On May 10, 2018, the newly designed curriculum titled Transformation Studies in Africa started on a high tone with 12 pioneer masters students and one prospective PhD candidate, at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. The program, which is a partnership between Ofure (Pax) Centre for integral research and Development, The University of Ibadan and Trans4m Centre for Integral Development, is the first of its kind in Africa.
During a prolonged academic interaction with the faculty staff, Fr. Anselm Adodo, explained that Transformation studies are an evolution of African studies, which grew under the tutelage of colonial scholarship. African studies originated from Europe and were designed as Western scholars studying African people and culture from the western point of view. Most often, such studies were coloured by the prejudices and biases of the foreigners. With transformation studies, Africans can study Africa with African eyes and in their own language and metaphors.
Transformation Studies in Africa, code-named TSA, aims to ‘release the GENE-IUS’ of Africa. It aims to study African issues, African realities, African problems from the African point of view, and provide African solutions to African problems. TSA, according to Adodo, is Africa writing her history based on her own experience, in line with the African proverb, ‘until the Lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter’.
Director of the Institute of African Studies, Dr Ohioma Pogoson, expressed his delight at the successful take-off of the program. The number of the successful candidates, according to him, is a good indication that TSA might well turn out to be the most successful and crowd-pulling program offered at the institute. The immediate past director of the Institute, Prof. Dele Layiwola, observed that it is unusual for a brand-new program as TSA to have such a high number of candidates. He also announced that the program would begin admission of PhD students in 2019, another milestone for such a new program. In fact, a PhD candidate has already applied and has opted to wait patiently till 2019 to join the program rather than
enrol for another course.
Fr. Adodo thanked all those who were involved in the curriculum development process and planning stages: Prof. Layiwola who was then the director of the Institute, Dr. Femi Jegede, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the program passed through the various screening stages at the University of Ibadan, and Dr. Pogoson who gave his support to the program as the new director. He also thanked Professors Lessem and Schieffer of Trans4m centre for Integral Development for their interest in Africa. Both Lessem and Schieffer were actively involved in the development of the curriculum and even visited, along with Fr. Anselm Adodo, the Vice Chancellor of the University in 2016.
During interaction with the students, Fr. Adodo congratulated the new postgraduate students and
informed them that joining the TSA program might well be one of the most significant decisions of their lives. TSA, according to him, is radically different from other courses at the university, as it is reform-oriented, and aims to encourage students to think and act differently. The students expressed their delight at being selected to join the program. They said they entered the program because they want to become agents of Transformation in their communities, society, the country and the world and that the term, ‘Transformation’, struck a chord in their hearts. As a further sign of interest and attention which the program has generated, Fr. Adodo has been invited by the Institute to present a paper on African
Transformation at the prestigious Faculty seminar of the University in July 2018.