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About

Who we are

The African Centre for the Study of the United States (ACSUS) at the University of the Witwatersrand is the definitive hub for African-generated knowledge of the United States of America (US).

ACSUS, established in 2018, addresses the gap in distinct research and engagement exclusively dedicated to the study of the US in sub-Saharan Africa. It thus became, and remains, the first Centre of its kind on the African continent to turn a nuanced, analytical, and rigorous African gaze on the US. ACSUS is building extensive, multi and interdisciplinary, incisive, and cutting-edge perspectives on the US, probing topics ranging from political diplomacy, internal US dynamics, diasporic matters, and the US as a global political leader.

Vision

To be the leading African intellectual and engagement Centre, shaping discourse and deepening the understanding of the US.

Mission

To be the leading African intellectual and engagement Centre, shaping discourse and deepening the understanding of the US.

Motto

To be the leading African intellectual and engagement Centre, shaping discourse and deepening the understanding of the US.

Staff Members

RESEARCHER

Timothy
Rogers

DATA ANALYST

Zaheed
Scheepers

RESEARCHER

Sibusiso
Mkhwanazi

DATA ANALYST

Patrice
Gumede

ADMIN

Elane Precious
Ngobenia

BEHAVIOURAL RESEARCHER

Elizabeth
Hlabangwane

DATA ANALYST

Thembinkosi
Bhengu

RESEARCHER

Tshireletso
Marumo

DATA ANALYST

Mohammed
Moodley

RESEARCHER

Gregory
Mutenji

DATA CO-ORDINATOR

Duncan Nqobile
Mabaso

POLICY RESEARCHER

Gwendalin
Bloemburg

Director Professor

Gilbert
Khadiagala

Gilbert M. Khadiagala is the Jan Smuts Professor of International Relations and Director of the African Centre for the Study of the United States (ACSUS) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He was the Head of Department of International Relations at Wits (2007-2017).

Qualifications BAHons,MA, PhD (John Hopkins)

 Research interests: African Politics, African International Relations, Mediation and Conflict Resolution

Contact: Gilbert.Khadiagala@wits.ac.za

PHD- Deputy Director

Bob
Wekesa

Wekesa is Deputy Director at the African Centre for the Study of the United States at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa. He is secretary to the U.S. Business in Africa Awards and interim chairman of the African Centres for the Study of the United States. He is a senior lecturer in journalism and media studies at the same university where he teaches and supervises international communications. He holds bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees from the universities of Nairobi and the Communication University of China. His area of teaching, research and public engagement is international communication, the intersection of media and international affairs. His research work revolves around media broadly but with a focus on digital diplomacy; city diplomacy; and soft power. He also works on the geopolitics of Africa and established and emerging powers specifically the United States and China. He sits on the boards of various journals and academic networks.

Contact: bob.wekesa@wits.ac.za.

Manager- Diaspora Project

Asad
el-Malik, Ph.D.

Asad el-Malik is a scholar and researcher, currently serving as the Manager of the Diaspora Project at the African Center for the Study of the United States, housed within the prestigious University of Witwatersrand (Wits). With his extensive academic background and expertise in intercultural relations, Dr. el-Malik plays a pivotal role in advancing the understanding and impact of diaspora communities.

Dr. el-Malik earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Dillard University, a renowned institution known for its commitment to excellence in education. He went on to pursue his Ph.D. in Intercultural Relations from Columbia International University, further expanding his knowledge and expertise in the field.

As a Wits Centennial Fellow, Dr. el-Malik’s contributions to scholarship and research have been recognized and celebrated. He brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the diaspora experience, making him a valuable asset in exploring the complex dynamics of cultural exchange, identity, and transnational connections.

 

 

 

Contact –Asad el Malik

Manager-U.S. Business in Africa

Everisto
Mugocha, Ph.D.

Dr. Everisto Mugocha is an economist with a particular interest in international trade. He completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Witwatersrand in 2020, which was funded by African Economic Research Consortium. Prior to this, he spent two years at the University of Cape Town
doing coursework as part of the doctoral program. Dr. Mugocha’s research focuses on the US Africa trade and business. This includes the trade opportunities and investment cooperation between USA and Africa. Dr Everisto has also held sessional lecturing positions at the school of economics, and school of governance at University of Witwatersrand. At African Centre for the Study of the U.S. (ACSUS), Dr Mugocha  oversees the  US-Africa Business and Trade Project.

Contact:amukelani.matsilele@wits.ac.za

Coordinator- Africa-U.S. Cities

Hluma
Luvo Ralane

A Research Associate and budding Urban Development Planning Practitioner with a well-coached capacity in Research, Data Analysis and Policy Review. Hluma Luvo Ralane holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Science, with Joint Honours in Development Studies and Political Science and a Master of Urban Studies in Urban Management from Wits University. Seasoned Researcher and Policy Analyst with interest on the urban agenda.  Hluma Luvo Ralane has worked on various projects including a project by the Department of Development Planning, City of Johannesburg, City Transformation and the Johannesburg Development Agency through Social Survey Africa. Piloting the City of Johannesburg’s first Inner-City Spatial Model, which was centered on the study of land use, urban quality and informality in the Johannesburg inner-city in 2021. Currently he is the project leader of the Africa-U.S. city relations project.

Contact Hluma.ralane@wits.ac.za

Finance Manager

Keletso
Shayi

Government Partners

Partners

Research Partners

Media Partners

Sponsoring Partners