Our Mission

The Africa Collaborative Learning Initiative seeks to engage students, researchers, policymakers, and others to build bridges across certain gaps.​ Between the resources of our higher education institutions and the degree to which they are invested in Africa; between academic research and policy formulation; between the ideas and skills of earlier generations of scholars and those of contemporary researchers; between traditional lecture and classroom teaching and immersive learning; between the desires for peace, democracy, and development and the realities of persistent conflict and predatory rule; and between self-government over several decades and the failure to provide basic public goods of physical security, electricity, clean water, environmental sanitation, and satisfactory public education, healthcare, and transportation.

A Message from Prof. Richard Joseph

On September 1, 2018, as an Emeritus Professor of Political Science of Northwestern University, with the accumulated knowledge, experience, and collegial networks of five decades, a new phase of my professional life began. In this capacity, I will draw on many years of study, teaching, research, and policy work, principally on Africa, to engage students, researchers, policymakers, and others to build bridges across certain gaps:

  • between the resources of our higher education institutions and the degree to which they are invested in Africa

  • between academic research and policy formulation

  • between the ideas and skills of earlier generations of scholars and those of contemporary researchers

  • between traditional lecture and classroom teaching and immersive learning

  • between the desires for peace, democracy, and development and the realities of persistent conflict and predatory rule

  • and between self-government over several decades and the failure to provide basic public goods of physical security, electricity, clean water, environmental sanitation, and satisfactory public education, healthcare, and transportation.

 

According to Dr. Matthew Page, what sets this initiative apart is the commitment to deepening ties between African and non-African institutions and making them more seamless and routine. There is a need to make this case to US institutions - lobbying them to digitize/provide open access, creating relationships with African institutions, prioritizing partnerships and academic exchanges, and putting their resources behind these efforts. In other words, harnessing academic institutions own resources and pushing for a conceptual change in how they operate could yield huge long-term dividends.

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