It is with great delight that we welcome you to a new promising academic session. With keen observations, it is apparent that notable transformations have been taking place in our prestigious University during the holiday. As we return to the campus, we can see a scintillating appearance of the University's main library. We can see the modern technology-driven learning facilities newly introduced to ease the rigorous processes of learning while remaining committed to keeping the University's ranking higher in Scotland, the UK and the World. Our University is now more interconnected in an interdisciplinary sense of collaborations across departments and schools, as it resolves to continue transforming lives globally through cutting-edge epistemic pool of ground-breaking research that addresses human condition around the world. We are entering a new chapter as a centre of excellence in teaching and research, and Dundee Africa Research Network is keying into this aspiration.
Behold! DARN has transformed significantly if we take a cursory look back to June 25, 2015, the year we established DARN. DARN is more than two years now and we are very proud of the reputation we have brought to University of Dundee and its environs in internationalising the image of Dundee in interdisciplinary research on Africa. Below is a list of successful talks with the attendance from both the University of Abertay and University of St. Andrews;
- “Researching Africa in and out of Africa: A reflection on the PhD Journeys in the UK”
- “Africa and the International Criminal Court: Afrexit or Afremain?”
- “The Path to Sustainable Development in Africa”
- “African Research Hub: A Case for Interdisciplinary Research on Africa in the University of Dundee”
- “African Women in Film and Literature: Strength and Resilience”
- “Where are the African Scholars? The Liberal/ Post-liberal Peace Debate”
- “The Politics of History: The African national Congress, the Legacies of the Liberation Struggle, and Electioneering in South Africa”
- “Africa and the Scottish Diaspora”.
Also, DARN has successfully written its Charter. Thanks to the combined ebullience of our talented co-conveners. A special appreciation goes to Pontian Okoli, Geoffrey Mabea, Rhiannon Dempsey, Daniel Edwin Gilbert, Eddie Holmes and my humble self for preserving the spirit. Of course, Dr. Edwin Ezeokafor is also appreciated for co-founding DARN, and Dr. Martin Elvins, now the Head of Department of Politics in the School of Social Sciences, for seeing the future in DARN when we first embarked on this very time demanding journey of showcasing the best of the Africa and the Africanist scholarship in Dundee. We appreciate the support of Mr. Ajit Trivedi, the Head of Equality and Diversity of the University, as well as Mrs. Claire Milnes of the School of Humanities for the early support. Our list of appreciation is an endless one. We appreciate you all.
Yes, here we are today with the gratitude. We planted our own intellectual seed towards the tail end of the golden jubilee of this great University. Now, we face the next fifty years ahead. We mean business and we shall continue to commit ourselves to uplifting the reputation of this great citadel of learning and making it a homely intellectual base for African students, and researchers on African subjects irrespective of their race.
At this remarkable juncture and with our continued altruistic spirit, on behalf of my colleagues in the Co-convenorship, I hereby introduce our new team members who have filled the key positions as stipulated in the DARN Charter.
JULIET AGBEIBOR is now a DARN Co-Convenor.
‘Juliet is a doctoral researcher on the CEPMLP Scholarship at the University of Dundee. Her research focuses on social accountability and conflict sensitive business practice in the extractive industry. She has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Accounting and has trained as a trainer on the content and application of International Financial Reporting Standards. Before her programme at Dundee, Juliet worked as a lecturer in Accounting at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration as well as a teaching and research assistant at the University of Ghana Business School. Juliet believes that research is crucial for Africa’s development, and drawing from the diverse knowledge pools is one important way to get there.’
REBECCA MUTESI is our first Communications Director.
‘Rebecca has a background in Electrical Engineering. She was a graduate in training at ESKOM Uganda Limited, an organisation charged with the operation and maintenance of Nalubaale and Kiira Hydropower dams in Jinja district, Uganda. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Energy Studies and specialising in Energy Economics at the University of Dundee. Rebecca’s research interests include renewable energy policy and economics, demand side management, integrated resource planning, energy markets and regulation. Rebecca believes in the potential of the African energy sector to be a major driver in the improvement of the socio-economic standards of Africans. She also believes that more research should be conducted especially on regional energy markets, regulation and tariffs, especially with the ongoing East African Power Pool (EAPP) and Nile Basin Initiatives.’
PEARL ORUAMABO is our first General Secretary.
‘Pearl has several years of project management, quality assurance and compliance, and stakeholder engagement experience which will undoubtedly serve her well in her role as General Secretary. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) where she focuses on the dynamics of stakeholder engagement in energy development projects.’
Thank you all, and accept the best wishes of our great team as we journey into a new session of service to our University and its environs.
For DARN Team