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AHP Fellows attend the Africa Urbanities Summer Institute Held in Accra

Fellows of the Africa Humanities Programme (AHP) were part of the Africa Urbanities Summer Institute held at the Africa Regent Hotel in Accra from 22nd September to 1st October 2023.

The Africa Urbanities Summer Institute, an annual academic gathering, has become a hallmark of collaborative research, mentorship, and intellectual growth among African universities. This initiative, running since late 2019 and expected to conclude in 2024, brings together institutions in Cape Town, Ghana (Legon), Makerere, and Pretoria. Led by the University of Pretoria's Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, the program explores the dynamic connections between African urban centers and their hinterlands, shifting away from traditional binary and hierarchical perspectives.

Mentorship at the Core

One of the program's pillars is mentorship. It aims to support the development of emerging scholars, including PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and early career academics. Participants are selected from the four collaborating African universities, providing them with an environment where experienced senior scholars offer guidance and mentorship throughout their research journeys.

Academic Output and Publications

The tangible outcomes of this mentorship and research collaboration are reflected in the academic publications that emerge from the program. These publications signify the depth and breadth of research conducted during the institute and offer substantial contributions to the global academic community. They also shed light on the intricate relationships between African urban areas and their hinterlands.

A Journey of Collaboration

The Africa Urbanities Summer Institute has made remarkable progress since its inception. It has gathered scholars from various African universities, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose. The program's previous iterations took place in Pretoria in 2021 and Makerere in 2022. The most recent gathering, attended by 27 participants, occurred in Accra from September 22nd to October 1st, 2023, hosted by the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana.

Left to right: Dr. Polo Moji (University of Cape Town), Dr. Ivan Lukanda (Makerere University), Sr. Prof. Dominic Dipio (Makerere University), Prof. Joseph Oduro-Frimpong (Ashesi University), Dr. Okot Benge (Makerere University) and Prof. Grace Musila (Witwaterand University)

Left to right: Dr. Polo Moji (University of Cape Town), Dr. Ivan Lukanda (Makerere University), Sr. Prof. Dominic Dipio (MakerereUniversity), Prof. Joseph Oduro-Frimpong (Ashesi University), Dr. Okot Benge (Makerere University) and Prof. Grace Musila(Witwaterand University)

The Africa Urbanities Summer Institute is more than just an annual event; it stands as a beacon of collaboration, mentorship, and intellectual exploration in African academia. As it approaches its anticipated conclusion in 2024, the program's impact on the scholarly landscape is already significant. It unites scholars from across the continent and deepens our understanding of the complex relationships between African urban areas and their hinterlands. The palpable sense of a scholarly community emerging from these gatherings underscores the power of collaboration in advancing African humanities. Stay tuned for more updates and insights from this remarkable initiative.