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Joint Institute for Global African Affairs Launched

For Release Upon Receipt - Monday, December 3, 2018


A joint master’s programme in Global African Studies is one of the major initiatives to be offered out of the new Institute for Global African Affairs, a collaborative effort between The University of the West Indies and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

The Institute was launched on Monday, November 26, 2018 with a press conference and plaque unveiling in the Main Conference Room, The UWI Cave Hill. Present were high-level officials from both universities, including Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Campus Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor V Eudine Barriteau, Vice Chancellor of UJ, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala and Professor Angina Parekh, Deputy Vice Chancellor at UJ.

It was also launched at UJ on November 5, 2018.

In January 2017, a delegation from The UWI, led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles visited the UJ to explore possible opportunities in developing a formal bilateral relationship between the two universities. A reciprocal visit was later arranged for a delegation from UJ, led by the then Vice Chancellor Professor Ihron Rensburg. During their visit in March 2017, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed which outlined proposed areas of cooperation and included the joint establishment and operation of an Institute for Global African Affairs.

The masters in Global African Studies will be the flagship academic programme for the new Institute. This programme is envisaged as a joint or double degree programme, utilising the academic resources of both universities. It will focus on the current and future role of Africa and Africans in a global context, with ‘Africa’ and ‘Africans’ defined as the African Continent and its diaspora, with particular reference to the African diaspora in the Caribbean.

The Cave Hill campus will be the headquarters for The UWI site. This, Principal Barriteau stated, “enables the Cave Hill Campus to be strategically involved in the Global Africa network enterprise and to participate in the unfolding Global Africa narrative.”

Joint delivery of the programme is to be delivered using face-to-face, online and blended modalities. Plans are also in the works for an annual summer school module to be offered alternately between Barbados and South Africa. This will deepen the students’ experience of ‘Global Africa’ by allowing cohorts from both Universities to interact face-to-face.

In addition to the proposed joint master’s programme, there are plans for the Institute to develop initiatives for scholarly and student exchange between the two Universities, as well as promote seminars and conferences, and produce joint publications.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles lauded the achievement as one which would sustain the “intimate relationship” the Caribbean region developed with Africa during the twentieth century.

“It is important to have institutions for these conversations to be harnessed, taught to have public outreach activities,” he said.

Caption: high-level officials from The UWI and The UJ were present to officially open the Institute. From left to right: Professor Angina Parekh (Deputy Vice Chancellor, UJ); Professor Sir Hilary Beckles (Vice Chancellor, The UWI); Professor V Eudine Barriteau (Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The UWI Cave Hill); Professor Tshilidzi Marwala (Vice Chancellor, UJ); Dr Bongani Ngqulunga (Deputy Director, Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study); Dr Nolitha Vukuza (Senior Executive Director, UJ) and Professor Alan Cobley (Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chair, Board for Undergraduate Studies).


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