Posts Tagged ‘Africa Oxford’
Young Lives is an international study of childhood poverty following the lives of 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam over 15 years.
The study sites in Ethiopia are spread across 5 regions – Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Tigray and Addis Ababa, where findings on health and nutrition are providing a positive message of the potential of catch-up growth for malnourished children, and the Government has recently set up a school-feeding programme.
The unique dual cohort design of Young Lives means that they are in a good position to provide evidence on quality of education throughout the school system, and are providing support to Government as it considers how best to implement its ambitious plans for expanding early learning. Research with the older Cohort shows the importance of expanding education and employment opportunities for young people.
Baafour is an Investment Manager at Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) responsible for the Ghana office and portfolio. I&P is a family of impact funds fully dedicated to SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last 15 years, I&P has invested in more than 60 SMEs located in 15 African countries across a range of sectors including microfinance, agribusiness, health, and services. In this capacity he serves as board director at a number of companies including VRS Africa, a fast-growing leasing service company with operations across 3 African countries, PEG Ghana, the leading pay-as-you-go financing company in West Africa, and Eden Tree Limited, a pioneering produce distribution agribusiness in Ghana.
He is also a member of the World Vision Ghana Advisory Council and is the Oxford Business Alumni (OBA) Ambassador for Ghana.
Baafour, a Chevening Scholar and Said Business School Bursary Fund Scholarship Award-winner, began his career at UBS Investment Bank in New York as an analyst in the Global Consumer Products & Retail group focused on M&A transactions, debt and equity financings. Before he came to Oxford, he studied for a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Philosophy from Williams College, USA and also worked for a while as a volunteer consultant and project manager at TechnoServe Ghana, responsible for overseeing a national program focused on enterprise development for SMEs.
For Baafour, Oxford represented a compelling merger of journey and destination and this was a major factor in why he chose to attend. At the time, he was not completely certain about his career path and needed a challenging environment that would offer the intellectual and collegiate platform necessary to equip him for whatever complex decisions and issues he would face in whatever line of work he would find himself in later on. He was attracted to the enduring Oxford values of critical thinking, generosity among peers, and focus on impact.
The Africa Oxford Initiative is pleased to announce the newly expanded AfOx Travel Grants. Applications are now open to any discipline within the University.
These AfOx Travel Grants, worth up to £5000, are to support the establishment of new collaborations between academics in Africa and academics in Oxford for research or teaching and can be used to cover:
1. Costs of travel in either direction, that is from the UK to an African country or vice versa
2. Accommodation, and
3. Any Incidental expenses.
Formed after extensive consultations among Oxford academics and African colleagues, the Africa Oxford Initiative seeks to foster the establishment of equitable and sustainable collaborations between African Academics and the University of Oxford
At a time when the African continent is poised for decades of strong economic and demographic growth we see huge potential both for African universities and for The University of Oxford in increased partnership. The African Union’s vision 2063 envisages that all African countries will move to middle income status powered by knowledge-based economies. African university graduates and African universities will play a central role. AfOx will support and facilitate partnerships in priority areas including education and research collaboration, scholarships and grants and academic leadership.
James Currey, co-founder of James Currey publishers (est 1984) has been called “The Godfather of African Literature”. His publishing house is responsible for producing vast numbers of academic books, journals, fiction and non fiction books about Africa, especially in a period when it was considered not profitable to publish books about Africa. He together with Chinua Achebe under the auspices of Heinemann publishers, produced the famous African Writers Series (AWS) which have inspired many African(ist)s around the world.
We know a lot about James Currey the publisher – several great articles have been written about that subject matter, and his book Africa Writes Back is an excellent source for that and more. In my interview with James, we spoke about his publishing work, but also his life before, around and outside publishing as we sat surrounded by books in his lovely upstairs living room overlooking the Thames.
His mother was a playwright and his father a poet, so it is really no surprise that James Currey has always been an avid reader. He first came to Oxford at the age of 16 where he met Clare Wilson (BA History, St Anne’s College, 1958) who later became his wife, and Terence Ranger (BA History, Queen’s College). After he finished his studies in History at Wadham College in 1958, he interviewed for a job with the Oxford University Press (OUP). In his interview he was asked to pick a country for his apprenticeship. He chose South Africa, and the rest is history. His choice to go to South Africa was rather surprising at the time, and he was not familiar with the place at all except for having a grandmother who was part South African. He was also curious to find out what apartheid was like, and so off he went in 1962 with Clare after convincing her to marry him, to begin an exciting 18 months in Cape Town.
Their time in Cape Town was memorable, James had a great apprenticeship and Clare recorded the last moments of the Rivonia Trial which led to the imprisonment of ANC leaders such as Nelson Mandela. One of her articles about the trial was a reflective piece on what the wives of the accused were going through as they watched their husbands in that dock. The stint in Cape Town ended on a frightening and dramatic note – after helping their friend Randolph Vigne to flee South Africa to Canada without knowing about his role in a plot to sabotage the apartheid government, they found themselves in trouble. James recalls having to jump about 9 feet off the ship they snuck Vigne on at the last moment as it left the port. Luckily, they succeeded in fleeing the country in 1964 and returned to England and started a family. They had two kids – Hal and Tamsin. James continued to work with the OUP until 1967 when he moved on to Heinemann Educational Books to work with Chinua Achebe on the AWS.
African Writers Series published between 15 – 20 books every year, transforming the publishing landscape in many ways. By the time James joined, it had been going on for 5 years, published 30 books and had its biggest market in the educational sectors of African countries due to educational programs with required African students to study literature authored by Africans about Africa. In the 1980’s in a period of economic downturn, nearly all the major Western publishers stopped publishing African/ Africanist books. Cambridge University Press kept publishing, but only in hardback. James Currey was ordered to stop all his African publishing work by the new owners of Heinemann, and that was when he knew it was time to leave. By the time he left, the AWS had published 270 books.
In 1984, he and Clare founded James Currey Publishers and they worked out of their flat in Islington, London, a 12 minute cycle away from SOAS. As publishing books on Africa was no longer thought of as a profitable venture, most people thought that they would fail. It was quite the career change for Clare – her previous work had been at the Cambridge University Department of Aerial Photography where she worked on locating ancient Roman ruin sites from above. In her time there, they doubled the number of sites discovered in Scotland in one summer. She used to say that she was neither an Africanist nor a publisher, but had suddenly become both.Sadly, Clare passed away last year. She and James were together for 60 years.The children were also very involved in the business – James recalls they used to bring friends from university over to help stuff delivery envelopes in their basement. Their daughter Tamsin did much of the typesetting for books at the time and now works in theatre design. Their business thrived, and with authors such as Terry Ranger, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Ali Mazrui firmly in their camp, many of the best Africanist authors soon turned to them to publish their work.
For someone who did not set out to become a publisher of books about African topics – he wanted to work for Jonathan Cape publishing novels – James Currey is phenomenal in his impact on the Africa publishing field in the UK, in African Countries and around the world. He donated his AWS Collection to the Terence Ranger Reading Room at the African Studies Centre, and the new library at St Cross College will house all books by James Currey Publishers on Africa. His passion and dedication to supporting Africanist scholarship, especially for Africa – Oxford collaborations has resulted in a legacy of excellence
Hashi is currently practising as a barrister in England and Wales. One of his specialities is in Public Law, and predominantly in Planning and Environment. In addition to this, he is a part-time broadcaster for the BBC, presenting documentaries periodically on BBC Radio 4 such as The Boat Children and A Response to Terror.
He has been consistently listed as one of the highest rated planning barristers in England & Wales under the age of 35 in the Planning Magazine’s annual Planning Legal Survey, and serves as Special Adviser to David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of terror legislation in his work reviewing the UK’s anti-terrorism laws. Hashi has acted in a number of cases related to public law and human rights issues. He has also been instructed to act on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department at Immigration Appeals Tribunals, appearing in over 100 appeals.
Before Oxford he was worked as a broadcast journalist for the BBC after graduating from university where he studied Law and French. For Hashi, attending Oxford was the next natural step, to not only enhance his qualifications but to widen his intellectual and personal horizons as well. He enjoyed playing football and cycling most in his time in Oxford, and excellent debating was a close third. When asked what the most exciting thing he did at Oxford was, his response was “giving a hug to the Dalai Lama”
Stefan Dercon, Sa’eed Husaini and Simukai Chigudu
Yasmin Kumi, Founder and Managing Director of Africa Foresight Group addresses the meeting
Robin Roberts in conversation with Frewyeni Kidane and other attendees
The 2017 Oxford Business Forum Africa commenced with a Gala Dinner on Friday the 9th of March in the historic Balliol College dining hall. Attendees were treated to great speeches by brilliant figures in the African business landscape such as James Mwangi [Executive Director of Dalberg] and Themba Baloyi [Founder and Executive Director of Discovery Insure].
Those who think they’re too big to do little things are often too little to do big things