How is knowledge production at universities still shaped by colonialism to this day? In the project "Decolonize Universities: Participating in Approaches to Decolonizing Knowledge Production," four students have engaged with the process of decolonization at two universities, the University of Ghana and the University of Freiburg.
In Freiburg, Abdul Karim Ibrahim and Harriet Nana Akua Agyapong (both from the University of Ghana), Vincent Stein (University of Freiburg), and Felix Ampoma (University of Bayreuth) took a decolonial perspective on the curricula of bachelor's and master's programs in social sciences. They spoke with numerous students and lecturers at the University of Freiburg and reviewed the syllabi of selected seminars at both universities. They also participated in organizing the SDG University Day "De-Colonizing Partnerships." A recommendation paper providing suggestions for the University of Freiburg and its faculty will be published soon.
In Accra, the student team broadened their perspective and took a historical approach. Through numerous interviews and intensive research in university archives, they traced the efforts to decolonize the University of Ghana, which was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast under British colonial rule. The Institute of African Studies (IAS) at UG played a central role, having been established in 1961 by Ghana's then-president, Kwame Nkrumah, as one of the first centers for African studies on the continent.
The project is part of the Engagement Global ASA University Program. The program, which has existed since 1960 for development-related work and study stays abroad, has been able to be conducted in cooperation with universities since 2018. The Africa Centre for Transregional Research (ACT), the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institut (ABI) Freiburg, and the Institute of African Studies (IAS) at the University of Ghana organized the project.
On the photo, from left to right: Abdul Karim Ibrahim (UG), Moritz Haupt (Engagement Global), Irene Appeaning Addo (UG), Nana Akua Agyapong (UG), Felix Ampoma (U Bayreuth), Vincent Stein (UFR), Frederike Wagner (BMZ)