Webcast sponsored by Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Based on our AAI mandate (to involve Africa in the creation of Global Citizens), our closing ceremony will open up the stage to include and engage the global community. Using art and creative expression as a medium shared by diverse cultures, we will situate the re-writing of the African story in a global context by inviting various cultural groups on campus to join us in closing the week through the arts.

Webcast sponsored by Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. What are the African Dreams of the students within Vancouver? How do students see themselves being active actors in Re-Writing the story of Africa? 6 students will give 15 minute presentations (much like Ted Talks) about their dreams for and within Africa, and the role that they hope to play in the actualization of these dreams. This will be followed by a moderated discussion within the group.

Beza Feleke is a 2010 UBC Alumnae – graduated with a degree in Anthropology with a focus on Medical Anthropology. In her years at UBC, Beza was extensively involved in student clubs and community initiatives – such as -Caribbean African Association, African Awareness Initiative,International Peer Program , Peer Program Executive Committee etc. As an Ethiopian-Canadian immigrant, Beza recognized the importance of community service within her local and global community – currently the co-founder of a youth-led initiative – Habesha Mentorship Vancouver Program and on the Board of Directors of a Non-profit organization – DESTA (Development of Ethiopian Society Through Action) – Beza has come to celebrate her journey as an immigrant, a women of colour and ultimately a global citizen. Beza is currently working as a Clinical Assistant in Cardiology for Providence Health Care -she wishes to pursue a career in public health and community advocacy work.
Habesha MVP Blog: http://habeshamvp.wordpress.com/about/

A native of Nairobi, Kenya, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo has steadily built a name for herself as a poet, performer and writer. In 2010 she published her first collection of poems, “Blue Mothertongue“, set in Nairobi and the African diaspora around notions of home and identity. The work was produced in part with the support of a St. Lawrence University fellowship. Ngwatilo’s poems and essays have been translated into German and Swedish, and published in English literary journals in Kenya and North America.
Ngwatilo has presented her work at major African and European festivals, including Zimbabwe’s HIFA, South Africa’s Poetry Africa Festival, Berlin’s International Poetry Festival and other prestigious festivals in The Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. In 2013 she was an Artist-in-Residence at Bundanon Trust in Australia.

Ngwatilo enjoys creating unique collaborative poetry-in-performance concepts in an aesthetic dubbed “Puesic” [pew-zik], in which various instruments and mediums come together to ‘tell’ the poem. In 2011 she collaborated with UN Messenger of Peace ambassador and musician Sara Mitaru to produce the EP album titled “Introducing Ngwatilo.”
Ngwatilo’s current work explores the lived experience of diverse rural Kenyan communities. The project took her across the country between 2012 and 2013 to live with several families over a period of 10 days each. This work is the focus of her thesis in her studies at UBC’s Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing.

As an actress, Ngwatilo appears on the small screen in some of Kenya’s more notable drama series. She makes her film debut in Ekwa Msangi’s forthcoming Focus Features Africa First short film, “Soko,” currently in production.
Useful links:
Ngwatilo at TEDxNairobi: http://youtu.be/MJcc6Slt0UA
Introducing Ngwatilo on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ngwatilo-mawiyoo/id490312750
Ngwatilo in Performance [Puesic]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23ym0Qvg14s

Amartei Armar hails from the land of gold and cocoa (Ghana). He takes great pride in where he is from, as he believes that it is through cultural diversity and uniqueness that we find the will to innovate and bring a fresh perspective to what exists currently. The current Vice President Marketing for the Africa Awareness Initiative and BFA Film Production student, his dream is to journey back to Ghana and start a cultural renaissance by revamping the ideas and practices of Ghana’s ancient civilization and modernizing it to fit this current age. He ultimately wants to give all artists a stronger voice within Africa, as they are keepers of culture and have arguably the greatest role in preserving our history. Currently, Amartei is shooting his 4th Year Thesis Project, “Arc”, and is very excited for all of you to see it!

Born and bred in Southern Africa, Nabet and Fares Fani have had the bounty of living in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. Both have graduated with commerce degrees from the University of Cape Town; Nabet specializing in Organizational Psychology and Fares in Finance and Economics. With a strong belief in education as a key that unlocks the doors of progress they have, as of 2005, been acting as facilitators and trainers of the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program, a global educational initiative, inspired by the teachings of the Baha’i Faith, that fosters the development of youth ages 11 -14. They have served in this capacity in Namibia, South Africa and now in Canada where Nabet is currently dedicating a year of service to continue working with youth populations in Surrey, whilst Fares is coordinating the program in a neighbourhood in Burnaby. Besides his love for service, Fares is an avid tennis and chess player and was chosen to represent the Namibian national tennis and chess team.

Daisy Gobina is a fourth year student at UBC, studying Political Science and an Economics minor. Being a witty person Daisy moves everyone around her with her words. So simple and straight forward yet so funny and engaging. She has been heavily involved in the African Awareness initiative and serves as the clubs Vice President Administration. Passionate about AAI’ s dream, she has helped build the community within the club which in itself is a mini family. She aspires to be involved in policy making in the future for her country (Cameroon). Having an opportunity to influence and impact people’s lives in a much larger way.

Jacob Gebrewold is an 18 year old entrepreneur, poet and activist that is engaged as a speaker in events across Vancouver and British Columbia. As an award-winning poet, Jacob often clashes with key systemic issues that lead to social injustice and despair in our world. In this talk, Jacob will be challenging the harmful means by which black men find identity that perpetuates disparity between social classes and the negative circumstances that are common in the African-North American community.

Webcast sponsored by Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. THE TUMAINI PROJECT, Combining ideals and pragmatism, we are bringing together people who are actively involved in ‘Re-Writing the Story’ and who are able from their own experiences of the process required to bring dreams to reality. By hosting this discussion that showcases voices from various disciplines, professions, and levels of engagement, we hope to engage in a real discussion about this context, and in so doing, build the practical skills, knowledge, and understandings needed to engage in this dream. It is a space to collaborate, share ideas, and develop meaningful connections with others, focusing specifically on the Story of the African continent, and the role that our generation can play within


Peter Wanyenya is a “son of the soil” with roots in eastern Africa and shared ancestry with the Bamasaaba people through their common ancestor, Masaaba. He is the International Student Advisor, Special Populations & Programs at the University of British Columbia. In this role, he serves as the program advisor for over 90 undergraduate scholars in the UBC International Scholars Programs and provides support to the UBC World University Service of Canada Local Committee and Student Refugee Program. Peter also co-manages the UBC Really? Campaign, which promotes intercultural understanding and respect for diversity on campus.

Peter is driven by core values of equity, diversity, and intercultural understanding. He is invested in activities that foster the wellbeing of children and youth, and leverage their potential. Due to this passion he is a national policy working group member through the National Alliance for Children and Youth. He has served as an “at-risk” children and youth worker in multiple inner city communities in Toronto, and led educational programming for Indigenous children at UBC and the Musqueam Nation village. Peter has also coordinated a BC-wide anti-oppression project for children and youth in elementary and secondary schools.

Peter has earned a Bachelor of Commerce, Masters in Educational Psychology, and has the privilege of pursuing a Doctorate through the UBC Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice.

James Kamau is an accomplished youth advocate and social entrepreneur, hebelieves in the extraordinary potential of young people. Since his high school years, Kamau nurtured a unique interest in the empowerment of youth. He was born and raised in Dagoretti County of Nairobi, Kenya. His experiences as a child growing up in a community deprived by poverty and crime led to a desire for social change; James earnestly entered the world of social activism in 2003 and has spent the last ten years performing youth work and facilitating community driven development. James moved to Canada in 2006, and in 2008 founded Youth Initiative Canada, a multi-dimensional organization that empowers youth through sports, education and entrepreneurship. Through his community involvement James work has been featured in multiple media houses and he has also been honored to receive prestigious awards that include; 2011 Me To We Award for Social Action presented by Canadian Living Magazine and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service in January 2013.

Tamara Baldwin is a self-described ‘learner in action’, a title she intends to retain for all her years to come. Over the past decade Tamara has spent a fair amount of time living and working between Canada and South-Eastern Africa, primarily in Nairobi, Kenya. Tamara holds a M.Sc. in Poverty Reduction and Development Management from the University of Birmingham and is currently the Associate Director, International Service Learning Programs here at UBC. In part, Tamara was drawn to ISL after witnessing the negative impacts of an international volunteer sending organization, Tamara found herself merging a number of past experiences to consider if it was possible to have a positive alternative and what might that look like. Like many, she herself continues to be critical of the role of the ‘outsider’ in development, a lens that she aims to keep front and centre in the work that she does. Collaboration is a key value that Tamara holds, and is part of what drives her passion for her current work. Connecting, talented, driven and focused CBO’s and NGO’s with faculty and students who are equally as talented, driven and curious, and then helping them collectively push the boundaries on possibilities keeps her where she wants to be as a ‘learner in action’.

Daniel Mundeva was born and raised in a small town Kahama, in Tanzania. He was educated in Tanzania until 2008 when he left for Canada in pursuit of further education at UBC. He graduated from the university with a Geography degree in 2012 and went on to work for Barrick Gold Corporation as an Environmental Specialist based out of the company’s headquarters in Toronto. Throughout his pursuits, Daniel has gained international experience in Australia, Tanzania, Chile and England. Daniel subsequently returned to Vancouver at the end of 2013 and is currently working for UBC.

Daniel is very passionate about people, development and the environment. He believes that sustainability in all its aspects (social, economical and environmental) is attainable. Through his experiences, Daniel believes that there is a “Unique African Story” which awaits to be written. This story involves development, education, culture and politics, which he looks forward to further exploring during AAI’s Conference Week. He believes that there is great potential in youth and that it is up to the young African leaders to recognize the different forms of prosperity, independence and ingenuity belonging to Africa.

Dr. Shafik Dharamsi is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC). From 2005-2010 he served as Associate Director of the UBC Centre for International Health, and presently as Lead Faculty for the Global Health Network at the Liu Institute for Global Issues within the Faculty of Arts; Lead Faculty for the Social Accountability and Community Engagement within the Faculty of Medicine; and Lead Faculty for Student Engagement within the College of Health Disciplines. His scholarship is interdisciplinary, with a focus on social responsibility and accountability in health professions education, and ethical issues around global/international engagement initiatives . Prior to joining UBC he was with the Aga Khan Development Network implementing an extensive health promotion and early-childhood development initiative in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. His work has been featured on a Canadian television documentary series, The Global Villagers. Dr. Dharamsi pioneered the UBC Ethics of International Engagement and Service Learning initiative that aims to raise critical consciousness and to prepare students for ethical leadership, civic engagement and global social responsibility.

Dr. Julie MacArthur currently holds posts as an Assistant Professor of African History at the University of British Columbia and a Visiting Research and Teaching Fellow at the Makerere Institute for Social Research in Kampala. Previously she held a SSHRC postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Toronto and taught at McGill University and the University of Cambridge, where she received her PhD in African History in 2010. Her first book manuscript on mapping, ethnogenesis and dissent in colonial Kenya is currently under review with Ohio University Press and she is also working on two forthcoming book projects, one on mapping decolonization, sovereignty and border conflicts in eastern Africa and the other on the trial of the infamous Mau Mau general Dedan Kimathi. She has also worked extensively in the field of African cinema, both professionally through curating African cinema at film festivals and special exhibits across Canada, East Africa and Europe, and academically through the study of cinema as a central technology by which Africans compose, edit and consolidate their pasts, and as a means to express and engage with pressing social and political concerns in contemporary Africa.

Webcast sponsored by Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. As an introduction to Conference Week, we will have a night of dance and song performances, highlighted by the giving of a Keynote speech. What does it mean to re-write the African story? We will end this night by inviting all to engage with AAI over the next 4 days.

Keynote Speaker: Njeri Rionge is passionate about growing businesses and igniting potential, and believes in Africa as the next economic frontier. With over 26 years of leadership and change-management experience, Rionge has worked throughout her career within companies and also as an external management consultant, scaling businesses for corporate and start up initiatives both in Kenya and internationally. Rionge uses her entrepreneurial skill set to ignite passion to deliver organizational development and deliver bottom line results, and has a track record that demonstrates effective leadership in high-growth start-ups and corporate turnaround scenarios.

Learn more about Njeri Rionge: http://www.njeri-rionge.com/

Planet Earth 2From the Vancouver Sun:

More than 110 underprivileged students from Africa will get to study at the University of B.C. thanks to a $25 million donation from MasterCard Foundation.

The students will receive comprehensive scholarships to live and learn at the university starting this fall as part of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, according to a news release Thursday from UBC.

Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.  This lecture describes the language and practices of translation among slaves and masters in the plantation society of 18th century Suriname.  Slaves from different parts of western Africa created a creole language to talk to each other.  Two dictionaries were produced of that language through collaboration between free white men and slaves.  What did each group learn of the other?  Did the flow of information or its silencing facilitate resistance or oppression?  The lecture ends with two 19th-century figures who used language for cultural affirmation: one a former slave who wrote about Yoruba, the other a pioneering European linguist who studied the Suriname creole.


Natalie Zemon Davis is a historian and Princeton professor emeritus who has also taught at the University of Toronto. She is a recipient of the Holberg Prize and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada on June 29, 2012.

Select Books and Articles Available at UBC Library

Davis, Natalie Zemon. (2011). Decentering History: Local Stories and Cultural Crossings in a Global World. History and Theory. Volume 50, Issue 2. pp. 188 – 202. [Link]

Davis, Natalie Zemon, Crouzet, Denis, Wolfe, Michael. (2010). A Passion for History. Kirksville, MO.: Truman State University Press. [Link]

UBC Library Research Guides

African Studies



A new initiative by the Canadian International Learning Foundation has set out to overcome what Canadians say is the single biggest barrier to becoming a volunteer: lack of time.

“Change the world in five hours a week” is the mantra of the Educator Volunteer Network, which matches up skilled Canadians with schools in developing and at-risk regions around the world, letting them donate their time without ever leaving their desks.

EducatorVolunteer.Net is the brainchild of Ryan Aldred, president of the CanILF, a registered charity devoted to improving educational opportunities for children in destitute and war-torn regions. Through the agency’s work in Afghanistan, Aldred said, he saw that online volunteers could make a massive difference to schools.

So far more than 50 volunteers have signed up to provide one-on-one online assistance with new technologies, research requests, curriculum enhancement, development of resources, writing content for websites and putting together budgets and business plans.

“Going overseas to volunteer isn’t always possible,” said Melanie Wilson, a volunteer working on her PhD in Montreal, in a press release. “Now I’m in touch directly with a school in Uganda… It has been a fun, interesting and empowering experience that has nicely fit into my already busy schedule.”

In addition to two schools in Uganda, there are six other partner schools in Afghanistan, Tanzania, Nepal and Liberia.

The beauty of helping online, Aldred points out, is that because the network offers mainly expertise, there’s little risk that resources might be misused. Volunteers know the exact value of their contributions, and the schools provide oversight and feedback to determine their needs and evaluate the assistance they’re getting.

While charitable organizations are increasingly using the Internet and social media to solicit donations, Aldred said, the network is the first to harness it in this specific way, and he sees huge opportunity.

Right now, Aldred said, the network is seeking volunteers with business knowledge, “to help with developing business plans and help [schools] build up the credibility they need to work with international organizations.”

To volunteer or to donate, visit educatorvolunteer.net

To read the entire Vancouver Sun article, click here

Group3Something for everyone, this week!

Zasshi kiji sakuin shusei : “The Complete Database for Japanese Magazines and Periodicals from the Meiji Era to the Present.”

Business Plans Handbook : “Business Plans Handbook is a collection of actual business plans compiled by entrepreneurs seeking funding for small businesses throughout North America.”

African Newspapers : “On Completion, more than 40 nineteenth- and twentieth-century African newspapers will be digitized featuring titles from Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.”

Pull up a screen and have a read.

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