Moi University, through the School of Arts & Social Sciences, has competitively won another academic Centre of Excellence, this time in African Studies. The University was among the initial 10 out of 54 African Universities that were shortlisted to compete for a place in the University of Bayreuth’s (Federal Republic of Germany) Africa Multiple Cluster Centres of Excellence in African Studies. Moi will now host one of the four African based Centres of Excellence in African Studies. The other institutions that will join the cluster as African Cluster Centres (ACCs) are Université Ouaga I Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies at the University of Lagos (Nigeria), and Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa)
Professor Peter Simatei, the Dean of the School of Arts & Social Sciences, who is also the team Leader of the researchers that crafted the winning proposal, said the win had everything to do with the strong international research credentials of the faculty and, also, the multi/interdisciplinary orientation of the School.
Delegation from University of Bayreuth, The Federal Republic of Germany, who visited Moi University on 8th February this year to assess the
University’s capacity to host one of the Cluster Centres of Excellence.
Building on four decades of internationally outstanding research in African studies at the University of Bayreuth (UBT), the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence seeks to work towards the reconfiguration of African studies, on both the conceptual and the structural level. The cluster is conceived as a transformative space within which to systematically advance the study of African and African diasporic ways of life and world-making via the pursuit of cutting-edge research and theory-building based on new inter- and transdisciplinary formats of research cooperation. The ACCs will be spaces for joint knowledge production by all of the researchers in the cluster, but they are also designed to become independent centres for theory building and reflection on knowledge production in their own right—that is, spaces where the cluster’s African academic partners can develop their own approaches and ideas. As such, the establishment of the ACCs is meant as a contribution towards changing the old pattern of research being conceptualised and funded in the “North” and conducted in the “South”. It will involve capacity building for early career academics, funding of research projects, Ph.D. training in African studies and academic fellowships. The UBT project is funded by the German Federal Government (DFG) to the tune of €51 million annually for an initial period of 7 years.