The role of the diaspora in advancing higher education
In a special report on the Forum on the Role of the African Diaspora in the Revitalisation of Higher Education in Africa, held in Ethiopia from 13-14 November 2019, University World News interviews some of the participants and provides an overview of the gathering organised by the Institute of African Studies at Canada’s Carleton University, the Citizens and Diaspora Directorate of the African Union and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The diaspora is widely acknowledged as a critical resource for the development and revitalisation of higher education in Africa, but how to extract that value, and forge mutually beneficial academic relationships with diasporans and Africa-based scholars and institutions, is less straightforward, not to mention the question of who, ultimately, should be responsible for funding such initiatives.
A tribute to Pius Adesanmi
The forum, co-hosted by the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University in Canada, the African Union and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, was part tribute to the late Pius Adesanmi, the Nigerian-born scholar who was director of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies and was a champion of many initiatives that led to partnerships with several universities in Africa.
Adesanmi, who actually conceived of the forum in 2018, was tragically not able to attend it, having been among those passengers who died aboard the Ethiopian Airlines jet which crashed on 10 March 2019. Read more
Professor Joseph Mensah, a Ghanaian-born scholar currently at York University in Toronto, Canada, has played a leading role in a number of African academic diasporan programmes aimed at tapping into the expertise of African academics living and working around the world. He speaks to University World News – Africa about the “mammoth potential” of the African academic diaspora, about living in a “third space” and the reality of always having Africa on his mind. Read more
Traditional understandings of the African academic diaspora in terms of loss or ‘brain drain’ do not sit well with Patrício Langa, a sociologist and associate professor of higher education who straddles two academic portfolios in two African countries – one at the Institute for Post School Studies of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and another at Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique. Read more