The African Studies Program (ASP) is one of the most recognized sources of classes and programming on Africana at Georgetown. But ASP is hardly the sole source of African- and African- related programming. Indeed, across the University, interest in Africa is burgeoning, from student organizations and initiatives, to faculty research and teaching on Africa, to programs and speakers on campus sponsored by a wide range of University administrative units. In addition, by virtue of its location in Washington, DC, Georgetown enjoys close proximity to US Government officials who work in and on Africa, African and other diplomatic representatives, and a host of development practitioners – many of whom visit campus as featured speakers, seminar participants and lecturers. Clearly, the resources exist to be marshaled for the benefit of Africa and those interested in the study of Africa. What is lacking is a reliable coordination mechanism to maximize these benefits, one that can bring these currently fragmented institutions and individuals together.
A new initiative, the Georgetown Africa Interest Network (GAIN) seeks to bring together the various Africa-based groups on campus. Africa-focused research, teaching, and programming is widely available at Georgetown. Yet, partly due to the plethora of academic departments, programs, centers, and schools, communication about Africa-related activities relies far too much on personal ties and informal communication. GAIN aims to institutionalize these “pan-Georgetown” linkages.
Starting modestly, GAIN will serve as a clearinghouse of Africa-oriented events open to various members of the Georgetown community, and perhaps the wider community as well. Although the African Studies Program will administer GAIN, this initiative is not an effort to bring everything Africa-related under the ASP umbrella. Indeed, our goal is to foster the development of an Africa network. GAIN will be a positive-sum for all participants, maximizing the resources of many members of our community from all three campuses.
To learn more or become a member of GAIN, click here