Spotlight on the IGU CAS Conference

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Zululand hosted its second International Geographical Union Commission on African Studies (IGU CAS) conference from Monday, 17 June to Wednesday 19 June 2019 at the Peermont Umfolozi Casino and Resort. The nternational pool of academics descended into Kwazulu-Natal with an aim to engage and discuss relevant issues ranging from Africa and climate change, Natural resources management and governance, Environmental Justice in Africa and many more.

The objective of the conference is to bring together geographical, multi and interdisciplinary scientific research and thought leadership on issues impacting on Africa. The conference responded to the need for globally competitive research and scientific innovation  and seeks to translate this to the international academic community through the IGU CAS initiatives.

Further the conference is held with an intent to promote internationally competitive research and innovation, which arises out of collaborations and engagements from within South Africa, and beyond. The series of events ranged from plenary lectures as well as oral paper presentations which engaged with the conference theme. Africa in the global imaginary: Towards internationally competitive research and science was the theme of the conference.

Speaking at the event, the Mayor of the City of Umhlathuze, Honourable Mr Mduduzi Mhlongo sang high praises about the University for Zululand as an institution for being a strategic partner in the knowledge harvesting and community engagement initiatives.. He outlined his hopes that the discussions during the conference will assist the city in addressing the challenges that the continent is facing and make sure that the agenda 2063 is achieved, “This institution has played an important role in the development of the city. Shaping our democratic dispensation, there are many leaders who have been produced by this  institution. We are very proud that almost in every office and employment space in the land there is someone who is a UNIZULU alma mater,today as the city of Umhlathuze we want to applaud the university for shaping the future that our children and future generations will be proud of. “concluded the Honourable Mayor Mhlongo.

The founding Chairperson and secretary of the Commission is Dr Innocent Moyo (Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zululand) he thanked all who attended the conference and said, “Our academics, postgraduate students and even our undergraduates who are essentially our pipeline for postgraduate population in UNIZULU attended in their numbers. A special thank you goes out to the three key note speakers who are Professor Sabelo Ndlovu from the University of South Africa. The second keynote speaker was Professor Maano Ramutsindela from the University of Cape Town as well as Professor Richard Grant from the University of Miami in the United States of America for their thought provoking discussions as well as all participants whom we are humbled as they translated this conference into a success although it started on a holiday to mark Youth emancipation in South Africa.”

The IGU CAS conference will now be a significant conference in the University of Zululand calendar as it will  always be held annually as an aim and solution to combating and exploring solutions to global challenges through tried and tested research methods for the betterment of mankind.