May 2015 External Newsletter Foreword from Prof Evance Kalula

19 May 2015 - 11:00

This is a particularly celebratory time of the year for the University of Cape Town (UCT) as we engage in month-long festivities to commemorate Africa. Celebrating Africa Month has been a highlight of the academic year since 2012 when we moved from a one-day festivity on 25 May, to a celebration encompassing the entire month. The theme of Africa Month this year is 2015 Year of Women’s Empowerments and Development towards Africa Agenda 2063. This theme has been woven into many of the Africa Month events hosted by different sections of the university. One of these events is a publication launch by IAPO and the Research Office on 14 May. The three publications showcased in the launch are:

  • The 2014 panel discussion entitled Celebrating Africa Series: Contested Intimacies
  • A Snapshot of Research in Africa – a brief overview of UCT’s research in Africa, including postgraduate students, major research projects and capacity building
  • International UCT – highlights at a watershed period in internationalisation globally, and especially on the African continent 

Another main focus of this year’s Africa Month is the evolution of Sino-African relations, the highlight of which is the China-Africa Colloquium that will be hosted at UCT on 21 and 22 May 2015. The keynote address at this colloquium will be from Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as chairperson of the African Union Commission, and features other high level speakers. For more information on the colloquium, and if you would like to RSVP, please click here. You can access the full Africa Month programme of events here and I encourage you to attend as many as you are able to. 

Touching on China-Africa relations, the UCT Confucius Institute has been part of the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) since 2014. Last year, Associate Professor Shengyong Qin became the new Chinese Director and, besides the Africa-China Colloquium, is taking part in other events that will celebrate Chinese language and culture at UCT and in the greater Cape Town area. One of the scheduled events will be the UCT Confucius Institutes fifth anniversary celebration in October. You can read more about Assoc. Prof Qin and the Confucius Institute here and you can access the UCT Confucius Institute website on this link for more information about future events. 

Since the last external newsletter, UCT colleagues have been busy building and maintaining strong partnerships throughout the globe. Prime BRICS examples of these collaborations are the formal agreement that UCT signed with the São Paolo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the launch of the African Research Universities. Both of these collaborations are highlighted in the newsletter and I hope that you will enjoy reading them.

There are some excellent opportunities available for you to study short courses at UCT on- and offline! One of these is the London School of Economics and Political Science July School which is innovative two-week programme provides students, graduates and professionals from across the globe an exciting new opportunity to study important social sciences issues relevant to Africa today. The July School runs from 29 June – 10 July 2015. If you are interested in joining, the closing date is around the corner. You can still apply here until the closing date. A new UCT Massive open Online Course (MOOC) course that you can enrol in is What is a Mind by UCT Prof Mark Solms. This course looks at the psychology and science of the mind. Although the course has just started, you can still register online here for free.


You may have noticed that IAPO has a vibrant new website where we aim to showcase how we empower internationalisation at UCT. Please feel free to browse the website and see what we have been up to since our website launched at the end of January 2015. It is a good way to keep in touch with what is happening at IAPO and UCT until we release the next external newsletter near the end of the year. For now, I hope that you will join in the celebrations as we commemorate our continent of rich diversity and infinite possibilities.


Regards and best wishes

Prof Evance Kalula
Director: IAPO and UCT Confucius Institute