Rhodes University: University of Bayreuth and four African universities continue forward-looking cooperation in the Cluster of Excellence

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The University of Bayreuth and four African universities will continue their successful cooperation in the Cluster of Excellence “Africa Multiple” in the next three years. High-ranking representatives of the five partner universities signed an agreement to this effect today in Lagos. The University of Lagos (Nigeria), Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya), Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso) and Rhodes University (Makhanda, South Africa) will thus continue to strengthen and advance joint projects in the fields of research and knowledge transfer with their “African Cluster Centers (ACCs)”.

In July 2019, the University of Bayreuth and the four African universities signed joint project agreements and thereby launched their cooperation within the Cluster of Excellence “Africa Multiple”. Common goals were and continue to be the fundamental reconfiguration of African studies as well as the deepening of subject-related and interdisciplinary cooperation in research, the establishment of joint research data management and the internationalization of higher education.

“The last few years have been characterized by an intensive exchange, which has proved extraordinarily fruitful due to the linking of different research perspectives, academic cultures and historical experiences. The pandemic has temporarily limited the number of face-to-face meetings. However, virtual collaboration formats and the strong motivation of all participants have ensured that the committed dialogue between the five Cluster locations has continued unabated. This has resulted in innovative research findings and a large number of publications, which have already attracted huge interest internationally. The international cluster conferences this year and last year were also impressive highlights of the cooperation between all five cluster sites,” says Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Seesemann, spokesman of the Cluster of Excellence “Africa Multiple” at the University of Bayreuth.

The agreement on further cooperation in the Cluster of Excellence was signed today during a one-week meeting at the University of Lagos. The get-together focusses on the evaluation of previous research work, the exchange about current challenges in African Studies as well as the planning of new joint projects. In May 2022, 22 representatives of the four African Cluster Centers were guests in Bayreuth to discuss and prepare the upcoming tasks in an intensive working week.

“We are very pleased to welcome members of the Cluster of Excellence from Bayreuth and the African Cluster Centers to our campus in Lagos. The Cluster is a unique institution that invites dialogue and reflection on basic theoretical and epistemological questions in African Studies at the highest scholarly level. In mutual exchange, we want to develop future-orient-ed research concepts that will leave behind colonial thought patterns and power structures that are still effective today and enable African Studies to make contributions to independent, innovative developments in Africa. For this purpose, we want to use not least the digital possibilities of scientific networking and data management and further develop them together with all members of the cluster,” says Prof. Dr. Muyiwa Falaiye, Director of the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS) and the Lagos African Cluster Center (LACC) at the University of Lagos.

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