HIGHLIGHT: AAA/ASA Conference in South Africa: Africa in the World
Johannesburg, June 25-28, 2018
Over four days, the Rosebank Crowne Plaza Hotel in Johannesburg drew a large crowd of participants to the conference co-organized by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the African Studies Association (ASA) on May 25-28 and titled: African in the World: Shifting Boundaries and Knowledge Production.
The various panels explored many issues relating to Africa and the production of knowledge, in the past, the present and the future, and also examined the state of higher learning and research institutions in the continent. Insightful and thought-provoking ideas were discussed during the various sessions and the rightful role and position of Africa in the future development of knowledge and learning were forcefully emphasized but also strongly documented.
On Friday June 25, from 7pm to 8pm, participants attended the 9th annual 2018 Thabo Mbeki Africa Day Lecture held at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria and featuring distinguished african scholars in the social sciences and the south african past president Thabo Mbeki himself. The lecture was a warm tribute to African Women.
The reception for the conference took place on Saturday May 26 at the Wits Origins Center of the University of the Witwatersrand. Exhibits on the origins of Man, the south african rock art etc….were visited by participants.
The closing session on Sunday May 27 involved distinguished personalities and speakers including President Mbeki, Professors Mahmood Mamdani, Adebayo Olukoshi, Muna Ndulo, Toyin Falola, Rachel Makamunana and was moderated by conference co-chair Professor Carolyn Rouse.
The Director of the West African Research Center (WARC) was invited to attend as a panel chair but also in recognition of the trail blazer role played by the Center since the first AAA/ASA conference in the continent was held in Dakar in 2016 and WARC was one of the local organizers. Its contribution to the success of the 2016 edition was widely recognized by AAA and ASA then but also warmly reiterated and lauded in Johannesburg.