The Political Sciences programme of the International and Public Affairs (IPA) cluster in the School of Social Sciences in collaboration with the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Centre for African Governance and Development co-hosted the South African Association of Political Studies’ (SAAPS) KZN Regional Colloquium.
The colloquium was themed: Building Sustainable Political and Environmental Landscape in Africa.
The event attracted local and international scholars, and students who joined virtually and in-person. The discussions focused on interrogating ways to address African challenges and how this could build a sustainable political and environmental landscape on the continent.
College of Humanities Dean of Teaching and Learning, Professor Ruth Hoskins, welcomed guests, noting that this year’s colloquium revealed the deliberate intention to foreground critical topics within the Global South. These include the governance crisis, political instability, violent conflict, poverty, insecurity, environmental degradation and natural disasters.
She added, ‘As a truly African University, our key role is to unpack such critical topics, and there is no better way than through a colloquium such as this one.’ She thanked the organising committee, Professor Khondlo Mtshali (UKZN), Dr Lubna Nadvi (UKZN), Mr Siyabonga Ntombela (UKZN), Dr Omololu Fagbadebo (DUT), Dr Zamokuhle Mbandlwa (DUT) and Professor Ivan Govender (DUT).
President of SAAPS, Professor Kgothatso Shai from the University of Limpopo, presented the keynote address on Rethinking the Status and Legacies of Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in South Africa’s Contemporary Knowledge Production Regime.
The crux of his talk was a plea that if the situation in South African societies is terrible, people in the knowledge industry ought to act, diagnose, analyse and recommend solutions. He criticised politicians for ‘harassing and abusing’ scholars and challenged academics to use their research skills and products to reclaim their power as thought leaders.
Several scholars and students presented papers and research in person and virtually in parallel breakaway sessions. Presenters received constructive feedback during the knowledge-sharing segment and were awarded certificates of participation.