The University of Westminster has established regional media centres on Chinese, Indian and Arab media to promote often neglected but important work on media and film in these non-Western regions of the world.
The Africa Media Centre will promote research and events on African film, communication and media issues. Keith Shiri, Director of the London African Film Festival (LAFF), was invited to join the Centre in September 2009 on the basis of the work he has done in helping promote African cinema to a wide audience. LAFF has itself built on work done by Shiri’s ‘Africa at the Pictures’ since 1991.
The University of Westminster has educated many undergraduate and postgraduate students over the decades. Recent African graduates came from countries that include: South Africa, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Egypt, Somalia, Kenya, Cameroon, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Algeria, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Swaziland and Guinea Bissau.
The Faculty of Media, Arts and Design has been strengthening its UK - Africa links in the last two decades.
For example, in 1996, Colin Sparks (Director of CAMRI), Nicholas Garnham and Paddy Scannell participated in an international conference held at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.
In 1999 Paddy Scannell and Maria Way organised a two-day conference on Southern African media and identities which was attended by scholars from Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa.
Winston Mano has been on field research trips to Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Mano was a speaker at a conference on the ‘Hidden Dimensions of the Zimbabwe Crisis’ at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. He also participated in the Highway Africa conference and in the Preparatory Conference for the World Journalism Education Conference (WJCE) at Rhodes University in September 2009. He has been an external examiner for universities in Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Jane Thorburn and Keith Shiri regularly participate in the Panafrican Film and Television Festival in Ouagadougou. Jane has researched film and television in West African countries, especially Nollywood, one of Africa’s most vibrant independent movie industries which produces over 2000 dramas a year.
The University of Westminster co-sponsors a reality television programme in Ghana in which the winner is given a place at the University of Westminster.