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African Studies Center Hosts Delegation from University of Cheikh Anta Diop

February 22, 2016
UNC Global

The African Studies Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted a delegation Jan. 20 to 22, 2016, from University of Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Senegal, led by Rector Ibrahima Thioub. The delegation visited UNC to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2009 between the institutions and to explore opportunities for further collaboration.

Thioub, a noted historian of West Africa, was joined on the trip by Fatimata Ly, head of the Department of Medicine and Specialties, and Mamarame Seck, research professor at UCAD’s l’Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire (IFAN). Seck previously was a faculty member and African language program coordinator at UNC-Chapel Hill from 2008 to 2014 and continues in an adjunct capacity.

The renewal of the MOU extended the partnership between the two universities, which has involved numerous units at UNC, including the African Studies Center, the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, Carolina Performing Arts and World View. UCAD has hosted two study trips of North Carolina teachers to Senegal organized by World View. In addition, a number of UCAD faculty and researchers have spent time at UNC as visiting scholars through the African Studies Center.

The delegation from the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal included Rector Ibrahima Thioub, Mamarame Seck and Fatima Ly (from left to right).
The delegation from the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal included Rector Ibrahima Thioub, Mamarame Seck and Fatima Ly (from left to right). Photo by Linda Kastleman.

The partnership strives to strengthen and complement each institution’s educational opportunities and research capabilities and builds on other UNC initiatives related to Senegal. UNC has taught Wolof, the national language of Senegal, since 2008. Two UNC summer study abroad programs have taken place in Dakar, and several UNC faculty members engage in research and work related to Senegal and Francophone West Africa.

“This partnership is of deep importance to the African Studies Center,” said Emily Burrill, director of the center. “We are pleased to be able to connect faculty across campus and across the world through such an esteemed partnership.”

During the visit, the delegation also met with representatives from the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, the Dean’s Office and the Study Abroad Office in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Ackland Art Museum, Carolina Performing Arts and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations to discuss possibilities for student and faculty engagement, as well as an emerging joint initiative on Sufism and music.

The delegation spent a day meeting with faculty members and senior leaders in health affairs at Carolina, including from the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, School of Medicine and School of Nursing. They also toured IntraHealth International and the MEASURE Evaluation program, based at UNC’s Carolina Population Center. Accompanying them off-campus was Jim Herrington, director of Gillings Global Gateway at the Gillings School.

Herrington said the Senegalese representatives described unique opportunities in research, teaching and service in public health, medicine, nursing and pharmacy sciences that their university could offer.

“Dr. Ly indicated she welcomes further exploration with UNC in areas of mutual interest,” Herrington said. “This includes areas such as diabetes research, implementation science, noncommunicable and infectious diseases, survey research, epidemiology and health behavior.”

Global partnerships, such as the one with UCAD, are a central component to UNC’s efforts to infuse a global dimension throughout the University’s teaching, research and service activities and to enhance its global visibility.


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