Volkswagen Foundation Fellows Workshop At Egerton University.
Egerton University recently hosted a Volkswagen Foundation Humanities Fellows Workshop, which brought together international scholars from different parts of the world to share their research work and explore opportunities for collaboration. The workshop was organized by the Volkswagen Foundation, one of the largest private funding organizations in Europe, and supported by the Humanities Coordination Team led by Prof. Brigitte Reinwald and assisted by Dr. Jana Otto and Ms. Rahel Kuehne-Thies, all of Leibniz Universität Hannover Germany. The workshop was held on the 30th and 31st of March 2023.
Workshop participants take a group photo with Prof.Bernard Aduda and Prof.Nancy Mungai after the official opening of the workshop
The workshop was attended by seven Humanities Research Fellows who were granted research funding by the Foundation since 2013. They included Dr. Halkano Abdi Wario, a senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, History and Religion of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Egerton University; Dr. Meron Zeleke Eresso, an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Dr. Saudah Namyalo, a linguist, Makerere University, Uganda; Dr. Elinaza Mjema, an archaeologist, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Dr. Joseph Mujere, a historian, University of York, United Kingdom; Dr. Plan Shenjere-Nyabezi, an archaeologist, University of Zimbabwe; and Dr. Pastory Bushozi, an archaeologist, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Up till then, the workshop also had special invitations to and participation by three academics from Penn State University, USA. The three are Prof. Sinfree Makoni (a renowned linguist), Prof. Kidane Mengisteab (a seasoned political scientist), and Ms. Ilona Ballreich, an administrator and coordinator of academic networking programs). Mr. Abdillahi Osman Daher, a researcher on violent extremism and a teacher trainer from Djibouti Teachers Training Centre, one of Dr. Wario’s collaborating partners, also took part in the workshop.
During the workshop, the Humanities Research Fellows presented ongoing works from their projects that ranged from papers on terrorism and violent extremism in the Horn of Africa, language choice and multilingualism in Uganda, history of chromite mining in Zimbabwe, archaeology and climate change, and dissemination of archaeological heritage in Zimbabwe. The workshop participants also benefited from training on a policy brief development and dissemination and exploration of opportunities for collaboration with Penn State University.
Courtesy call to the Office of the Vice Chancellor
Initially, the international workshop guests paid a courtesy call to the Office of the Vice Chancellor upon arrival at Egerton University and were received by Prof. Richard Mulwa, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Administration, Planning and Development. Prof. Mulwa welcomed the guests, appreciated the Foundation for years of research support and called on them to increase their funding support to other key areas of research at the University.
Prof. Bernard Aduda, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Research, and Prof. Nancy Mungai, Director of Research, officially opened the workshop and wished the participants fruitful deliberations. The two urged the international guests, faculty members, and other workshop attendants to forge lasting academic networks and leverage the opportunity offered by the workshop to learn from each other and grow the profile of the University as a premier host for cross-cutting research projects of benefit to the country and the world.
Volkswagen Foundation Grantees Meeting In Naivasha
After the end of the workshop, the guests proceeded to Naivasha for a much larger Volkswagen Foundation Grantees Meeting that brought together all the projects from diverse disciplines and initiatives funded over the last 20 years. The Grantees Meeting was held between the 3rd and 5th of April 2023. Among the organizers of the Grantees Meeting was Prof. Joseph Matofari of the Faculty of Agriculture, Egerton University.