Chairholder 2003-2004: Amina Mama

Professor Amina Mama

In September 2003, Professor Amina Mama was appointed to the Prince Claus Chair by the Institute of Social Studies for the period 2003/2004. Born in 1958, Professor Mama is an expert in gender studies from Nigeria.

Professor Mama was appointed for her contribution to the academic field of African culture and its relationship to development. She is a Professor at the University of Cape Town and leads a research programme that aims to contribute to equality and development across the African continent through an increased focus on gender studies.

Amina Mama, summary curriculum vitea

  • Professor Mama holds a BSc in Psychology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland and an MSc in Social Psychology from the University of London. She obtained her PhD from the University of London, with a thesis entitled Race and Subjectivity:  A Study of Black Women;
  • Professor Mama has held positions at international academic institutions in the United Kingdom (at the University of London (1982-1983) and in the Project Planning Centre of the University of Bradford (1991-1997)) and in the Netherlands (The Institute of Social Studies, The Hague (1989-1991)). She was Visiting Associate Member of St Anthony’s College, Oxford, for 3 months in 1998, and of Wellesley College for 6 months in 2002. Since January 1999, she has held the Chair in Gender Studies at the African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she also served as Director from 1999 to 2002;
  • Professor Mama has undertaken consultancy activities in the Caribbean and in East, Southern and West Africa on behalf of various academic and development organisations;
  • Professor Mama sits on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Institute for Research on Social Development, the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women, and the Scientific Committee of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. She is also a Ministerial Nominee on the Council of the Cape Technikon;
  • Professor Mama serves on the editorial advisory boards of a number of academic journals in the fields of development, human rights and feminist studies.

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Inaugural address of Professor Amina Mama, ISS, 28 April 2004

In her Inaugural Lecture Amina Mama will present a critical analysis of the challenges that have both inspired and constrained Africa’s intellectual development. 
She discusses the political, administrative and other constraints that have inhibited the emergence of African-focused intellectual culture within the structure of African universities. Moreover, the current globalisation of higher education policy is equally insensitive to the importance of higher education in Africa. 

Prof Mama discusses several strategies for the future and underscores the need for the establishment of creative structures equipped to address knowledge needs in a manner grounded in the political and cultural aspirations of Africa’s diverse societies.

Full text inaugural address (PDF, 219kb)


Professor Mama will reside from mid-April until the end of July 2004 at the Institute of Social Studies

For information on the activities, please contact Institute of Social Studies

28 April
Inaugural address. ISS, The Hague, only by invitation

9 June
ISS-SID Public Lecture, KIT, Amsterdam, open to the public

16 June
Symposium at Utrecht University on `Higher Education in Africa: Linking Utrecht University` under the aegis of prof. Mama, only by invitation 

28 June
Keynote address at CERES Summerschool, Nijmegen, more information at CERES, tel 030 – 2534815 or CERES@FSS.UU.NL

Appointment Prof. Amina Mama

September 2003 

The 2003/4 holder of the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity is Professor Amina Mama (Nigeria/South-Africa). The Curatorium of the Chair nominated Professor Mama with regard to her academic contribution in the area of culture and development in Africa, a field which reflects a major interest of Prince Claus. Professor Mama will reside at the ISS, The Hague, from mid April to mid July 2004.

Professor Mama (1958, Nigeria) is Chair of Gender Studies and Director of the African Gender Institute at at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a Doctorate in organizational psychology from the University of London. She provides intellectual leadership to a research programme aimed at strengthening gender studies for Africa’s transformation. She has done research on a wide variety of development subjects, including race, gender politics and analysis, development strategies and organizational development, migration and conflict. She has a broad experience in teaching as well as in advisory positions at various African and European-based international institutions.

From 1989-91 she has been Lecturer in the Women and Development MA Programme at the ISS. She is the author of several books and articles. Professor Mama will focus on the field of culture and development during her stay at the ISS in (April – July) 2004. She will deliver her Inaugural Address by the end of April 2004 at the ISS.Professor Mama’s C.V. and a list of her publications can be found on

Further relevant websites: