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Centre of African Studies


The Centre's activities are diverse and many. The majority of its members are lecturers of the University of London, contributing to the teaching of undergraduate and Masters degrees and the supervision of Doctoral research within the humanities, social sciences and sciences. One of the most important functions of the Centre is to act as a forum for regional and interdisciplinary co-operation within the University of London which is predominantly organised through membership of disciplinary departments. Other activities of the Centre include representation on international and national committees for African scholarship, research and understanding; establishing and supporting funded schemes for Visiting Scholars from Africa; linking academe, government, and business through meetings, workshops and conferences promoting Africanist research and understanding, and through meetings of the Africa Business Group; raising the profile of its members for interdisciplinary research and consultancy, and much more.

In pursuit of its aims, the Centre maintains a broad range of institutional liaisons with other Africanist centres in Africa, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Commonwealth and the United States. It publishes its own briefing newsletter, African News, with a distribution of over 800 copies, three times a year. The Centre also keeps members informed of news, events and meetings on Africa throughout the year through the e-mail group mailing system run from the Centre office.

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  • Horses, mules and donkeys: neglected factors in the economic development of Africa?
  • William Gervase Clarence-Smith
  • Historians have paid some attention to horses, but essentially as machines of war and prestige, whereas donkeys, wild asses, mules and zebras have been altogether neglected. It is suggested here that equids were significant economic resources in the Sahel-Sudan Belt, the Ethiopian highlands, and the savannas of eastern and southern Africa.

  • Tanzania: A New Constitution?
  • Frederick Longino, Abdul Paliwala, Yussuf Hamad, Aikande Kwayu
  • At the end of April, Tanzanians will vote to decide whether to approve a new Constitution. A panel of expert speakers will discuss the issues surrounding the controversial draft. 


  • Fair Trade, Fair Wage? Research evidence from Ethiopia and Uganda
  • Professor Christopher Cramer, Dr Deborah Johnston & Dr Carlos Oya
  • Chris Cramer, Deborah Johnston and Carlos Oya share their findings from Fair Trade, Employment and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia and Uganda, a four year DFID-funded research project (2009-13).