Launch of a Partnership Between the Kara Heritage Institute and the University

Posted on January 29, 2009

“The collaborative relationship between the University of Pretoria and the Kara Heritage Institute (KHI) was born out of two distinct recognitions by both parties. The first is that the KHI is the custodian of the unique living heritage of ancient and medieval Africa which was preserved inter alia, by the Queen Modjadji Dynasty, successor to the Maphungubwe and Great Zimbabwe Dynasties.

“The second recognition is that the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology (GGM) in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences plays a unique role in world class research, development and training in the atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, geoinformatics and remote sensing, geomorphology and social geosciences in South Africa, the African continent and beyond,” says Prof Hannes Rautenbach, Head of the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology.

According to Prof Rautenbach, the collaborative platform enables the two parties involved to gain from each others strength for the sake of promoting community engagement through creating awareness, training and research.

The objectives for this collaboration include making the most of the expertise of the KHI in terms of African heritage as well as utilising knowledge from the rich academic tapestry of academics (particularly experts from academic disciplines such as geomorphology, social geosciences and meteorology) from the University of Pretoria.

As means of promoting an active collaboration, two projects are already in the pipeline. The first is from 15 February to 02 March 2009 – the KHI, University of Pretoria and the Department of arts and Culture (DAC) is to present a heritage education programme that will draw 60 youth from all the provinces of South Africa.

The second project is scheduled on 20 March 2009 where the National Heritage Council (NCH) and the KHI, Department of Education (DoE) and the University of Pretoria will empower people through a heritage education seminar to explore ways of combining heritage and indigenous knowledge systems into the school curricula.

Prominent speakers at the multi-disciplinary function included Prof Anton Ströh (Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences), Prof Mathole Motshekga (Director of KARA Heritage Institute), as well as the much appraised praise poetry from Prof Modjadji Selowa.

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