The ground-breaking international conference themed “Advancing African thought” that is being hosted by the University of Zululand (UNIZULU) started on a high note on the 17th – 19th November 2022 at the Bon Hotel, Waterfront in Richards Bay, Kwazulu-Natal.  The remarkable event was cemented  by the presence of the  Minister of Higher Education, Science & Innovation; Dr Blade Nzimande who officially opened the inaugural conference.

As  part of the University’s strategic plan to become a world-class African university that values epistemologies from the Global South and indigenous African knowledge.  The  University o f Zululand within its scope of producing competitive graduates with a sensibility of African scholarship and intelligence forged ahead with launching this important chapter in its journey as a knowledge generator and shaper.

Through a paradigm shift away from the alienating colonial model, UNIZULU is renegotiating and re-contracting with the local, provincial, national, continental, and planetary publics as part of the broader struggle for the total emancipation of African people as university’s contribution to the broader struggle for total emancipation of African people.

This conference will contribute to a clear roadmap for systematizing, operationalising, and modelling African thought at UNIZULU through its engagements and interventions.

In her opening address, the University of Zululand’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal; Professor Xoliswa Mtose focused on the 2027 strategic vision and goal of the University being a node for African thought.  “Through the current UNIZULU strategic 2027 vision, we have taken a bold but worthwhile decision to move beyond creating a discussion space designed to ignite good imagination about the future trajectory of the university, but also to develop alternative epistemological orientations anchored on African Thought, in this regard, our knowledge, and social projects at UNIZULU are informed by our own African history and identity that we will not apologies for,” she said.

Also, in attendance in this three-day event were, Nomarashiya Caluza, who is a Chairperson of Council, renowned academics, and speakers, the UNIZULU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC), Deans, and executive management to mention but few.

The key topics:

·        The Regeneration of Africa Reconsidered: Thoughts on a Global African University by Professor M. West Pennsylvania State University, USA.

·        Systematizing, Operationalising, and Modelling African Thought in an Epistemological Vortex of Global Africana by: Professor O. Agyeman the Pan-African Society and Foundation, USA.

·        On African Thought by Prof M.A. Masoga Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, UNIZULU

·        The Role of African Studies Forum in Shaping Scholarship Globally, by Professor S. Makoni Pennsylvania State University, USA

·        Indigenous Knowledge Systems: The challenge of epistemicide and ontological suicide by Professor A.J.I Bewaji, PJ Patterson Institute for Africa Caribbean Advocacy, University of the West Indies, Jamaica

-Siyanda Mntambo

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