panels. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Africa Knows! conference will take place digitally. While kick-off events are scheduled for 2-4 December, the panel sessions will be spread over a longer period: from 2 December 2020 until 28 February 2021. For all information about the conference and its panels, visit the conference website.

The Netherlands has a long history of critical scholarly engagement with Africa and of Africa-oriented teaching, research and policy advice. In recent years, Africa’s universities, research institutions and other knowledge agencies have undergone tremendous change. A growing demand for scientific forms of knowledge and for higher education has pushed many of them to expand rapidly and to engage in a combination of daring initiatives and institutional, scientific, and educational creativity. New knowledge organisations, for example, with ties to religious groups or the private sector, have also been established. ‘Decolonising the academy’ has become a loud call within and beyond the continent. Eurocentrism is increasingly questioned, while calls to ‘look East’ and ‘look inside Africa’ are gaining momentum. 

Some of the keynote speakers:

Dr Chika Ezeanya Esiobu
In 2019, she was recognised as one of the most influential persons of African descent under 40. She is the author of Indigenous Knowledge and Education in Africa (Springer: 2019). Dr Chika is currently a visiting honorary professor with the University of Rwanda. Watch her TED Talk ‘How Africa can use its traditional knowledge to make progress’ (2017).

Prof. Erika Kraemer Mbula
Professor of Economics and Chairholder of the DST/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Chair in Transformative Innovation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development, at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Prof. Kraemer Mbula’s work focuses on alternative development paths for African economies.

Prof. Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni
Full Professor and Chair of Epistemologies of the Global South with Emphasis on Africa at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. Previously, Prof. Ndlovu-Gatsheni worked as Research Professor and Director of Scholarship at the Department of Leadership and Transformation at the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Freddy Weima
Freddy Weima is Director-General of Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for internationalisation and international cooperation in education. He took up this position in 2012. Weima studied political science at the University of Amsterdam and the San Francisco State University. 

For the full programme, visit the conference website.

Photo: Rufus de Vries.

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