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Contemporary issues in Africa amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Roadrunners are invited to attend a virtual conference Oct. 19-20 hosted by the Department of Africana Studies.

By Domonic Velarde

September 28, 2021

Graduation stoles featuring African prints.The Department of Africana Studies will host the second Umoja Community Conversations Conference, “Contemporary Issues in Africa Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic,” in a virtual format, and all Roadrunners are invited to attend.

Second Umoja Community Conversations Conference: “Contemporary Issues in Africa Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic”

Oct. 19-20

9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. both days

Attend Oct. 19 virtual sessions

Attend Oct. 20 virtual sessions

The event will feature keynote speaker Ato Kwamena Onoma, Ph.D., head of research programs at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in Dakar, Senegal. Onoma is the author of “The Politics of Property Rights Institutions in Africa” and “Anti-Refugee Violence and African Politics.” His current work uses epidemics and internment practices to explore intercommunal relations in Africa. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Ghana, Legon, and a doctorate in Political Science from Northwestern University and has taught at Yale University.

The event will also feature presenters from African and European countries to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic and its related issues in the speakers’ respective countries. Other sessions will include local speakers representing the African Diaspora community in Denver discussing the pandemic’s impacts on Black community in Colorado, the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa and the media. Students in MSU Denver’s Contemporary Africa course will also share their research.

In Africa, as in other parts of the world, it is very evident that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected every sphere of life, including travel, education, business, the informal sector, religion, health, sports and entertainment, according to "Africa and the Disruptions of the Twenty-frist Century" author P.T. Zeleza.

Conference Chair Douglas Mpondi, Ph.D., professor and chair, Africana Studies, added that the conference will bring an Africanist atmosphere to the campus and that the event is unique in bringing together such a large number of African academics. “We are lucky to virtually host respected and renowned academics and civil-society leaders from Ghana, Ethiopia, Hungary, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe,” Mpondi said.

The conference is sponsored by the MSU Denver College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, including the Departments of Africana Studies, Anthropology and Sociology, Political Science and the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy.

Please contact Mpondi or Domonic Velarde, program assistant in Africana Studies.

Topics: Academics, Events

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