Pamoja Nairobi Partnership Summit

The Pamoja ND Africa initiative launched out of the Provost’s Office as part of Moment to See, Courage to Act, an initiative at the University of Notre Dame that emphasizes collaboration, interdisciplinary studies and research focused on unlocking the potential of partnerships hosted a two-day conference, “Pamoja Nairobi Partnership Summit,” on May 24 and 25 at Strathmore University Business School in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Pamoja ND Africa initiative was established in the fall of 2022 and aims to establish and strengthen partnerships between the University of Notre Dame and academic and non-academic institutions, research centers, individual researchers, scholars, students, and policymakers on the African continent. The initiative has an ambitious resolve to confront complex global challenges and make the world a better place through reflection, learning, and innovation with administrative and financial support from the Keough School of Global Affairs’ Pulte and Kellogg Institutes and Notre Dame International, the inaugural Summit was a forum for building relationships and international research among 22 higher education leaders.

Jaimie Bleck, associate professor of political science, Pulte Institute faculty fellow, and summit co-organizer, says capacity exchange is crucial in ensuring everyone knows what the collaboration is about, who is doing what, and which outcomes are expected. “Deep, innovative work relies on such partnerships,” Bleck said. “We recognize the pragmatic savvy of making conversations and meetings happen and what it takes to sustain them.”

Acknowledging there will be multiple steps to build the Pamoja ND Africa initiative, a medium-term goal is finding a “sister” university in Africa to support Notre Dame students and help them navigate the continent. A long-term goal is the establishment of a Notre Dame Global Gateway in Africa — an academic and intellectual center where scholars, students, and leaders from universities, government, business, and the broader community could gather for mutual benefit.

“The Pamoja ND Africa initiative is mutual in how we work together,” Pamoja Nairobi Partnership Summit co-organizer and Pulte Institute Core Faculty member Ellis A. Adams said, “and that was the genesis of the word Pamoja, which translates as 'together.' We want to accompany Africa so that together we can achieve a bigger goal.”


Ellis A. Adams, Pamoja ND Africa Co-Chair
Jaimie Bleck, Pamoja ND Africa Co-Chair

  • Bernard Nahlen (Eck Institute)
  • Bupe Lughano Kabaghe (Political Science)
  • Catherine Bolten (Kroc Institute/Department of Anthropology)
  • Cristian Koepfli (Biological Sciences)
  • Danice Guzman (Pulte Institute)
  • Daniel Miller (Keough School)
  • Debora Rogo (Kroc Institute: History and Peace Studies)
  • Ebrahim Moosa (History/Kroc Institute/Keough School)
  • Elizabeth Archie (Biology)
  • Emmanuel Katongole (Theology/Keough School)
  • Erin McDonnell (Sociology)
  • Festus Amadu (Keough School)
  • Fr. Paul Kollman (Theology)
  • Fr. Paulinus Odozor (Theology/Africana)
  • Ivoline Budji Kefen (Anthropology)
  • Jackline Oluoch-Aridi (NDI)
  • John Onyango (Architecture)
  • Ken Amadi (Theology)
  • Kevin Fink (Pulte Institute)
  • Laurie Nathan (Kroc Institute/Keough)
  • Marcus Haworth (Theology)
  • Neil Lobo (Biology)
  • Patrizio Piraino (Keough School)
  • Paul Friesen (Political Science)
  • Paul Ocobock (History)
  • Rachel Sweet (Keough School)
  • Rasheed Ibrahim (Political Science)
  • Rashied Omar (Kroc Institute/Keough School)
  • Samuel Rund (Center for Research Computing)
  • Sarah Pollnow (History)
  • Taryn Dinkelman (Economics)
  • Tom Purekal (Pulte Institute)
  • Trevor Lwere (Economics)
  • Yenupini Adams (Keough School)

To be added to the Pamoja ND Africa Listserv or for more information, contact the Pulte Institute’s Kevin Mann.