Africa Knows! It is time to decolonise minds

Online, and partly physical, conference with starting event at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (De Haagse Hogeschool) on 2 and 3 December 2020. Closing activity of the 2020 Year of Leiden African Studies Association

In recent years, Africa’s universities, research institutions and other knowledge agencies have undergone tremendous change. Growing demand for scientific forms of knowledge and for higher education has pushed many of them to expand rapidly and to show a combination of daring initiatives and institutional, scientific, and educational creativity. New knowledge organizations have also been established, for example, with ties to religious groups or to the private sector. ‘Decolonizing the academy’ has become a strong call within and outside the continent. Eurocentrism is increasingly questioned, while calls for ‘looking East’ and ‘looking inside Africa’ are gaining momentum.

This conference, the final activity of the Africa 2020 year of the Leiden African Studies Assembly, will be organized with many partners from Africa and Europe and address the following key issues:

  • There are great changes in the African knowledge landscape: is Africa preparing itself for leapfrogging to innovations?
  • What will the nascent multi-polar world of the 21st century mean for Africa’s role in knowledge and innovation?
  • After 60 years of Independence, how do we finally decolonize the minds and change attitudes towards real co-creation?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Africa Knows conference, originally scheduled for 2-4 December, will now take place in a mixed form: digitally and physically. The conference will also be spread out over a longer period: from 2 December until 28 February. Read more details in this July 2020 update (PDF).