Moi University, through the school of arts and social sciences, has beaten 48 other African Universities to emerge as one of four new academic centers of excellence in African studies. This sees them receive a share of 51 Million Euros funding for projects and another 150,000 Euros for administrative duties annually for an initial period of seven years courtesy of the Federal Government of Germany, through the University of Bayreuth.
According to Professor Peter Tirop Simatei, the dean of the school of arts and social sciences, who lead the team of researchers that wrote the winning proposal, the win is attributed to his school’s strong international research credentials and its multi/interdisciplinary orientation.
The Eldoret based University alongside 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) will for the next seven years be members of University of Bayreuth’s (Federal Republic of Germany) Africa Multiple Cluster Centers (ACCs) of Excellence in African Studies.
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 trans-disciplinary 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 centers 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, changing the old pattern of research being conceptualized 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.