The Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (SPLAS) hosted a visit by eight social scientists from universities in Angola and Mozambique as part of an EU-funded Erasmus+ project, University Development and Innovation-Africa or UDI-A, to work on capacity building and reciprocal knowledge exchange.
The visitors were from two universities in Angola, Agostinho Neto in Luanda and Katyavala Bwila in Benguela, and two universities in Mozambique, Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo and UniLurio in Nampula and Ilha de Mocambique. They visited King’s for two weeks between March 4 to 18 and attended classes and workshops ran by the African Leadership Centre, King’s Academy and SPLAS. They also interacted with students in an event ran by SPLAS’s Staff Student Liaison Committee.
“We’re delighted that this visit was such a positive experience for everyone, both for visitors and ourselves as hosts,” says King’s Project Lead Dr Toby Green.
The climax of the visit was a two-day workshop hosted at the B21 Gallery in Euston and the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, where visitors from Guinea-Bissau also attended. Plans were made to establish for the first time a new Lusophone African research network. This would see options to share news, develop research ideas, and develop funding proposals.
“This was a genuine opportunity for all of us to learn, for our visitors to experience King’s teaching methods and meet our students, and for us to discuss with them possibilities for widening the diversity and methods of our courses. We are looking forward very much to pursuing this conversation as the project develops,” says Dr Green.
The Erasmus+ grant was awarded in August 2017 and the UDI-A project is scheduled to run until November 2019. King’s will lead on organising two further workshops in Luanda (October 2018) and Maputo (September 2019), and in ensuring the future of the project through new research networks and capabilities.