The Unit for Humanities at Rhodes University hosted a successful two-day 7th African Forum last week under the theme “African Potentials to Develop Alternative methods of Addressing Global Issues”. The Forum was largely funded and carried out by the African Potentials Project at Kyoto University, Japan.
The African Potentials Project is based at Kyoto University and is funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Grant-Aid for Scientific Research. It is a collaborative research project, working with African academic institutions, NPOs, international organisations and government representatives, and hosts its annual Forum each year in a different location in Africa or Japan.
According to Professor Motoji Matsuda, the Project Director, the aims of their research project are “to elucidate African Potentials and develop a vision for solving real-life problems using them. The final outcome that we envisage is the use of African Potentials as a medium for creation of closer partnerships among next generation researchers as well as established researchers in Japan and Africa.”
He adds that this will build sustainable networks for joint intellectual enterprise across Japan and Africa beyond the scope of the project itself, and sustain comprehensive area studies that look to the future of humankind.
A diverse group of scholars and Postgraduate students from Japan and Africa, including South Africa, participated in the Forum. Professor Michael Neocosmos delivered the Keynote Address, and the Forum included paper presentations and poster sessions, by Professor Eisei Kurimoto (Osaka University, Japan), Professor Yoko Nagahara (Kyoto University, Japan), Professor Kennedy Mkutu (United States International University, Kenya), Dr Nomboniso Gasa (UCT), Dr Shose Kessi (UCT), and Professor Edward Kirumira (Makerere University, Uganda), to name a few.
The discussions focused on the themes of ‘Liberation’, ‘Governmentality’, and ‘Everyday wisdom’, and contributions will be published in a book.
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