The Nordic Africa Institute – Publications

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  • 1.
    Hallberg Adu, Kajsa
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Resources, relevance and impact – key challenges for African universities: how to strengthen research and higher education in Africa2020Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Global and regional goals, such as Agenda 2030 and the African Union's Continental Education Strategy for Africa, foreground higher education as an engine for development and job creation. Yet, many African universities perform weakly in international comparison. This policy note looks at the challenges in strengthening the freedom, relevance and impact of research and higher education in Africa.

    Recommendations for policymakers:

    • Minimise inequality
    • Improve data collection
    • Train more lecturers
    • Benchmarking and networking
    • Build equitable relationships
    • Safeguard academic freedom
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  • 2.
    Laakso, Liisa
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Hallberg Adu, Kajsa
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
    ‘The unofficial curriculum is where the real teaching takes place’: faculty experiences of decolonising the curriculum in Africa2023In: Higher Education, ISSN 0018-1560, E-ISSN 1573-174XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper analyses faculty experiences tackling global knowledge asymmetries by examining the decolonisation of higher education in Africa in the aftermath of the 2015 ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ student uprising. An overview of the literature reveals a rich debate on defining ‘decolonisation’, starting from a critique of Eurocentrism to propositions of alternate epistemologies. These debates are dominated by the Global North and South Africa and their experiences of curriculum reform. Our focus is on the experiences of political scientists in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. These countries share the same Anglophone political science traditions but represent different political trajectories that constitute a significant condition for the discipline. The 26 political scientists we interviewed acted toward increasing local content and perspectives in their teaching, as promoted in the official strategies of the universities. They noted that what was happening in lecture halls was most important. The academic decolonisation debate appeared overambitious or even as patronising to them in their own political context. National politics affected the thematic focus of the discipline both as far as research topics and students’ employment opportunities were concerned. Although university bureaucracies were slow to respond to proposed curricula changes, new programmes were approved if there was a market-based demand for them. International programs tended to be approved fastest. Political economy of higher education plays a role: dependency on foreign funding, limited national resources to conduct research and produce publications vis-à-vis international competition, and national quality assurance standards appeared to be most critical constraints for decolonising the curriculum.

  • 3.
    Madsen, Diana Højlund
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Aning, Kwesi
    Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR), Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Accra, Ghana.
    Hallberg Adu, Kajsa
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    A step forward but no guarantee of gender friendly policies: female candidates spark hope in the 2020 Ghanaian elections2020Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the forthcoming Ghanaian elections, for the first time ever a woman has emerged as a vice-presidential candidate for one of the two major parties. Her candidacy has given rise to hopes of progress on gender equality issues, but it has also led to anti-feminist and misogynistic comments. This policy note addresses certain challenges and opportunities to break the male dominance of Ghanaian politics.

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  • 4.
    Melber, Henning
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Bjarnesen, Jesper
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Hallberg Adu, Kajsa
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Lanzano, Cristiano
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Mususa, Patience
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    The politics of citizenship: social contract and inclusivity in Africa2020Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In many African countries, citizenship offers civil rights to those who are included. At the same time, many – especially youth, migrants and other marginalised groups – often do not receive equal recognition in the social contract between state and citizen. They do not have the same access to justice, social protection and welfare services. This policy note addresses the challenges facing inclusive citizenship.

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