Welcome Canadian Association of Africa Studies to Western University! We are delighted to host the CAAS conference virtually this year. Of course, like so many things we have missed due to the global pandemic, we miss not seeing you in person on around our campus at Western University. On the other hand, we believe our virtual format has lead to high participation from colleagues who would not otherwise be able to attend CAAS. For that, we are very grateful!
For our 2021 CAAS Conference we can boast the following participation:
1) 220 submissions 2) 170 acceptances 3) 75 Universities 4) 100 participants from outside Canada 5) 35 graduate student participants
Building from our theme Achieving Ubuntu: Reframing Equity, Partnership and Social Change, we have applied our Ubuntu spirit to organize this conference in partnership with many and I would like to thank our 2021 CAAS Conference Committee for the work and support they have provided to make this event a success. First, I would like to thank the Africa Institute and the Director - Dr. Saverio Stranges for his support of our efforts. He along with CAAS President, Dr. Temitope Oriola lent their expertise and names to our successful SSHRC Connection Grant application that brought $20,100 of external funding to support our efforts. I would also like to thank Research Western and Dr. Jacquelyn Burkell Acting Associate Vice-President (Research) for the financial support of $5000 that Western Research provided to ensure our CAAS Conference had the right resources for success. Also Dr. Britta Baron, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (International) and Western International deserve our thanks for their support, marketing activities and participation through their hosting of the Africa Institute.
Dr. Isaac Bazie (CAAS Vice President), Dr. Khalid Medani (CAAS Conference Program Coordinator), Dr. Phillipe Frowd (CAAS Conference Review Coordinator), Audace Gatavu (Executive Director of CAAS) and Dr. Miriam Grant who have been instrumental in mobilizing all of the activities required of conference organizing including the substantial effort to review submissions including those submitted for our cancelled 2020 Conference; create the program and organize ancillary events and manage the conference and membership registration and payment portal. Thank you so much! At Western, I must thank Dr. Elysee Nouvet, Dr. Thomas Tieku and Dr. Henri Boyi for your guidance and willingness to act as sounding board for our ideas and activities.
Finally, this conference would not have happened without the extraordinary efforts and organizational capabilities of Aislinn Adams, Africa Institute Administrative Assistant and Uche Ikenyei, PhD Candidate, Health Information Science at Western. Both of you are amazing to work with and I feel truly blessed to be able to call your colleagues and friends.
We have planned an outstanding slate of presentations, panels, graduate student organized activities and two amazing Keynote addresses by Madam Leymah Gbowee (Nobel Prize Laureate) and Dr. Tade Aina of Mastercard Foundation. I hope you are able to participate every day, meet up with old friends and create new friends. Enjoy the Conference!
Dr. Nicole Haggerty
Associate Professor, Ivey Business School
Director, Ubuntu Management Education Initiative