Moi University is among the ten out of 54 African universities who have been shortlisted to compete for a place in the University of Bayreuth’s Africa Multiple Cluster Centres of Excellence in African Studies. On Friday 8th February, a delegation from the University of Bayreuth visited Moi University to assess its capacity to host one of the 4 African based Centres of Excellence in African Studies. The delegation which comprised of Professors Cyrus Samimi, Ulrike Wanitzek, and Susanne Mühleisen held talks with Professors of the School of Arts & Social Sciences led by the Dean of the School Prof. Peter Simatei. The delegation later paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac S. Kosgey. The Dean expressed confidence that the School’s application would go through in the final phase of the competition.
Building on four decades of internationally outstanding research in African studies at the University of Bayreuth (UBT), the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence seeks to work towards the reconfiguration of African studies, on both the conceptual and the structural level. The cluster is conceived as a transformative space within which to systematically advance the study of African and African diasporic ways of life and world-making via the pursuit of cutting edge research and theory-building based on new inter- and transdisciplinary formats of research cooperation. The ACCs will be spaces for joint knowledge production by all of the researchers in the cluster, but they are also designed to become independent centres for theory building and reflection on knowledge production in their own right—that is, spaces where the cluster’s African academic partners can develop their own approaches and ideas. As such, the establishment of the ACCs is meant as a contribution towards changing the old pattern of research being conceptualised and funded in the “North”, and conducted in the “South”. It will involve capacity building for early career academics, funding of research projects, PhD training in African studies and academic fellowships. The Bayreuth project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to the tune of €533 million annually for an initial period of 7 years.