Nkwi Paul was elected as an AAS Fellow in 1988. As a fellow, Nkwi Paul contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.
Paul Nchoji Nkwi (1940) is professor of African anthropology at the University of Yaounde I, Cameroon. He studied anthropology and education at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and obtained his habilitation in the same university in 1982. He taught anthropology at the University of Yaounde, at the Catholic University of Central Africa, Yaounde, and at the St.Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary Bambui, Bamenda, Cameroon. He was visiting professor at Harvard Medical School, Department of Social Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia as a Fulbright Scholar, at the University of Frankfurt, Frobenius Institut as a Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa,Visiting Fellow at the University of Leiden (1982),and Research Fellow at the University of Bergen, Centre for Social Policy, (Bergen, Norway). His main interest is in the dynamics of social change, especially the changing nature of local cultures in the face of modernisation. His main field-work is in Cameroon where he did field work among the Kom of the Western Grasfields. After publishing his thesis on traditional government and social change(1976), he went on to publish on the role of the "local elite in the promotion of development"(1994). Because of his interest in politics and history, he published with JP Warnier Elements for a history of the Western Grassfield (1982) and later on Traditional Diplomacy: A study in interchiefdom relations (1986). As a research fellow at the ASC, he published a booklet entitled Germans in the Western Grassfield (ASC Research report nr. 37). Having spent almost 12 years as an administrator of research in the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (helped establish a ten year cooperation agreement between Cameroon and ASC), he developed an interest in applied anthropology, especially medical anthropology and enviromental studies. For five years, he supervised a five-country research project on HIV/AIDS and Culture funded by UNFPA in Cameroon, Cote d''Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi and Togo. The findings of this piece of work are found on the UNFPA website. His interest in the development of anthropology on the African continent, led to the establsihment of the Pan African anthropological association, and recently he published an article entitled Anthropology in Postcolonial Africa: The Survival Debate published in the book "World Anthropologies" eds. Escobar and Arturo (2007). At present he is preparing a monograph on the Kom People: History , Culture and Social Transformation:.While he is finishing this monograph while visiting ASC, he has put abay, his new research area, the book project Anthropology in Cameroon started several years ago with excepts published in the Journal The African Anthropologists", due to be published in late 2008. Nkwi was the founding president of the Pan African Anthropological Association" 1989-1994. In 1973, he won the Frobenius Esasay Award to celebration the Centenary of Leo Frobenius. He has been Vice president of the African Academy of Sciences, and founding Executive Secretary of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences. In his political career, he has served as the policy adviser and now shadow cabinet of the Cameroon Social Democratic Front (SDF), for Social Affairs, Youth development and Sport.