In commemoration of the day of the African child, this event will bring together scholar-activists to share their work and perspectives on ensuring epistemic justice to children and young people across Africa.
Africa's Agenda 2040 for children: Fostering an Africa Fit for Children acknowledges that the views of Africa’s children matter and must be heard. The agenda is in line with Aspiration six of The African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, which positions children and youth as drivers of Africa's Renaissance.
Nevertheless, African young voices continue to be marginalized and not considered in policies, programmes, and scholarships. When they share their views, their perspectives may be silenced, and/or discounted due to generational conflict and other power dynamics. This epistemic injustice is accentuated for young people in Africa, most of whom live in contexts of poverty and vulnerability and often rely on other local and global actors, that may control the resources to ensure their well-being.
During the event, the speakers will discuss how can African young voices be heard? What effects would this have? And more importantly, how can we ensure their right to express themselves and to be heard?
Speakers and chair
Dr. Eliza Ngutuku is a research fellow at the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa who holds a PhD from the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her PhD research focused on children’s complex lived experience of poverty and vulnerability in Kenya. She has carried out extensive research and activism and published on children’s voice in policies and programmes and on decolonising childcare policy and practice in Africa. She will share her perspectives on research using her innovative methodology of ‘listening softly’ to children’s voice.
Professor Ebrahim is a research professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education at UNISA. She also holds the UNESCO Tri-chair in Early Education, Care and Development. She is a rated researcher with the National Research Foundation. Her research coheres around the theme Early Childhood at the Margins with special reference to policy, practice and workforce development. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion forms the heart of her work. Professor Ebrahim won the 2017 & 2020 UNISA Women in Research Leadership Award. She was the first runner up in the South African Women in Science Award in 2018. She has numerous publications in national and international journals. She is the sector editor for the South African Journal of Childhood Education and serves on editorial boards of a number of international journals. Prof Ebrahim is the convener of the knowledge generation working group in the Early Childhood Cluster in the African Union and a core team member of the ECD fellowship programme in the African Early Childhood Network. She played a leadership role in the development of curriculum in the early years for South Africa and Seychelles. She headed a multi-stakeholder project on the professionalisation of the early childhood workforce funded by the European Union and the South African Department of Higher Education. She is currently involved in projects on materials development, capacity building and systems building in the early years.
Dr. Oduor Obura holds a PhD from the University of Potsdam in Germany. His research interest includes the cultures and literatures of eastern Africa and anglophone modernities. He is drawn towards ways in which these cultural and literary representations interact with ways of being and knowing across layers of time. He has researched on decolonial themes in childhood cultures and politics in Eastern Africa. His latest publication is Decolonising Childhoods in Eastern Africa: Literary and Cultural Representations (Routledge, London, coming up July 2021). In his free time, he writes short stories and poetry. He is currently a lecturer at Zetech University, Nairobi.
Dr. Yisak Tafere is the lead qualitative researcher at Young Lives Research in Ethiopia. Since he joined in 2007, he has led five rounds of core and three sub-study qualitative research fieldwork, in collaboration with colleagues in both University of Oxford and Ethiopia. He has an MA in Social Anthropology from Addis Ababa University and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Child Research from the Norwegian University of Sciences and Technology (NTNU). Yisak's research interests include life-course and childhood poverty, intergenerational poverty, well-being and transitions, girls' early marriage, aspirations and achievements, child work, and social protection.
Dr. Joanna Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Department of International History at LSE. She is a historian of Britain in Africa, and Africa in Britain. Timewise, she covers the precolonial to the contemporary. Currently, she is researching a history of Somali women who fled conflict in the 1990s and settled in London and her book Women of the Somali Diaspora: refugees, resilience and rebuilding after conflict will be released next month. Her doctoral research examined colonial rule in Kenya, men and the history of development intervention. Her last book was a history of Britain and Africa through the making of an imperial culture of emotion - Empire of Sentiment (Cambridge University Press, 2018; book of the week Times Higher Education; Times Literary Supplement reviewed). It traces the enduring impact of the death of Dr David Livingstone in 1873, on ideologies of race, gender and intervention, and uncovers the role of Africans in the making of this mythology.
This event will be live-streamed via Zoom, to register please visit here.
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