German scholars and research foundations have long been successfully working beyond the Anglo- and Francophone research traditions established by the former leading colonial powers in Africa. Not only have they been successful in overcoming geographic and linguistic boundaries themselves, but they have also encouraged exchange and dialogue between these different research traditions. In this capacity, German academics are in a particularly favorable position to play an important role in promoting the establishment of a truly postcolonial academic community in Africa.
In 2009, the Goethe-University of Frankfurt/Main and the German Research Foundation (DFG) have established the “Programme Point Sud” in order to fund Africa-related workshops and conferences in the humanities and social sciences at Point. The general objectives of the programme include:
- the establishment of a centre for interdisciplinary research and exchange between scholars and institutions from Germany, Europe, Africa and other parts of the world,
- the networking of scholars and research institutions both on the north-south axis as well as within Africa and with researchers from South America and Asia (south-south axis),
- the formation of young scholars,
- the transition of language barriers and academic traditions.
The institutional foundation for the activities of the programme is based on the creation of a network. The members are:
- African Centre for Research on the trade and slavery (CARTE) and University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal
- Centre for Democratic Governance (CGD) and University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
- Centro de Estudos Africanos, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique, FB
- Faculty of Humanities of Omar Bongo University Libreville, Gabon
- Institute for African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana
- Institute for Research on Societies (INSS), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
- Laboratory for the Study and Research on Social Dynamics and Local Development (LASDEL) and University Abdou Moumouni, Niamey, Niger
- Point Sud and University of Bamako, Mali
- Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) and University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
- Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes, France
The programme is open to all researchers based in Germany working on Africa-related themes. Co-applicants from Africa, Europe and the rest of the world are welcome. The various individual activities hosted by the centre in any given year will be selected and coordinated by a programme committee (see “Organisation). For the purposes of applying for DFG support, individual funding applications for the specific activities will be bundled and submitted by the Goethe University of Frankfurt to the DFG as a single collective application, which will then be evaluated by the DFG. Financial support by the DFG will cover the costs of travel and accommodation for participants of activities that have been granted financial support. Requests for funding will be assessed according to the following general principles:
- Types of activity eligible for funding are: Traditional formats such as conferences, seminars, workshops, graduate schools, summer schools and field schools of various scales. Furthermore, innovative activities such as project development workshops and forums to promote kickoff meetings for new research endeavors, themes and scientific networks will be given privileged consideration.
- A particular concern of the programme is to establish long-term relations with scholars as well as scientific institutions and networks. In this sense, follow-up workshops by scientists who have already participated in the programme are especially welcomed. Furthermore, the programme offers the possibility for postdoctoral research networks and junior academic groups to apply for two consecutive workshops with the same group of participants.
- Although the programme is primarily oriented towards the social sciences and humanities, initiatives that aim to promote interdisciplinary cooperation with the natural sciences and medicine are particularly welcome. There are no thematic requirements except that the initiative is relevant to Africa.
- Proposals that include a south-south-dialogue with scientists from Anglophone, Francophone or Lusophone countries in Africa, Latin America or Asia are particularly welcome.
For further information please contact Dr Marko Scholze, firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone +49 (0)69 798-33230 or +49 (0)1601035354