Kyoto University organized a kick-off ceremony for Interdisciplinary Unit for African Studies (14 July 2016)

Kyoto University launched an “Interdisciplinary Unit for African Studies,” with a kick-off ceremony organized by a group of Africanists and held on 14 July at the Camphora restaurant on the University’s main campus. Among the more than 50 attendees were students and scholars from African countries, including Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as President Yamagiwa.

Professor Oussouby Sacko of Kyoto Seika University, one of the first Africans to graduate from Kyoto U, delivered congratulatory remarks, saying: “The Interdisciplinary Unit for African Studies is the kind of organization that those of us from Africa have always wanted. Up until now, it’s been difficult for students and researchers from African countries to network across departments. I hope this Unit will function as a hub for everyone with a connection to the continent.”

Representing the Unit, Director Masayoshi Shigeta, who also serves as director of the Kyoto University Center for African Area Studies (CAAS), explained that his team would first concentrate on strengthening existing networks, and then work to launch new organizations, such as an alumni association and branch office in Africa.

President Yamagiwa also gave a speech, describing his long relationship with Africa, which he has visited over 50 times. He then delivered a toast to kick off the reception, where all enjoyed the opportunity to mingle and exchange information.

Welcoming remarks by Prof. Shigeta

Prof. Sacko giving congratulatory remarks

President Yamagiwa speaking at the ceremony

Attendees of the ceremony