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Faculty spotlight: Dr Ikobwa receives prestigious award

Strathmore’s School of Humanities & Social Sciences part-lecturer, Dr. James Meja L. Ikobwa recently won this year’s Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Award, acknowledging his merits for German Studies in Africa. The price which is awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and financed by the German Federal Foreign Office includes prize money of 3,000 Euro as well as a research stay in Germany.


Dr. Ikobwa teaches part-time German studies at the Strathmore University and is an alumnus of the German Academic Exchange Service himself. In his doctoral thesis, the lecturer investigated “Memory and genocide in the contemporary historic Africa novel”, a study that carries a high significance for the cultural exchange between Africa and Europe. Furthermore, he is the regional coordinator for the German African Network of Alumni and Alumnae (GANAA) as well as an organizer of the first regional convention for German Studies in Eastern Africa.


Dr. Meja, became the first African to receive the prestigious Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Prize financed by the German Federal Office, which is the highest recognition in International German Studies and was founded in 1995. In 2011, the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Förderpreis was introduced for upcoming outstanding young researchers who have contributed greatly towards the promotion of German abroad through research, teaching and publication in the fields of language, literature and culture.


The award winner is secretly picked from a list of nominees from all over the world by a panel of eminent professors in the field of German Studies. Dr. Meja says, ‘I won the award especially on the strength of my contribution towards the promotion of cultural exchange between Europe and Africa over and above my academic publications and academic networking experience.’  He formally received the prize in a colourful ceremony in Shanghai on 25th August during the International Congress of the International Association for German Studies (IVG)


We congratulate Dr. Ikobwa for this achievement.