African Universities Day with a difference

13 November 2009 | Story by Newsroom

IAPO staffGoing African: Naasiha Abrahams, Nan Warner, Dr Loveness Kaunda, Norbert Musekiwi, and Mbali Gumede donned their African outfits to mark the African Universities Day on 12 November.

Staff at the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) celebrated African Universities Day on 12 November in style, swapping their everyday outfits for traditional dress.

African Universities Day is an annual commemoration, launched in 1994 by the Association of African Universities to celebrate and highlight Higher Education in Africa and its contribution towards development on the continent.

It is often celebrated through public dialogue in the form of seminars, workshops or panel discussions in which policy-makers and major stakeholders participate. However universities have autonomy to mark the day in whatever format they choose.

Earlier this month, UCT deputy vice-chancellor (Internationalisation), Professor Jo Beall, took part in a panel discussion at the Our World Our Responsibility: Re-Energising Civil Society Conference. This year's theme is African Universities: Linkages with the productive sector.

Nan Warner, Manager of the African Academic Links Section in IAPO, said that dress was a good way to mark the occasion, since it is a very visible feature of diversity and often initiates discussion. Her office encouraged staff and students at UCT, through a tab on the university webpage and posters throughout campus, to wear African dress on the day. According to reports, several people heeded that call, even though final exams are currently taking place.

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