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UoN set to inaugurate the African Center for the Study of United States of America 

The University of Nairobi will soon launch the African Centre for the study of the United States of America (ACSUS).

The centre, billed as a definitive hub for African-generated knowledge of America, will officially open its doors to the public on November 10, 2022.

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Acting Chairperson of the Department of Diplomacy and International Studies at the institution Dr. Patrick Maluki noted that the school is a step forward for Kenyans in their quest to have a deeper understanding of the world’s largest power.

“Kenya, just like any other society, is curious in understanding other societies outside its borders,” observed Dr Maluki, during an interview with KBC Digital.

Just like similar other centres established in the continent, ACSUS is designed to build extensive, multi and interdisciplinary, incisive, and cutting-edge perspectives on the US, while availing opportunities to probe topics such as the country’s political diplomacy, internal dynamics, diaspora matters, and her position as a world superpower.

The centre which will be guided by the current University of Nairobi People Policy, will provide information about American businesses, culture, arts among other issues.

In addition, the centre is expected to work towards promoting Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, and its diplomatic appeal.

Indeed, during the launch, Dr Maluki disclosed that the university will present academic papers that “speak to Nairobi as a smart city.”

While casting his thoughts on the acclaimed status Nairobi holds, Dr. Maluki argued that the centre will be instrumental in positioning the city as the most suitable location to host the next Sister Cities International Conference in 2024 after the Johannesburg summit next year.

“Nairobi will be competing with the city of Casablanca in Morocco and Acra in Ghana. Nairobi is a resource that needs to be harnessed and this is why the university exists. So that it can bring out some of these issues so that they can inform policy.” Dr. Maluki noted.

Sister Cities International

Sister Cities International was created at President Eisenhower’s 1956 White House conference on citizen diplomacy. Eisenhower envisioned an organisation that could be the hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.

By forming these relationships, President Eisenhower reasoned that people of different cultures could celebrate and appreciate their differences and build partnerships that would lessen the chance of new conflicts.

Since 1956, Sister Cities International has worked to create exchanges that create community impact and kindle lifelong friendships.

Over and above this, the centre is also earmarked to play a major role in promoting Kenya-US bilateral relations.

He cited China’s Confucius Institutes that have been established in most Universities globally where students learn about the Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally, and facilitate cultural exchanges.

He was, however, quick to point out that the centre is not meant to provide competition to what China has done.

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