By Special Correspondent, CMU,
Three lecturers of the University of Dar es Salaam – Dr. Blandina Lugendo, Dr. Salvatory S. Nyanto and Dr. Hadija Mwendah, have been appointed as board members of the regional and global scholars associations namely Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) and the Institute of African Worlds (IMAF), respectively.
According to the information about these appointments, Dr. Lugendo has been elected as treasurer and member of the WIOMSA Advisory Board while Dr. Nyanto and Dr. Mwendah have been appointed members of the Advisory Board for the project “Women at Work: for a comparative history of African female urban professionals (Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana), 1919-1970” (WomatWork).
WIOMSA is a regional, non-profit, membership organization which is dedicated to promoting the educational, scientific and technological development of all aspects of marine sciences throughout the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region for sustaining the use and conservation of its marine resources. It consists of 10 countries: Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius, Réunion (France).
“At its 44th meeting on 2 February 2023, the 8th WIOMSA Board of Trustees elected Ms. Marie-May Jeremie as its next president. Dr. Blandina Lugendo was elected treasurer, while Dr. Nina Wambiji was elected vice president”, stated the information released on the WIOMSA website.
“I am grateful to be elected in this important decision-making position in WIOMSA; my task will indeed be to spearhead the organisation’s particular interest and UDSM mission of linking the knowledge that emerges from research to the management and governance issues that affect marine and coastal ecosystems in the region”, said Dr. Lugendo.
Dr Blandina Lugendo currently serves as the Dean of the School of Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Technology (SoAF) at the University of Dar es Salaam. She is also the Chairperson of the Advisory Board of Fisheries Education and Training Agency (FETA), and has served as WIOMSA Country Coordinator for Mainland Tanzania for the past five years.
She is a UNESCO-LOREAL for Women in Science Fellow (2004) and holds an MSc in Marine Biology – Seagrass Ecology from the University of Dar es Salaam and a PhD in Fish Ecology from Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Joining a joint interdisciplinary research unit
Meanwhile, Dr. Salvatory Nyanto from the Department of History, College of Humanities (CoHU), and Dr. Hadija Mwendah, from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration join the IMAF Advisory Board which includes two scholars from each of the four countries studied, who are experts in gender studies or women’s history; and includes three experts from other countries (US and Zimbabwe), to contribute to the comparative approach of the project.
The Institute of African Worlds (IMAF) is a joint interdisciplinary research unit (ancient and contemporary history, anthropology, political science, archaeology) whose work covers the entire African continent. It was created on January 1, 2014, by the merger of three laboratories: the Center for African World Studies (CEMAf), the Center for African Studies (CEAf) and the Center for Social History of Mediterranean Islam (CHSIM).
“As a member of the Board, you will be asked to participate to the discussion about research design, ethics and methodologies. The Board will meet at least every 6 months through online meetings, whose agenda will be sent beforehand. You will be asked to contribute to the recruitment of 4 PhD students, one from each of the countries studied”, stated the appointment letter from Dr. Elena Vezzadini, the Director of IMAF.
Dr. Vezzadini further explained: “If possible, you will participate as teaching staff to the three summer schools that will be organized in Dar es Salaam, Khartoum and Addis Ababa in year 2024, 2025 and 2026. You will be welcome also to spend one month of research stay in Paris, at the Institute of the African Worlds, which will be the headquarters of the project from year 1 to 4, or at the University of Bologna, Italy, which will be the headquarters of the project in year 5”.
The appointment would also offer Dr. Nyanto and Dr. Mwendah an opportunity to attend the final conference in Bologna, in October 2027. As members of the Advisory Board representative of Tanzania, their support would also be sought for the organization of the summer school based at the College of Social Sciences (CoSS), University of Dar es Salaam, and for the co-tutoring of the Tanzanian PhD student that will join the project.
Dr. Salvatory S. Nyanto is currently a member of the Editorial Board of African History Review, Director in the Office of the Vice Chancellor and chair of the editorial team for the book project on the History of Post-Colonial Tanzania. Dr. Hadija Mwendah is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, and Coordinator of Gender in the College of Social Sciences (CoSS), UDSM.