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Welcome from the Conference Chairpersons


The major theme of the conference – decoloniality and African indigenous knowledge in education and practice – is indeed not new, but one that in the African context dates back to the independence and liberation movements. Yet, in contemporary times, the need for decoloniality has lost nothing of its urgency. The call for the decolonisation of higher education has gained particular prominence and renewed energy in South Africa, along with the 2015 #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall movements.


Previously taken-for-granted assumptions and forms of thinking and working that have been imported from the Global North need to be questioned, and their continued relevance re-explored. This conference provides a space for robust debate, deliberations, critical reflection and thinking about decoloniality and indigenous knowledge in social work education and practice in Africa.


This conference draws together social work educators, researchers, policy makers, managers and practitioners, as well as people from other related social service professions and disciplines across Africa and beyond. Social work students will be specifically invited and assisted to participate, to give voice to their views on a decolonised and indigenous social work education.


The main theme and the sub-themes of the conference will provide delegates with key opportunities to network and deliberate around a range of issues, pertinent to social work education (particularly concerning the development of decolonial curricula and the identification of teaching methods that facilitate decoloniality, indigenous knowledge and contextual relevance for Africa) and practice (particularly concerning the construction of policy, programme and practice that is decolonised, indigenous and relevant for African and local contexts).


We welcome you to this international conference and invite you to submit an abstract to present a paper or poster, and participate in what is sure to be a vibrant and challenging conversation.

Prof Adrian D. van Breda                                       Dr Gidraph Wairire

President: ASASWEI                                             President: ASSWA