Question Fifteen

15. Knowledge Production

  • Q: As a writer, researcher now based in the UK and formerly working in a literary space in Kenya, I find a huge disconnect between formal research institutions in the North and their ways of working and the primary spaces of knowledge production on the African continent which are now based on youthful populations which are not that visible in formal institutions there (and might not be interested in anymore). How can PARC negotiate these differences in knowledge production approaches in the North and work with these youthful, mostly informal spaces in the South? Billy Kahora (UoB) 
  • Q: What is the role of creating greater level of equity of knowledge production within Africa in enabling more equitable partnerships with those outside of Africa. Anonymous

A: This important point on the need for democratizing research, extends to the question about how we ensure partnership and co-production of research and knowledge not only among academic institutions but also with other non-academic actors and constituencies, including those outside, or disadvantaged in, existing hierarchies. 

While we recognize the critical importance of fostering such co-production, including in the capstone research programmes we hope to nurture, we still have work to do in thinking through what practical approaches will be needed within the context of actual research projects. We will seek input and learning on this from African partners and thinking, other available resources and tools, and from ongoing UoB work, such as for example on Literary activism in 21st century Africa, the Somali First initiative, that explicitly pursues active research participation of local actors, groupings and movements.