Invited Key Note Speakers PDF Print E-mail

Prof. Kwesi Kwaa PRAH is founder and Director of the Africa-wide Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) based in Cape Town, South Africa. He studied at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam. He has worked extensively across Africa, Europe and Asia researching and teaching Sociology and Anthropology in various universities including the University of Heidelberg, Germany; the Amsterdam Municipal University, in the Netherlands; the Institute for West Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in China; Makerere University, Uganda; University of Botswana and Swaziland; University of Juba, Sudan; Cape Coast University, Ghana; National University of Lesotho; University of Namibia; University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Kwesi Kwaa Prah has also been a Visiting Nuffield Foundation Fellow and Associate at the Centre for African Studies and Darwin College, Cambridge University. Kwesi Prah is currently mainly involved with work in Anthropological Linguistics, specifically the harmonization of African orthographic conventions. He has published numerous books; these include: The Social Background of Coups d’etat (1973), Beyond the Color Line (1998), African Languages for the Mass Education of Africans (1995), Capitein. A Critical Study of an 18th Century African (1992), The Bantustan Brain Gain (1989), Mother Tongue for Scientific and Technological Development in Africa (1993), The African Nation: The State of the Nation (2006), Anthropological Prisms (2009), Soundings (2010), Tracings: Pan Africanism and the Challenges of Global African Unity (2014), Sudan Matters. Reports on Traditional Leadership and Administration in Africa – Two Cases from Sudan and South Sudan (2016) and Discourses of the Developing World (2016). Some of these books have been translated into French, Chinese, Shona and Arabic.

 


Dr. Karen Ferreira-Meyers has been working for the University of Swaziland since 1993, first as a Lecturer, then Head of Department and Lecturer, and since 2010 as a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator Linguistics and Modern Languages in the Institute of Distance Education of the University of Swaziland. She speaks various languages, among these French, English, Dutch/Flemish, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Italian (basic), siSwati (basic) and Mandarin Chinese (basic). 

She organises and facilitates authors’ workshops in which modules are developed using distance and e-learning principles. She coordinated an African team of researchers looking into teacher training and plurilingualism (2013-2017) and a group of authors designing modules for the African Virtual University, based in Dakar (Senegal) and Nairobi (Kenya) (ongoing). As a member of a training team, she trained more than 600 teachers in Swaziland on educational technology (2013-2016). Recently, she was part of a three-member international team looking at ways to improve the teaching and learning of French on a massive scale (through the use of MOOCs, among other possible strategies). She has supervised BA, MA and PhD research work, and PGCE teaching practice. She has given public lectures in Belgium, the USA, Botswana, Indonesia and China.

A keen educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience, a researcher, translator and interpreter, Karen often participates in international conferences to share her research. She holds 4 Master’s Degrees (Romance Philology, English for the Language Professional, Instructional Design and Technology and an LLM) in addition to a PhD in French (on Francophone authors of autofiction). In addition to a monograph on autofiction, she has written more than 50 papers in French and English, alone or in collaboration with colleagues, and a similar amount of book reviews, does peer review for various International Journals (for example Auto/fiction, Sociology Study, Convergences francophones, European Studies, Cahiers du GRELCEF, DEASA-SADC CDE International Journal of Open and Distance Learning, Auto/Biography Studies, Itinéraires. Littérature, textes, cultures, Journal of US-China Foreign Language and Sino-US English Teaching, /Canadian Journal of African Studies, JL4D Journal of Learning for Development, Anglosphere: Perspectives on Literature and Culture). She has prepared bibliographies (on African and Arab autofictions) and written various entries for online encyclopedias. 

 Luyanda Dube, is the Professor and Chair in the Department of Information Science at the University of South Africa. Her career as an educator spans from being a schoolteacher in 1982 to the current academic position. She has taught undergraduate students and supervised numerous masters and doctoral candidates. Her area of research interest include, information and knowledge management, indigenous knowledge systems, Africanisation and decolonisation; information for development and e-learning. She is the editorial board member of several local and international journals. She has authored numerous articles published in local and international journals. She serves an external examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate examinations from several academic institutions in South Africa.

 


Prof Vuyisile Msila is currently a director at the University of South Africa’s (Unisa’s) Change Management Unit where his portfolio is Leadership in Higher Education. Previously he was the Head of Unisa’s Institute for African Renaissance Studies. His research is largely in educational leadership as well as in decolonisation of knowledge and Africanisation. Before joining the University of South Africa Msila had worked at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University as well as the University of Johannesburg where he was a faculty member in Educational Leadership.
A 1999 Fulbright Fellow at Michigan State University Msila is currently an NRF rated scholar and a receiver of the Chancellor’s Award for research at Unisa in 2013.  Msila’s latest books include, A Place to Live: Red Location and its history 1903 to 2013 (Sun Press, 2014). Ubuntu- Shaping the current workplace with African Wisdom (Knowres, 2015); Africanising the Curriculum: Examining Philosophies and Theories (Sun Press, 2016 Ed with MT Gumbo); Decolonisation of Knowledge for Africa’s Renewal: Examining Philosophies (Knowres, 2017 Editor) and African Voices on the Decolonisation of the Curriculum: Insights from Practice, Reach 2017 Ed with MT Gumbo). His upcoming book, Reading Biko: Reflective Essays will be published in November 2017. 
This presentation entitled, Searching for a Single Path: The many faces of Decolonisation of Knowledge addresses the meaning of transformation of higher education in South Africa took an intensive revival since the beginning of #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall recently. These movements have incinerated critical debates regarding the transformation of education. The society has haggled over meaning of various concepts as we have endeavoured solutions to address the current knowledges of power undergirded by colonial systems. In earnest, the post-apartheid and postcolonial Africa’s various facets of society need attention if the subsequent meaningful decolonisation of society will take place. The total liberation of society will never be complete without decolonising knowledge and power in society. Our society continues to reflect the great divide between the poor and the privileged; between the western and the indigenous knowledge systems; western hegemony is always evident in various ways as it manifests itself in mono-epistemic benefit and denying various other diverse discourses. The start of emancipating the society will begin with the acknowledgement of the need for epistemic diversity and the decolonised mind.