IFRA-Nigeria and IAS-Ibadan initiated a collaboration with KNUST university in KUMASI Ghana
Between 3rd and 7th of May, a delegation of IFRA-Nigeria and the Institute of African Studies (IAS) of the University of Ibadan visited the History and Political Studies Department of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana. This week of exchange aimed at creating a collaboration between the three institutions, IAS, KNUST and IFRA-Nigeria.
The team coming from Ibadan with representatives from IFRA-Nigeria, and from IAS-Ibadan were welcomed by the head of the Department of History and Political Studies, Dr Samuel Adu-Gyamfi, the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, FASS, and the PROVOST College of Humanities and Social Sciences, COHSS.
On the 4th of May, IFRA-Nigeria proposed a seminar on article writing. Dr Vincent Hiribarren and Dr Cyrielle Maingraud-Martinaud presented to the lecturers and PhD candidates of the Department, the journal Sources and invited their colleagues from KNUST to submit abstracts for next issues.
On the 5th of May, the acting Director of the Institute of African of Studies of the University of Ibadan, Dr Senayon Olaoluwa, presented what should become a tripartite collaborative research project on the historical phenomena of “Ghana must go”. The trauma from this massive ejection from Nigerian territory of thousands of Ghanaians and other West-African nationals in the 1980s is still very vivid today, and has had consequences on social dynamics and diplomatic relations in the region. Following Dr Senayon Olaoluwa’s presentation, a stimulating discussion took place that should lead to further collaboration between the Ghanaian and Nigerian universities on this topic. After discussing the amount of time needed to undertake such a research project, the participants thought about potential publications.
On the 6th of May, Dr George Bob-Millar, the Director of KNUST’s Centre for Cultural and African Studies (CeCASt), delivered a presentation on “how to make an original contribution to knowledge”. It was followed by a workshop on Digital Humanities and a discussion between IFRA-Nigeria and researchers from KNUST about potential joint projects. CeCASt showed a specific interest in developing collaborative work on Digital Humanities with IFRA-Nigeria, especially on the technical expertise offered by IFRA-Nigeria to digitize archives.
On the 6th of May, Dr Samuel Adu-Gyamfi presented his research on Mission Medicine and Hospitals in Africa for the second session of the West African History Online Seminar hosted by IFRA-Nigeria. This seminar is supposed to be entirely online but the two organisers of the seminar (Juliette Reflé and Vincent Hiribarren) were, for once, in the same room as the speaker.
During the week, the delegation had the opportunity to attend the presentations by the Department's PhD and MPhils students, with very stimulating research topics on historical and political dynamics in Ghana and West Africa. As a result, several students from the Department applied to become fellows of IFRA-Nigeria.
In total, around 50 researchers from KNUST (lecturers and PhD Candidates) took part in the various discussions held during this week of exchange. It was also the opportunity for all the participants of the workshops to discuss their research topics with IFRA-Nigeria and IAS-Ibadan members, and to consider collaboration with the two Ibadan-based institutions.
On Thursday 6th and Friday 7th of May, Dr Vincent Hiribarren took part in a workshop with Ghanaian History secondary school teachers in Kumasi. The 30 participants discussed the content of the free online Wassce History textbook and gave presentations on the best ways to use its content in a classroom. This event was coordinated by Benjamin Ampadu (deputy director of TI Ahmadiyya Senior High School in Kumasi) and funded by the Arts and Humanities and Research Council (United Kingdom).
During the week, Dr Sara Panata, IFRA-Nigeria postdoctoral fellow, had the opportunity to visit and undertake research at the Kumasi Branch of the National Archives. She found there materials for her new research project on the history of suffrage in anglophone West Africa.
In Accra, the IFRA-Nigeria team met with the Head of Cooperation and Cultural Affairs of the French Embassy in Ghana, as well as the Technical Advisor in charge of France-Ghana Higher Education Cooperation and Research in order to discuss how to further collaboration between IFRA-Nigeria and Ghanaian institutions