Professor Amina Mama

Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies

University of California, Davis, USA

Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies, University of Ghana

Known as a transdisciplinary feminist, rooted in transnational and intersectional analytics, Prof Amina Mama currently holds the 4th Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies at the University of Ghana, together with her position at the University of California, Davis. At the University of Cape Town, she became the director of the African Gender Institute (AGI) and helped to found its journal Feminist Africa. Mama remains the editor of Feminist Africa. Prof Mama revitalized and transformed one of the oldest women’s studies programs in the United States to a full Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies.

Professor Mama became Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership at Mills—the first person to hold this position. She co-taught a class on topics concerning African and African-American women, including gender roles, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and militarism. Mama is the Chair of the board of directors for the Global Fund for Women, and advises several other international organisations. She has sat on the board of directors of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. Prof Mama serves on the advisory board for the feminist academic journals Meridians and Signs. One of her best known works is Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity. In 2010, she co-produced the movie The Witches of Gambaga with Yaba Badoe.

Native to Nigeria, Prof Mama has always sought to seek opportunities for rigorous collaborative intellectual work on academic, policy, and research projects about the socio-political transformation of women’s lives.

“I’m inspired daily by the idea that each of us can, practically and beneficially, make a difference to our own lives and the lives of others.”

Justice Edwin Cameron is widely recognised for his brilliance and his commitment to human rights and social justice and is considered one of South Africa’s most prominent and distinguished judicial figures.

An alumnus of Stellenbosch University (SU), and a recipient of an honorary doctorate from this institution for his “unstinting professional and personal advocacy for the recognition of every person’s dignity, freedom and equality”, Cameron is the 15th Chancellor of SU.

As the first South African in a high-profile public office speaking openly about his HIV status and experience taking antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), Cameron has made a credible and crucial contribution to more accessible ARV treatment for all South Africans living with HIV.

His international impact as top jurist with nearly 200 published judgments against his name, acclaimed author and popular speaker is evident from the numerous awards and distinctions he has received, among them the Nelson Mandela award. Other accolades include recognition by the Bar of England and Wales for his contribution to international jurisprudence and the protection of human rights, and the prestigious Grand Prix du Conseil Québécois des Gais et Lesbiennes award bestowed on him in Montreal.

His approach to handling difficult situations is premised on two principles that he holds dear: integrity and preparation. He has helped develop South African law so as to truly reflect the fundamental values of the Constitution and is a key player in South African and international law.