Jackson Kundasai Njau

Grant Type

Conference Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Indiana U., Bloomington

Grant number

Gr. CONF-947

Approve Date

March 28, 2024

Project Title

Njau, Jackson (Indiana U., Bloomington) "Fifty Years After LUCY and How we Became Humans: The Eastern African Association for Paleoanthropology and Paleontology Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia"

The Eastern African Association for Paleoanthropology and Paleontology (EAAPP) is planning its ninth biennial conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 7/28/2024 to 8/1/2024 as part of commemoration of the 50th anniversary of “Lucy” (Australopithecus afarensis). A special theme will be devoted to evaluating the status of paleoanthropology since the landmark discovery of “Lucy” at Hadar, Ethiopia fifty years ago by Dr. Donald Johanson, who will also deliver a keynote speech. The requested grant will support 13 scholars from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia (whose abstracts have been accepted) to attend the conference; most scholars from African institutions lack conference funding access. Since 2007, the conference has successfully rotated to reach local communities in three paleoanthropological hot-spot countries (Njau et al. 2009; Alemseged et al. 2010). EAAPP conferences have stimulated networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among experts and students, provided open dialogue with policy makers and curators to address complex challenges associated with research and conservation of African paleoanthropological heritage, opened doors of training to numerous African students, and instilled public awareness in paleoanthropology–all in a diverse, friendly, and inclusive environment. They have also inspired young African scholars to take leadership roles in anthropological research and curatorial management in Africa.