PRESS RELEASE: ALC to hold Inaugural Peter Da Costa Memorial Lecture on 18 August 2020



13th August 2020

ALC to hold Inaugural Peter Da Costa Memorial Lecture on 18 August 2020

The African leadership Centre (ALC) will on Tuesday 18 August 2020 hold a Memorial Lecture in honour of Dr. Peter Kofi Aboagye da Costa. Dr. Peter Da Costa who passed away on 18 August 2019, was Vice-Chair of ALC’s Board of Trustees as well as mentor at the Centre.

The lecture titled “Peter Kofi Da Costa and leadership of Africa's knowledge revolution from the sidelines” will be delivered by ALC’s Founding Director, Prof. Funmi Olonisakin who is currently Vice President & Vice-Principal International King’s College London. The lecture will thereafter be held every year in his honour to coincide with the anniversary of ALC’s founding in June 2010.

Dr. Da Costa was instrumental in shaping the strategic direction of ALC’s knowledge transfer agenda and projection of ALC voice to a broader constituency of actors. He steered the Centre’s effort to improve data and research communication so as to upscale the impact and reach of the ALC. Dr. Da Costa once said:

“I always wanted to find out a little bit about how knowledge works and the power dynamics around knowledge. I always felt instinctively that it is an unequal world where science is accepted if it comes from certain parts of the world but that everyone else, including people from where I come, are recipients of certain types of knowledge and not really actors in actually shaping it….I find myself in a space where I am constantly working with researchers and also trying to grapple with why research has relevance and ways to make research relevant.”

Prof. Funmi Olonisakin observed that Peter da Costa brought these values and ideals into the leadership of the ALC. In his mentoring of Fellows and Associates at the ALC, he was keenly aware of the need to project their voice and to develop a connection between their ideas of change and how the knowledge they produce is deployed to influence the change that they seek.

During the event, the ALC will announce the establishment of doctoral and post-doctoral Fellowships named after Peter Da Costa to honour his legacy and contribution to ideas on the transfer of African-generated knowledge on development, peace and the role of digital communication in Africa.

ALC’s Executive Director, Shuvai Nyoni said: “Peter also believed that it is possible, through technology, to give substance, cumulatively, to the voices of Africans on issues relating to development, peace and security even when expressed in non-academic ways.”


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