In April 2018, as part of a major EU Erasmus+ project to build capacity in higher education in African countries, UDI-Africa, the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies department at King's College London hosted a visit from researchers at partner universities in Portuguese-speaking Angola and Mozambique. Project Co-Investigators Dr Toby Green and Prof Abdoolkarim Vakil organized a workshop, Global Iberias, Lusophone African Perspectives, and Partnerships in Teaching, Curriculum Development & Knowledge Exchange, which researchers from Guinea-Bissau, Leopoldo Amado and Carlos Cardodo, also attended. It addressed such questions as what are appropriate models of research in Lusophone Africa? What are the potentials for future collaborations? How can social scientists contribute to the intellectual “surplus value" (Achille Mbembe) to change the dynamic of external dependency and internal stagnation in Lusophone Africa? How can studying Lusophone African cultures contribute to changing narratives and understandings of language and history?
The visit represented an unprecedented opportunity for transformative dialogue towards new south-south cooperation and paths that avoid traditional (and unsuccesful) models of academic and national development. Visiting researchers founded a new Lusophone African research network which will allow members to share news, develop research ideas, and develop funding proposals.