STIAS appoints Edward Kirumira as new Director

The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study has appointed Professor Edward K. Kirumira as its new Director. He will succeed Professor Hendrik Geyer who completes his final term as STIAS Director at the end of 2018. Prof. Kirumira joins STIAS from the beginning of November 2018 and will assume official duties on the 1st of January 2019.

Kirumira GeyerProfessors Edward Kirumira and Hendrik Geyer

Edward K. Kirumira is Professor of Sociology and outgoing Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere University in Uganda, a position he has held for five years. Before that he was also the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences for eight years.

He studied at the Universities of Makerere and Exeter, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He obtained his PhD in Sociology from Copenhagen University in collaboration with Harvard University. He specialised in population and reproductive health, and has done extensive interdisciplinary research on HIV/AIDS, emergent diseases and international health issues, health-seeking behaviour, poverty and rural-development studies. He has published widely in local and international scholarly journals.

Included among many prestigious national and international appointments, Prof. Kirumira is a member of the Partnership Committee for HIV & AIDS, Malaria and TB National Response of the Uganda AIDS Commission; a Fellow and immediate past Treasurer & Council member of the Ugandan National Academy of Sciences; and, Chairperson of the Academy’s Forum on Health and Nutrition and the Forum on Prevention of Violence Against Children. He chaired the Programme Development and Resource Mobilisation Committee of the Uganda Central Co-ordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria country programme for several years and since August 2017 is the Chairperson of the Board of the Uganda Central Co-ordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

He has carried out consultancies and technical assistance in programme development and project design, management and evaluation in many African countries including South Africa (where he contributed to the development of the government’s AIDS programme), as well as the United States, Mexico, Denmark and the United Kingdom. He has led or been part of several technical teams on behalf of the World Health Organization, the Global Programme on AIDS, the United Nations AIDS Programme, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Population Fund, the Danish International Development Agency, the Swedish government, the Norwegian government, the US National Academies of Science and the Ugandan government. He is also a founder member and chair of the Partnership for Africa’s Next Generation of Academics (PANGeA) and member of several research networks in Africa including CODESRIA, OSSREA, and, as well as networks in Europe, North America and Asia.

Kirumira therefore brings a strong research background as well as extensive experience in institution and network building.

He has successfully mobilised financial support for a variety of research and institutional capacity building projects. Under his leadership a portfolio of several hundred million US Dollars was secured from the Global Fund for national programme response to HIV & AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Desmond Smith, Chair of the STIAS Board of Directors said:

“The Selection Committee was impressed by Professor Kirumira’s vision for STIAS to further enhance the quality of the core research program, to vigorously expand the Iso Lomso program focused on the next generation of African scholars and leaders and to make STIAS an academic and intellectual hub in service of the continent and research globally.

“We warmly welcome him to the STIAS family. He has the full support of the Board of Directors and we look forward to the next phase of the Institute’s growth under his leadership.”

In an interview after his appointment, Kirumira said:

“It’s scary but a great privilege to hold this position” and added ”I want to bring to STIAS a passion for scholarship but also a passion for situating that scholarship within an institutional structure. I come from a position of building higher education institutional capacity from both an academic and administration view. If you don’t have good governance it’s difficult for scholarship to flourish,” he said. “And also feeding into development processes without having these processes affecting or directing scholarship.”

“Part of the attraction is that STIAS presents itself as that space,” he continued. “Not constrained by institution or discipline or trends but with the power to feed and direct those trends.”

“It’s also a place for good, upcoming, young scholars to test their ideas. I’m excited and look forward to be part of a space that allows somebody to have these opportunities.”

“We talk about decolonialities and Africanisation but how do we put them into practice? I see myself as part of that experiment.”

“And especially at Stellenbosch,” he added. “It should happen here and will probably make much more impact than elsewhere. I hope it can be seen as part of reconstructing. Scholars have a responsibility to reconstruct. If we want change we must be part of it rather than waiting for someone else or for a crisis to impose it.”

In his opinion, people do not always appreciate the strategic importance of an institution like STIAS. “But we need to express and be proud of this. I hope that STIAS can position itself even more strongly as a thinking/knowledge creator. We need to grab the opportunity and purpose for which it was created.”

“I want to bring my understanding and appreciation of the continent and add it to the scholarship capacities and see whether we can facilitate change. People’s presence at STIAS should be the beginning of a contribution to something bigger,” he concluded.


STIAS was founded in 1999 by Stellenbosch University and functioned under the auspices of the university until 2007 when a not-for-profit (Section 21) company was established. STIAS is now governed by its own Board of Directors.

STIAS is situated on the historic Mostertsdrift farm in Stellenbosch. In 2005 a donation from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg foundation enabled STIAS to build a modern research and seminar centre. Here, sustainable architecture and beautiful, tranquil surroundings have been fused to form a ‘creative space for the mind’ where top researchers and intellectual leaders are nurtured and encouraged to find innovative and sustainable solutions to issues facing the world, the country and the continent. STIAS provides the opportunity for high-level research and intellectual development, and attracts some of the world’s leading scholars and researchers.

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18 responses to “STIAS appoints Edward Kirumira as new Director”

  1. Marc Van Regenmortel
    Marc Van Regenmortel on 24 October 2018 at 14:36: Reply

    Congratulations for having recruited somebody of the caliber of Professor Kirumira as Director of STIAS

    In addition to his outstanding academic career, the considerable international and African experience of professor Kirumira with the HIV / AIDS and TB epidemics will be of great importance for further developing cooperation and research links between South Africa and other African countries and international organizations in their fight against one of the worst public health issues of our time

    Marc Van Regenmortel

  2. Lilian Mary Nabulime
    Lilian Mary Nabulime on 24 October 2018 at 14:39: Reply

    Congratulations to STIAS to have selected Prof Kirumira.

    1. Helen Bossa
      Helen Bossa on 24 October 2018 at 21:09:

      On behalf of the Bossa family and the Kasule family we congratulate our beloved Big brother Prof Edward Kirumira. We are so proud of you. STIAS have landed on Pure Gold. Well done. Much love and Blessings. Helen xxx

  3. Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo
    Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo on 24 October 2018 at 17:50: Reply

    The spirit of Africa continues to rise up and shine in research!
    I sincerely congratulate STIAS for the appointment of professor Edward Kirumira as its new Director.

    STIAS and New Director have my full modest support!
    Once again, Congratulations!

  4. David Kaawa Mafigiri
    David Kaawa Mafigiri on 24 October 2018 at 22:55: Reply

    Congratulations to Prof. Kirumira and to the entire scholarly/academic community for this appointment – decoloniality in practice! We wish him the best!

  5. Sarah Burton
    Sarah Burton on 24 October 2018 at 23:40: Reply

    Congratulations to Professor Kirumira on his appointment at STIAS.

  6. Anthony Mugeere
    Anthony Mugeere on 25 October 2018 at 17:59: Reply

    Congratulations to Prof. Edward Kasujja Kirumira upon this appointment. Wish you the best in this exciting calling. Be blessed, Prof.

  7. Richard BALIKOOWA
    Richard BALIKOOWA on 25 October 2018 at 18:29: Reply

    This is another wave of hope for the steady growth of African Scholarship! Congratulations to Professor Edward Kirumira, STIAS and the Africa Academics.

  8. Matia
    Matia on 25 October 2018 at 21:46: Reply

    Congratulations Prof
    I have trust in the brick you are yet to lay

  9. Alexander Kagaha
    Alexander Kagaha on 25 October 2018 at 22:15: Reply

    Congratulations, Professor Edward. The new global order demands the sophistication of persons like you, to consciously steer through the tides. If Sociological imaginations can advance our knowledge and contribute to the flourishing, now it has the centre stage to reframe the development challenges facing Africa.

    Cong’s, Prof. Edward

  10. Hamiida Namugga
    Hamiida Namugga on 26 October 2018 at 09:55: Reply

    Congratulations to our own Prof Edward Kirumira

  11. Beira H. Meressa
    Beira H. Meressa on 26 October 2018 at 10:46: Reply

    Heartfelt congratulations to STIAS !

  12. Robert Kakuru
    Robert Kakuru on 26 October 2018 at 10:47: Reply

    Congratulations Prof. E. Kirumira.

  13. Dr. Juliet Kiguli
    Dr. Juliet Kiguli on 26 October 2018 at 14:17: Reply

    Congratulations Prof. Kirumira on this great and prestigious appointment! We will greatly remember you for your leadership and mentorship at the Makerere University and UNAS.

  14. Prof. William Bazeyo
    Prof. William Bazeyo on 26 October 2018 at 16:20: Reply

    I have known Prof Kirumira and what he is capable to do and I have no doubt this was a great choice. Congratulations to the Board and indeed Prof Kirumira.



  15. Celestino Oriikiriza
    Celestino Oriikiriza on 26 October 2018 at 21:15: Reply

    Congratulations Prof. Edward Kirumira upon your appointment!


  16. Felix Nsiimoomwe
    Felix Nsiimoomwe on 30 October 2018 at 13:59: Reply

    Great congrats to our dear Prof.Edward Kirumira!

  17. Owek. John Elly Sentongo
    Owek. John Elly Sentongo on 12 November 2018 at 09:49: Reply

    Congratulations to Prof. Kirumira for this prestigious appointment. You have made us proud as a Country and as Ugandans. Wish you the best of lack in your new assignment
    Owek. John Elly Sentongo

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