The United States International University-Africa has received a rare treasure trove of academic materials, including more than 10,000 textbooks valued at more than US$ 1 Million, from the outgoing Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Tiyambe Zeleza.
The academic gift comprises Prof. Zeleza’s personal academic library featuring books, transcripts, research papers, journals, and conference reports collected over the last four decades from various continents.
Speaking at a handover ceremony graced by Former Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga among other dignitaries, Prof. Zeleza described his tenure at USIU-Africa as an unforgettable experience.
“Donating these books to USIU-Africa represents my dedication to enhancing the University’s learning and research capacities. More broadly, it reflects my lifelong passion for promoting African knowledge production and cultivating the culture of philanthropy in African universities,” Prof. Zeleza said.
He added that “I trust that the Professor Paul Zeleza collection will be well taken care of and benefit generations of faculty and students and researchers from across Africa. I have collected a valuable library that will help advance academic delivery in African, Diaspora, Development, Gender, Environmental, Cultural and Globalization studies. The library also holds books on economic history, intellectual history, creative works, and science and technology, areas I’ve immersed myself in and that the collection covers.”
Dr. Mutunga lauded Professor Zeleza for leaving an indelible mark on the history of the University.
“The books donated here today are a representation of Prof. Zeleza’s lifelong passion for promoting African knowledge production and cultivating the culture of philanthropy in African universities. The pride of any university lies in its ability to engage in cutting edge research and USIU-Africa has remained committed to this cause in its years of operation. Through the donation of his personal library, Prof. Zeleza has demonstrated his dedication to the enhancement of the University’s learning and research capacities,” said Dr. Mutunga.
The Prof. Zeleza academic library collection also includes his archives of personal papers and manuscripts of his voluminous publications. The collection built over the last four decades showcases an illustrious academic and administrative career. This collection will boost the current resources at the USIU-Africa Library which include 204,804 print books, 48,751 print periodicals, over 100,000 online journals, over 200,000 electronic books, 16,348 non-print media and 47 electronic databases.
A Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. Zeleza has worked at several universities in the Caribbean, Kenya, Canada, and the United States and has held distinguished academic appointments and administrative positions. His scholarly work has crossed traditional boundaries, ranging from economic and intellectual history to human rights, gender studies and diaspora studies. He has published more than 300 journal articles, book chapters, reviews, short stories and online essays and authored or edited 27 books, several of which have won international awards. He has also worked as a consultant with various philanthropic foundations and UN agencies. His research project on the African academic diaspora conducted for the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 2011-12 led to establishing the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program in 2013.