In this edition of Focus on Africa, we highlight the latest work relating to the Yale Africa Initiative, taking place both on Yale's campus and on the continent . In the past six months, three African sitting heads of state have visited Yale; President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, and President Macky Sall of Senegal. In addition, Yale faculty members have published numerous studies and papers based on their work in Africa, often in collaboration with Africa-based researchers. Around the Yale campus, faculty, students, and alumni continue to be activeenriching Yale's connection to the continent. As always, w e are honored to showcase the stories, contributions, and successes of our community, which grows larger by the day. We hope you enjoy reading more about the latest activities in this issue.

- Eddie Mandhry, Director for Africa and the Middle East
Three African Heads of State Visit Yale

Yale Hosts President of Sierra Leone

On September 24th, the Yale Africa Initiative welcomed the president of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, to headline a Yale African Leaders Forum panel. President Bio was accompanied by First Lady Fatima Maada Bio, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh - chief innovation officer in the Office of the President - and several members of his cabinet. Upon arrival, the delegation met with President Peter Salovey.  More >>

President Peter Salovey welcomed His Excellency Macky Sall, president of the Republic of Senegal, to Yale on September 25th. During the visit, Sall delivered a lecture on the "Role of Africa in Contemporary International Relations."  More >>  

President Mokgweetsi Masisi of the Republic of Botswana and a delegation including First Lady Neo Jane Masisi visited Yale on June 6th, taking part in a series of meetings to explore partnerships and offer future opportunities for research and capacity development in several key areas. The delegation met with President Peter Salovey at the conclusion of the visit.  More >>


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie '08 M.A. Receives Honorary Degree from Yale University

The celebrated novelist and essayist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who received her master of arts in African studies from Yale in 2008, was presented with an honorary Yale degree, Doctor of Letters, on May 20th.  More>>
Strive Masiyiwa Receives Honorary Degree from Yale University

Strive Masiyiwa, Zimabwean entrepreneur and philanthropist, received a Yale honorary degree in Humane Letters on May 20th. Upon presenting the degree, President Salovey remarked of Masiyiwa, "You see opportunities others miss and demonstrate the courage of your convictions at every turn."  More >>

Three African World Fellows Join the Class of 2019

This year's class marks the 18th cohort of Yale World Fellows and includes: Wanjiru Mukoma, Executive Director of LVCT Health from Kenya; and Elias Shoniyin, the Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia; and Simidele Adeagbo, Olympic athlete and entrepreneur from Nigeria More>>
Yale Young African Scholars Program Runs in Ghana, Zimbabwe and Kenya

The Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) program's 2019 season included sessions in Accra, Ghana; Harare, Zimbabwe; and for the first time, Nairobi, Kenya.  YYAS brings together African secondary school students for a cost-free, seven-day residential program introducing students to the U.S. university and financial aid application process.   More >>
African Women Leaders Convene at Yale University

This past May, President Peter Salovey engaged with the most recent cohort of participants in the Leadership Forum for Strategic Impact, a key part of the Yale Africa Initiative's ongoing efforts to prioritize and expand upon Yale's collaborations on the continent.  More >>

Faculty, students, and members of the greater Yale and New Haven community came together on April 30th to celebrate the Council on African Studies second annual African Studies Symposium.  More >>

While attending high school in Zimbabwe, Phyllis Mugadza '21 B.S., learned about the Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) program. She says, "It was the first time I heard about the liberal arts. It began my journey into American education."  More >>
Ghanaian Public Health Scholar Receives Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award

When Shadrack Frimpong was awarded a President's Engagement Prize from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015, the 23-year old thought he was putting his life on hold. Armed with a three-year, $150,000 grant, he, instead, found his life's purpose.   More >>

    Faculty News

Painter, Meleko Mokgosi, Joins School of Art as Associate Professor

This past July, the Yale School of Art welcomed Meleko Mokgosi as associate professor in painting/printmaking. Mokgosi is working on a project-based practice positioned between cinema studies, psychoanalysis, critical theory, and post-colonial studies.  More >>

Professor Cajetan Iheka Joins Yale English Department

This Fall, The Yale Engligh Department was pleased to welcome Cajetan Iheka as an associate professor.  His research and teaching focus on African and Caribbean literatures and film, postcolonial studies, ecocriticism, ecomedia, and world literature. He is the author of Naturalizing Africa: Ecological Violence, Agency, and Postcolonial Resistance in African Literature.  More >>

SOM welcomes Global Network African Faculty Fellow, Professor Albert Ahenkan

Yale School of Management (SOM) recently welcomed to campus its third Global Network African Faculty Fellow, professor Albert Ahenkan from the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS). While at Yale through December 2019, he will be teaching an elective on Green Economy Management at SOM. The Africa focused course will examine the transition to an emerging green economy as a vehicle for sustainable development across the continent. More >>

    Faculty Work & Research
Yale Researchers Receive Funding for Work on Immunization in Cameroon and Ethiopia

Researchers at the Yale Global Health Leadership Initiative, in collaboration with international peers, have received two Grand Challenges Explorations grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for innovative research. This funding will support an innovative approach to expanding immunizations in Cameroon and Ethiopia by enlisting the support of existing community networks and institutions.  More >>

Yale Study Predicts Modest Impact from Additional Dose of Rotavirus Vaccine in Developing Countries

A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Virginia Pitzer of the Yale School of Public Health and Professor Nigel Cunliffe of the University of Liverpool conducted a detailed mathematical analysis of rotavirus vaccinations and diarrhea cases reported at the main hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.  More >>

Yale Study on Ecosystem's Response to Droughts

A new Yale-led study published in the journal Ecology shows that a severe drought in Kruger National Park in South Africa killed off a large number of trees. The finding somewhat surprised researchers who speculated the region's trees might be well adapted to the semi-arid environment.  More >>
Yale-National Museums of Kenya Project is Funded

The Narok Paleoanthropological Project, a joint research project of the Council on African Studies at the Yale MacMillan Center and the National Museums of Kenya (NMK), has been awarded a National Geographic Grant sponsored by Lyda Hill. The program supports women in science.  More >>
Researchers Discover Complex Ancient Tools in Ethiopia

A team of international and local researchers working in Ethiopia have discovered the earliest-known examples of complex stone tools, dating to between 2.61 and 2.58 million years ago. "The technology is actually more complex than initially thought," according to Jessica Thompson, assistant professor of anthropology at Yale University and a co-author of the study.   More>>

    Campus News

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Becomes the First African to Deliver Commencement Speech

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, M.A. '08, delivered the Class Day Speech on May 19th, becoming the first African person to do so. She offered advice to graduates of the Yale College class of 2019 on topics ranging from humility to nurturing healthy relationships.  More >>
Kwame Dawes Awarded Yale's Windham Campbell Prize in Poetry

Kwame Dawes, a critic, editor, and poet born in Ghana and raised in Jamaica, was awarded the Donald Windham - Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize in Poetry at the annual Windham Campbell Literary Festival, held in September.  More >>
Graduating Student Receives Two Awards from Yale's Afro-American Cultural Center

Catherine Labiran, who graduated with a Master's Degree in African Studies in May, was  selected as the recipient of two Afro-American Cultural Center awards. She received the inaugural Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in the African Diaspora and the Khalid Lum Award for Outstanding Commitment by a Graduate/Professional Student to the Mission and Legacy of the Afro-American Cultural Center.
More >>
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