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First UFS/AS Young African Scholar Award winner announced
2016-03-10

Description: Fana Gebresenbet Erda Tags: Fana Gebresenbet Erda

Fana Gebresenbet Erda, winner of the first University of the Free State /Africa Spectrum Young African Scholar Award, for his research on political economy.
Photo: Supplied

Scholarship in African Studies still faces the challenge of capacity-building to increase ownership by authors and institutions from and on the African continent. It also requires more coordinated efforts to provide the space deserved by African authors in the international domain. In 2015, the University of the Free State (UFS) Centre for Africa Studies joined forces with Africa Spectrum (AS) in a bid to address this issue by establishing the UFS/AS Young African Scholar Award.

This award seeks to strengthen efforts to promote internationally recognised African scholarship in African Studies. One way to achieve this objective is through publishing articles by researchers based in Africa and in the diaspora in Africa Spectrum, an accredited journal compiled by the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg.

The inaugural award winner

Fana Gebresenbet Erda, a PhD candidate in a Global and European Studies programme jointly offered by the University of Leipzig (Germany) and Addis Ababa University, wrote the winning article for 2015. He will receive a three-year affiliation to the UFS Centre for Africa Studies as a Research Fellow, along with prize money of R5 000, sponsored by the UFS.

His article, The Ethiopian Developmental State in Its Peripheral Lowlands: Large-Scale Land Acquisitions, the Politics of Dispossession and State Remaking in Gambella, Western Ethiopia, argues that development through large-scale land acquisitions in Gambella, Western Ethiopia, belies a state-remaking project under a dispossessive political economy.

Submission now open
Africa Spectrum invites scholars to submit research articles in the context of the award. In October of each year a review committee selects submissions for review. Those eligible to submit are postgraduate students nearing completion of their PhD theses and postdoctoral scholars who were awarded their PhDs no more than five years earlier at the time of the submission deadline. Those submitting should be from Africa or should be affiliated to African institutions.

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