The inaugural Interdisciplinary African Studies Seminar at UCL was delivered by Professor Moses Oketch, Professor of International Education Policy and Development at the Institute of Education, on 20th October 2016. Professor Oketch presented an overview of his ongoing research into the role of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Sub-Saharan Africa and its relationship to employment.
Last week I attended an inspiring event at UCL’s African Studies Research Centre relating to the experiences of Africans and people of African descent in Europe, both historically and in the contemporary world. This was part of UCL’s ongoing series of lectures on Heritage and Politics in conjunction with the Royal African Society.
As a part of the UCL’s African Voices series of events (see:http://bit.ly/21eEkyG), Dr Peter Waiswa, a Ugandan medical doctor trained in Public Health, delivered an interesting, important, and thought provoking talk on ’how African scientists struggle to contribute to innovation in the global health arena’. As a student of African Studies with Health, the topic was naturally of great personal interest, but I think everyone attending the talk left with numerous self-reflective questions that were in many ways difficult to answer.
On the 6th of November this year, a symposium was held at UCL revolving around three particular African civilisations: the Mande, Kongo and Yoruba peoples. The symposium was highly multidisciplinary with anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians and others each bringing with them their own distinctive disciplinary paradigms in providing a range of insights into the pasts and presents of these diverse African peoples. In spite of the theoretical and methodological diversity implicit in the various disciplines represented, I noted several key, common themes that gained more and more clarity throughout the symposium.
Recently I had the pleasure of attending the presentation ’Development Culture in Tanzania: The Effects of Aid’ by Maia Green, Professor of Social Anthropology at Manchester University. The event was held at UCL’s African Studies Research Centre in the Institute of Advanced Study in conjunction with the British-Tanzania Society. The presentation – and following open discussion session – had Maia Green’s newly published book ‘The Development State – Aid, Culture and Civil Society in Tanzania’ as starting point. I had little knowledge about Tanzania, let alone the development efforts in the country, before this event. Therefore, I was very pleased with the highly informative nature of the presentation.