[2nd Kyoto Symposium / 21th Plenary Committee Meeting] “African Potentials 2016: International Symposium on Conflict Resolution and Coexistence” (January 23 – 24, 2016)

Date: January 23 – 24, 2016
Venue: Large meeting room (333) on 3rd floor of Inamori Foundation Memorial Hall, Kyoto University


This research project started in 2011 as a five-year project, and this symposium was held in Kyoto as the final international symposium. The meeting had two objectives.

In this research project, we held ‘African Forums’ annually in different cities in African countries, inviting African researchers, in order to strengthen our idea of ‘African Potentials.’ In this process, a group of regular members was created, which provoked serious discussions, and deepened our thoughts on ‘African Potentials’. In this Kyoto symposium, we invited these regular members to finalize our discussion on ‘African Potentials,’ and to exchange our ideas how we can proceed in future. This is the first objective of this symposium. These regular members are:

  • Edward Kirumira (Makerere University, Uganda)
  • Kennedy Mkutu (United States International University, Kenya)
  • Michael Neocosmos (Rhodes University, South Africa)
  • Samson Wassara (University of Bahr El Ghazal, South Sudan)
  • Francis Nyamnjoh (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Yntiso Gebre (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia)

The second objective of this symposium was to announce the publication of five books in Japanese, as a result of this research project which had more than 50 Japanese members. These books will come out by the end of March 2016, published by Kyoto University Press. The project leader and five editors of these five books made presentations in which results of this project were summarized.

In the end of this symposium, presenters of the meeting agreed to publish a book on ‘African Potentials’ in near future in English.


January 23 (Saturday), 2016
10:30 – 10:40
Welcome Address: Shigeki Kaji (Kyoto University)
10:40 – 10:55
Opening Remarks: Itaru Ohta (Kyoto University)
10:55 – 11:00
Introduction of the Keynote Speaker: Motoji Matsuda (Kyoto University)
11:00 – 11:45
Keynote Speech: Edward Kirumira (Makerere University)
African Potentials and Sustainable Development
11:45 – 12:00 Discussion


12:00 – 13:30 Lunch


13:30 – 14:05 Kennedy Mkutu (United States International University)
New Challenges for African Potentials in Meditating Cross Border Conflicts
14:05 – 14:40 Michael Neocosmos (Rhodes University)
The Universality of Humanity as an African Political Potential
14:40 – 15:15 Samson Wassara (University of Bahr El Ghazal)
African Potential in Negotiating Statehood: Handling Crises of South Sudan
15:15 – 15:35 Break


15:35 – 16:10 Francis Nyamnjoh (University of Cape Town)
Incompleteness and Conviviality: A Reflection on International Research Collaboration from an African Perspective
16:10 – 16:45 Yntiso Gebre (Addis Ababa University)
Systematizing Knowledge about Customary Laws in Africa: The Case of Ethiopia
16:45 – 17:10
Comments (by five Japanese scholars on above five presentations: 5 minutes each)
17:15 – 18:15
January 24 (Sunday), 2016
10:00 – 10:35 Itaru Ohta
“Liberal Peace” Debates and African Potentials for Materializing Coexistence
10:35 – 11:10 Motoji Matsuda (Kyoto University)
Cultural Creativity for Conflict Resolution and Coexistence: From the Viewpoint of African Potentials
11:10 – 11:45 Shinichi Takeuchi (Institute of Developing Economies)
African Potential as an Analytical Perspective
11:45 – 12:20 Motoki Takahasi (Kobe University)
People as Lithe Agents of Change: African Potential for Development and Coexistence
12:20 – 13:50 Lunch


13:50 – 14:25 Masayoshi Shigeta (Kyoto University)
How People Can Achieve the Coexistence through the Sound Use of Resources?
14:25 – 15:00 Gen Yamakoshi (Kyoto University)
Who Owns African Nature? African Perspectives on the Future of Community-Based Conservation
15:00 – 15:20 Break


15:20 – 16:20
Comments on these six presentations by six African scholars
16:20 – 17:00 General Discussion


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