BACKGROUND ON THE INTERNATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL UNION COMMISSION ON AFRICAN STUDIES (IGUCAS)

Introduction

The International Geographical Union Commission on African Studies (IGUCAS) was formed in May 2017. It is currently headquartered in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zululand, South Africa. The founding chair and secretary of the Commission is Dr Inocent Moyo (Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zululand) and Dr Christopher C Nshimbi (Institute of Governance Innovation, University of Pretoria), respectively. The IGUCAS is a research and scientific body composed of and dedicated to African and Africanist scholars researching on issues around and in Africa, ranging from social sciences to natural sciences, but informed in the main by geographical, multi and interdisciplinary perspectives. This Commission operates under the auspices of and is guided by the International Geographical Union (IGU). Accordingly, the IGUCAS targets, inter alia, the improvement and/or increased participation in IGU scientific activities by Africa-based scholars and researchers, growing, nurturing and expanding IGU scientific and other activities in Africa, initiating and expanding the participation of post-graduate, young and emerging researchers in the scientific and research activities of the Commission specifically and IGU in general and strengthening the connection and networking of geographers and social scientists within and between South Africa and other African countries and regions of the world. The IGUCAS was launched in May 2018 at the University of Namibia by the Namibian Minister of Higher Education, Training and, Innovation, Hon. Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi. Therefore, pursuant to the 2018 launch, this is the second annual conference of the Commission.

Conference Theme

The conference hopes to bring to the fore, geographical, multi and interdisciplinary scientific research and thought from the African perspective. It targets grounding such research about, on and in Africa, but also transport it to the international community of academics through the agency of the IGUCAS. For this reason, the theme of the conference is: Africa in the global imaginary: Towards internationally competitive research and science.  Additionally, the conference by these means also promotes internationally competitive research and innovation, which will arise out of the collaborations and engagements with researchers from within South Africa, Africa and beyond. Accordingly, the conference is organised around plenary lectures as well as oral paper presentations which engage with the conference theme from many perspectives. As such oral paper presentations are organised under the following sessions:

Africa and climate change

Africa and natural resource use/management,

African borderlands

African cities

African development challenges and trajectories

Conflict, war and development in Africa

Environmental issues and problems in Africa

Food security

Migration, development and regional integration in Africa

Rural development

Urban governance

Water resources management and governance