Prof. Mamadou Diawara from Goethe University and Prof. Elisio Macamo from the University of Basel jointly received funding from Gerda Henkel Foundation for the creation of a Pilot African Postgraduate Academy (PAPA) based at the independent research centre “Point Sud” in Bamako, Mali. The proposed PAPA targets early career scholars who have recently accomplished their doctoral theses and who are based at Universities in Africa. The goal is to foster among them a commitment to the value of scholarship for its own sake, cultivate their interest in conceptual understanding and promote an orientation towards the use of knowledge acquired in Africa to contribute to the further development of science in general. In order to achieve this, the proposed PAPA will set up a training programme to encourage laureates to engage with fundamental epistemological issues in a critical dialogue with their disciplines, Area Studies and their identity as scholars. With the intense training and mentoring of carefully selected young scholars these scholars will make a difference in their home institutions by teaching and publishing on a new level after the completion of the three-year PAPA cycle. The project will consist of the following elements:
- Two workshops of two weeks each per year bringing together fifteen selected scholars and up to four established researchers in Bamako;
- A mentorship programme bringing together senior researchers and laureates at their home institutions;
- A strong network amongst the scholars and amongst lecturers from francophone African countries living inside and outside of Africa
The project will be based at Goethe University and will be coordinated jointly by Dr. Stefan Schmid from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies (ZIAF) at Goethe-University and a new project coordinator at Point Sud in Bamako. It will run from July 2019 to July 2022.
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