Cambridge-Africa

Seminar Series 2015-16

Roy Head

Tuesday 10th May 2016

A scientific approach to international development: the case of mass media in Africa (King's/Cambridge-Africa Seminar)

SpeakerRoy Head, CEO, Development Media International (DMI: http://www.developmentmedia.net)

Venue: Audit Room, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TS.

Time: Seminar will begin at 17:30 (wine will be served from 17:15)

Abstract: It is widely assumed that media campaigns are an effective way to change behaviours in developing countries, including in Africa. However, there is little robust evidence for this. Media campaigns are often seen as ‘too hard to measure’, but donors are losing patience with this attitude and are sometimes reluctant to fund them, despite their likely impact and cost-effectiveness. This talk will explore the ways in which media campaigns can be robustly evaluated to prove that they are effective interventions for improving health and other social outcomes at scale in developing countries, such as those in Africa, and the challenges in doing so.

Wine will be served...

More Info (developmentmedia.net)

Nana Ayebia ClarkeMBE

Thursday 21st April 2016

Pressing On: New Trends in African Publishing (King's/Cambridge-Africa Seminar)

Speaker: Nana Ayebia Clarke MBE, Managing Director, Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited (http://www.ayebia.co.uk/)

Venue: Wine Room, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TS.

Time: Seminar will begin at 17:30 (wine will be served from 17:15)

Abstract: As the first African Woman Editor of the internationally renowned African Writers Series (AWS) published by Heinemann Educational Books at Oxford, I was privileged to have access to some of the best writers from the continent for 12 years as Submissions Editor. Writers published by the AWS included Nobel laureates and prize-winning authors Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Buchi Emecheta, Ngugi wa Thiong’o et al. The Series has now become established as the canon of African literature for international studies.

When Heinemann announced the closure of active publishing in the AWS in 2002, I saw an opening for taking African publishing to new heights by presenting bright and innovative voices from Africa and the African Diaspora to international audiences. My training from the AWS stood me in good stead when I started Ayebia in 2003. Ayebia’s mission is to publish books that will open new spaces and bring fresh insights into African publishing by championing and celebrating positive images of Africa through literature. My publishing journey thus far has been a lesson in setting up and running an independent publishing house. Today, Ayebia has not only become firmly established as an award-winning publisher of repute but a publisher collaborating with African educational institutions such as the University of Ghana, Legon to publish books for tertiary education. In 2011 I was awarded an Honorary MBE by The Queen for services to the British publishing industry. Do visit my website for more information.

 

More Info (talks.cam.ac.uk)

devon curtis

Thursday 10th March 2016

The Politics of Peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa (King's/Cambridge-Africa Seminar)

Speaker: Dr Devon Curtis, (Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge (http://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/Staff_and_Students/dr-devon-curtis)

Venue: Wine Room, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TS.

Time: Seminar will begin at 17:30 (wine will be served from 17:15)

Abstract: The Great Lakes region of Africa (DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda) stands out as a region that has suffered tremendous violence in the colonial and post-colonial periods. From anti-slavery campaigns to today’s peacebuilding and statebuilding interventions, Westerners have often justified their involvement in the region using arguments about progress and peace. This presentation will discuss the effects of contemporary efforts to ‘bring peace’ to the region. Drawing on field-work primarily in Burundi, the presentation will discuss the tensions that occur within and between many of the actors involved in the peace industry as well as their intended beneficiaries. Rather than seeing peace programmes, activities and initiatives as practices that are conceived and authored in Western capitals and in the corridors of the United Nations, the presentation will discuss the multiple ways in which peacebuilding practices are questioned, subverted, re-appropriated and redesigned by Burundians. It explores the logic of peace, and the effects of the technologies, tools and language of peacebuilding.

More information about Dr Curtis and her research is available at http://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/Staff_and_Students/dr-devon-curtis.

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Claudia Abreu Lopes

Tuesday 23rd February 2016

Complications during pregnancy in Uganda: Researching socio-cultural drivers using innovative methods (King's/Cambridge-Africa Seminar)

SpeakerDr Claudia Abreu Lopes, Head of Research and Development, Africa's Voices Foundation

Venue: Wine Room, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TS.

Time: Seminar will begin at 17:30 (wine will be served from 17:15)

Abstract: Every day, nearly 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth across the globe, with more than half of these deaths occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO, 2015). Socio-cultural factors such as traditional beliefs about pregnancy, play an important role alongside biological/genetic factors and provision of healthcare, in maternal mortality rates. Beliefs, attitudes and norms influence local practices, and whether problematic symptoms are detected and appropriate timely healthcare is sought.

This presentation discusses the method and main findings of a pilot undertaken in 2015 by researchers from the University of Cambridge and Makarere University in Uganda, aimed at understanding the collective beliefs of women in the Central region of Uganda (urban and semi-urban districts) related to complications during and just after pregnancy. The research was funded by King’s College, Smuts Memorial Fund and a Wellcome Trust (grant held by Prof Moffett at the Department of Pathology).

Collaborating with Africa’s Voices Foundation (a spin-out from Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights), and local and national radio stations, we set up a series of interactive radio discussions featuring testimonials of women who had experienced pre-eclampsia. The discussions sparked the interest of diverse audiences who were invited to send their opinions via SMS to a toll-free number. The merits and limitations of combining mobile phones and old media (radio) to reach less accessible populations in the context of health research in Africa will also be discussed. The textual analysis to the SMS revealed that men and women differ in the perception of causes of complications during pregnancy: men focus more on internal causes related to the biology or dispositional traits of women; women tend to attribute problems to the low quality of health professionals and lack of support from their husbands. Understanding the norms and beliefs held by different groups and communities is crucial to shape context-specific health interventions focused on improving the quality of medical and social support for Ugandan women during pregnancy.

For more information, visit http://www.africasvoices.org.

Wine will be served...

More Info (talks.cam.ac.uk)

Simon Frost

Tuesday 26th January 2016

The Dynamics of Emerging Viruses in Africa (King's/Cambridge-Africa Seminar)

Speaker: Dr Simon Frost, Reader at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge

Venue: Wine Room, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TS.

Time: Seminar will begin at 17:30 (wine will be served from 17:15)

Abstract: Many emerging infections are zoonotic in origin. With a high biodiversity of reservoir species, including primates and bats, and increasing contact with wildlife, sub-Saharan Africa is a potential crucible of emerging infections. While the emergence of new human pathogens may be a relatively rare event, spill-over of pathogens from wildlife to humans may be relatively common, although many of these events go undetected. I will describe an ongoing study of wildlife and local people in rural Western Uganda, near Kibale National Park, which has a high diversity of non-human primates that harbour a variety of chronic viral infections, as a model for how viruses may jump host species.

Visit http://www.vet.cam.ac.uk/directory/sdf22@cam.ac.uk for more information.

Wine will be served...

More Info (talks.cam.ac.uk)

Prof. Alison

Tuesday 1st December 2015

The role of worms in health and disease: studies from Uganda (King's/Cambridge-Africa Seminar)

Venue: Wine Room, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TS.

Date: Tuesday 01 December 2015, 17:15-18:30

Speaker: Professor Alison Elliott (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit).

Abstract: Mammalian immune systems evolved under the impact of constant pressure from micro-organisms and parasites. Exposure to infectious diseases has altered dramatically in resource rich settings over the past century. Infectious and parasitic diseases still constitute a major burden in Africa, but this is beginning to change.

This seminar will discuss studies in Uganda that highlight the paradox that worm infections may be both good and bad for your health.

This talk is part of the Cambridge-Africa Programme series.

More Info (talks.cam.ac.uk)

Professor Ashley Moffett

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Human evolution in action: How collaborating with Africans provides genetic and biological insights in maternal health disparities (King's/Cambridge-Africa Semina)

Venue: Wine Room, King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TS.

Date: Tuesday 03 November 2015, 17:30-18:30

Time: Seminar will begin at 17:30 (wine will be served from 17:15)

Speaker: Professor Ashley Moffett (Department of Pathology in Cambridge, Wellcome Trust-Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research, and the Centre for Trophoblast Research.

Abstract: This seminar will look at the spectrum of biological, medical, evolutionary and cultural issues that contribute to the tragedy of maternal mortality in Africa.

Some of the projects in maternal health now underway as part of the Cambridge-Africa Programme will be described to illustrate the importance of studying disorders of pregnancy in the population most affected by them.

This talk is part of the Cambridge-Africa Programme series.

More Info (talks.cam.ac.uk)