Masayoshi Shigeta speaks at "Africa Multiple" conference in Germany (30 and 31 October 2019)

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On 30 and 31 October, Professor Masayoshi Shigeta, assistant to the executive vice-president for international affairs, and Associate Professor Morie Kaneko, both from the Center for African Area Studies (CAAS), participated in the international conference "Africa Multiple: Conventions and Building Networks", held at the University of Bayreuth (UBT) in Germany.

The conference was part of UBT's extensive research project, "Africa Multiple: Reconfiguring African Studies", which was selected for funding last year by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) as a Cluster of Excellence. The event brought together distinguished researchers in African area studies from across the world to explore the potential of the discipline from global perspectives. The researchers came from Europe (including Germany and France), Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, Burkina Faso, and South Africa), and other regions (India, South Korea, and the United States), with Japan represented by Professor Shigeta and Associate Professor Kaneko.

The two-day program was comprised of four parts: "Premise of Knowledge Production", " African Studies and Question of Diasporas" , " Gender & Diversity in African Studies" , and " African Studies in the Digital Age". Each featured presentations by researchers in diverse fields, followed by earnest discussions on research methodology and associated issues.

In the "Premise of Knowledge Production" session, Associate Professor Kaneko delivered a lecture on "Local Knowledge Transmission Among Women Potters in South-Western Ethiopia", presenting her findings from long-term participant observation and providing talking points for discussion. On day two, Professor Shigeta took the stage as one of the commentators for all of the day's presentations. He clarified the issues raised by the presentations, which were based on the latest findings obtained from all over the world, and made suggestions about the future direction of collaborative research to be conducted from the "Africa Multiple" perspective. In conclusion, he introduced the KyotoU Africa Office, established this past April at Addis Ababa University's Institute of Ethiopian Studies, emphasizing its role in facilitating research exchange between KyotoU and institutions across the world.

The conference wrapped up with a reception, which opened with UBT President Stefan Leible greeting the crowd and discussing the future of the Africa Multiple project in a relaxed atmosphere. The seven-year undertaking will run through 2025, and is already turning Bayreuth into one of Europe's leading African studies centers. KyotoU aims to accelerate the globalization of its Africa-related research in close coordination with UBT's Cluster of Excellence project.

Associate Professor Kaneko presenting

Professor Shigeta speaking

Conference participants networking

President Leible delivering welcome remarks

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