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First Professor of Social Gerontology in CESW Africa

Congratulations to our Alumnus and colleague, Professor Jaco Hoffman, on his inauguration as the first Professor of Social Gerontology in CESW Africa. 

Watch on YouTube:  Inaugural lecture of Prof Jaco Hoffman  

The Oxford response to Professor Hoffman's Inaugural Lecture by Professor Sarah Harper

It is both an honour and an absolute delight to respond to the Inaugural Lecture of Professor Jaco Hoffman, on behalf of the many colleagues and friends globally and here at the University of Oxford.  

As we heard, an inaugural lecture is a significant juncture in one’s academic career, a chance to highlight ones academic prowess. And what a lecture we have just enjoyed – a lecture which illustrates the enormous breadth of Professor Hoffman’s interests, experience and ability.  

As you know, Jaco is both an Alumni from the University of Oxford, and continues as a  Professorial Fellow.  At Oxford we have always believed that a true academic scholar sits astride three pillars – research, education and impact.  And Professor Hoffman is such a scholar. This evening  we heard about his original and innovative approach to gerontology, in particular within the African context. In addition Jaco is totally committed to the new PhD programme in ageing and development, and in terms of impact, Jaco has  already had a  significant influence. From the founding of the African Older Persons Forum, the founding of AFRAN, the African Research into Ageing Network, to his extensive and tireless recent work on the Draft African Union Policy Framework and Plan of Action on Ageing. And what a well deserved achievement- to become the first Professor of Social Gerontology here at North West, but also in Africa.  

I should like to conclude on a personal note. We at Oxford fully agree with the  colleague who introduced you – you are not only a fine scholar, Jaco,  but an amazing human being. You truly care for people.  I am very proud, that you, Jaco, were one of my doctoral students, it has been a delight to work with you on your Doctoral Thesis and over the many years since, on so many projects and initiatives.  

Jaco, Professor Hoffman, we at the University of Oxford did so enjoy and value the many years  you and Amanda spent with us, and we also value you, Amanda, and your contribution to making Jaco the wonderful person he is. Tonight everyone  has had a flavour of your extraordinary abilities, we all congratulate you on an excellent lecture, an outstanding career, and we wish you and your colleagues at the Optentia Research Unit  and  North West University, many years of research excellence, teaching and impact.