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ASC 15th-Year Anniversary Conference

This two-day conference, featuring distinguished speakers and panelists, will explore the future of higher education, academic collaboration, and student engagement in Africa.

The event is free and open to the public; registration is requested. Please click here to RSVP.

(In speaking order)

Santa Ono
U-M President

Mary Catherine Phee
Assistant Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs

Dr. Adedolapo Fasawe
Mandate Secretary for Health & Environment, Nigeria’s National Capital

Debbie Dingell
U.S. Representative, Michigan’s 6th Congressional District

Sarah Mosoetsa
CEO of South Africa Higher Education and the Human Sciences Research Council

Judd B. Devermont
Operating Partner at Kupanda Capital and former Special Assistant to President Joe Biden

Friday, April 5, 2024

[9:00 am]
Opening Remarks

Santa Ono, U-M President, and Omolade Adunbi, ASC Director

[9:15 am]
Keynote Remarks and Q&A

Mary Catherine Phee, Assistant Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs

[10:15 am]
Keynote Remarks

Representative Debbie Dingell, Michigan’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives

[10:30-10:35 am] Break

[10:35-11:35 am]
Democratization and its Challenges in Africa

Moderator: Massy Mutumba, ASC Associate Director, University of Michigan

Michael Wahman, Michigan State University
Deadly Serious, But Not Deadly: Low-scale Violence in African Elections

António Tomás, University of California, Irvine
Rotten Peace as Democracy in Angola

Mike McGovern, University of Michigan
Jihadi Insurgency, Geopolitics, and Democracy in Sahelian West Africa

Anne Pitcher, University of Michigan; and Rod Alence, University of the Witwatersrand
The Spatial Effects of Political Violence on Election Outcomes: The Case of South Africa

Kamissa Camara, University of Michigan
Democratic Backsliding and Military Coups in the Sahel

Susan Page, University of Michigan

[11:35 am] Distinguished Lecture

Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, Mandate Secretary for Health and Environment, Federal Government of Nigeria

[12:15 pm] Fireside Chat and Q&A

Dr. Adedolapo Fasawe with Dr. Joseph C. Kolars, University of Michigan

[1:00-2:00 pm]  Break and Student Poster Session

[2:00-3:15 pm]

Engaging Higher Education in Africa and the United States

Moderator: Arthur Verhoogt, University of Michigan

Kelly Askew, University of Michigan
Advancing Academic Partnerships in Higher Education: A Tanzanian Case Study

Angela Dillard, University of Michigan
The National Academic Student Success Movement and Continuous Improvement in Undergraduate Education at Michigan

Sarah Mosoetsa, University of the Witwatersrand

Anya Sirota, University of Michigan
Building Durable Reciprocity

Babajide Ololajulo, University of Ibadan
Higher Education in Africa and the Imperativeness of Pedagogical Reform

[3:15-4:20 pm]
Archives, Open Access, and the Politics of Knowledge

Moderator: Lisa R. Carter, University of Michigan

David Wallace, University of Michigan
A Spatial Approach to Archival Social Justice:  Geomatics, GIS and Documenting Forced Removals  In District Six, Cape Town

Rachel Deblinger, University of California, Los Angeles
Modern Endangered Archives Program: Funding the Preservation and Access of African Cultural Heritage

Derek Peterson, University of Michigan
The Politics of Limited Access: Lessons from Uganda’s Archives

Sauda Nabukenya, University of Michigan
Epistemological Limits of Government Archives: Recovering the Voices of Ordinary Litigants in Local Legal Archives and Writing a New Legal History

Adrian M. Deese, University of Michigan
Early West African Vernacular Histories and Higher Education

[4:20-5:25 pm]
Artificial Intelligence in Africa: Possibilities, Progress, and Caveats

Moderator: Melissa Elafros, University of Michigan

Micheal Nayebare, University of Michigan
Interim Report for Ubuntu-AI: A Bottom-up Approach to More Democratic and Equitable Training and Outcomes for Machine Learning

Kwame Robinson, University of Michigan
Computing for Community-based Economies

Yousif Hassan, University of Michigan
Africanization or Decolonization? Towards Different Visions of AI Education in Africa

Joan Nwatu, University of Michigan
Bridging the Digital Divide: Performance Variation Across Socio-Economic Factors in Vision-Language Models

Geoffrey Siwo, University of Michigan
Foundations for Equitable US-Africa collaborations in AI

[5:25-6:30 pm]
UMAPS Alumni meet Faculty Hosts

Moderator: Howard Stein, University of Michigan

Babajide Ololajulo, UMAPS Alum, University of Ibadan

Marissa Balmith Pahaladh, UMAPS Alum, University of Pretoria

Laston Manja, UMAPS Alum, U-M PhD student in Economics 

Bart Bartlett, University of Michigan

Panos Papalambros, University of Michigan

Michael McGovern, University of Michigan

Saturday, April 6, 2024

[9:00 am]
Keynote Remarks and Q&A

Sarah Mosoetsa, CEO of South Africa Higher Education and the Human Sciences Research Council

[10:00-11:00 am]
Innovate Africa: Technologies, Opportunities, and Economic Possibilities

Moderator: Susan Page, University of Michigan

Ed Hightower,  Lordstown Motors
Creating and Building Electric Vehicles in Africa

Aaron McCloud, Intervene K-12

Christina De Simone, Pfizer

Michael Sudarkasa, Africa Business Group
Toward Decarbonizing the Fertilizer Industry: Small Scale Modular Distributed Plant Innovations That are Emerging in Africa

Valerie Labi, CEO WAHU Mobility Accra Ghana
Wahu Mobility: Creating Economic Opportunity in Africa One eBike at a Time 

[11:00 am-12:05 pm]
Technologies, Climate Change, and Politics of Extraction in Africa

Moderator: Omolade Adunbi, University of Michigan

Robert Ddamulira, Mott Foundation

Isaac Asume Osuoka, Social Action International
The (Just) Transition in Dispute: Shell's Niger Delta Exit and the Technologies of Community Resistance

Leo Zulu, Michigan State University
Navigating Climate Change, Conflict, and Social Media in Africa: The Path Forward for Malawi

Brian Klein, University of Michigan
The Boom-and-Bust Life: Cultivating Belonging on Madagascar's Extractive Frontier

Brandon Finn, University of Michigan
Informality at the Heart of Sustainable Development

[12:05-12:50 pm] Break and Student Poster Session

[12:50-2:00 pm]
New Frontiers of Data Research & Health in Africa

Moderator: Andries Coetzee, University of Michigan

Aisha Walcott, Google Research Africa

Jacki O’Neill, Microsoft Africa Research Institute
Generative AI in Healthcare in Africa: Blessing or Curse?

Moyinoluwa Anoma, Bloomberg

Ato Micah, Maverick Research
Market Feasibility for Surgical Procedures in West Africa

Akbar Waljee, University of Michigan

Marissa Balmith, University of Pretoria
Advancing e-Health in South Africa

[2:00-3:05 pm]
Climate Change, Conflict, and Social Media in Africa

Moderator: Bilal Butt, University of Michigan

Chiamaka Okafor, Premium Times Nigeria
Climate Change and Agriculture in the Sahel: The Kebbi Story

Matt Turner, University of Wisconsin
Resource-related Conflicts and Socially Organized Insurgency in the West African Sahel – Is Climate Change Implicated?

Tiffany McGriff, U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs
Messaging the Coup

Rina Shah, Political Strategist
US-Africa Relations and the Impact of Mis/Disinformation on Climate and Ecological Justice

Joyojeet Pal, University of Michigan
Social Media and Politics in Africa

[3:05-3:15 pm] Break 

[3:15-4:20 pm]
Decolonizing Ancient History and Archeology in Africa

Moderator: Peggy McCracken, University of Michigan

Geoff Emberling, University of Michigan
Decolonizing Archaeology in the Shadow of Ancient Pyramids at El-Kurru, Sudan

William Gblerkpor, Western Illinois University
Pursuing Park Museums in Ghana: Emerging Hubs for Archaeology and Heritage Initiatives

Mariana Candido, Emory University
Rethinking Key Concepts in (African) Economic History

Łukasz Stanek, University of Michigan
Nigerian Indigenous Architecture With and Against Zbigniew Dmochowski

Chido Onumah, Journalist/ Media Practitioner
Transnational Asymmetries in Archiving Activism in Africa: The Nigerian Experience

[4:25 pm]
Keynote Remarks and Q&A

Judd B. Devermont, Kupanda Capital and former Special Assistant to President Joe Biden

[5:20 pm]
Closing Address

ASC Director Omolade Adunbi

Anne Peterson and the Kellogg Foundation; Center for Global Health Equity; Center for International Reproductive Health Training; Department of Afroamerican and African Studies; Department of Anthropology; Department of English; Department of History; Global Islamic Studies Center; Institute for the Humanities; International Institute; LSA Office of the Dean; LSA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Office of the Vice President for Research; Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Office of the Provost Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Office of the Provost Engaged Learning.