Organisations in partnerships with the Centre of African studies.
Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS)
The AEGIS is a research network of European studies centres which aims to create synergies between experts and institutions. With primary emphasis on Social Sciences and Humanities, AEGIS' main goal is to improve understanding about contemporary African societies.
Information about AEGIS, its member institutions and activities is available on the AEGIS website. This site also provides useful links to African studies issues elsewhere in Europe and Africa. Whenever possible, enquiries should be addressed in the first place to the AEGIS member centre nearest to you – as opposed to the AEGIS secretariat.
African Foundation for Development (AFFORD)
Since 2011, the Centre of African Studies has collaborated with African Foundation for Development (AFFORD-UK), an African diaspora NGO based in the UK which conducts lobbying and advocacy on the role of the African Diaspora in Africa’s development, and also runs social enterprise and business support programmes in West Africa through its sister organisation in Sierra Leone (AFFORD-SL).
The Centre of African Studies was awarded £17,000 to be one of the partners of the pioneering Africa-UK project, funded by Comic Relief, which supports UK-based Africans to influence policy and practice affecting Africa’s development.
The Centre facilitates the development of links and discussion between academics and Diaspora practitioners, contributing to Africa-UK’s aims of sustaining effective dialogue between the Diaspora and decision makers; challenging policy perspectives that neglect realities on the ground; and recognising the crucial role that the Diaspora plays in Africa’s development.
The Africa-UK project:
- Provides a platform for African Diaspora individuals and organisations to engage with decision makers
- Creates opportunities for Africans in the UK to share and exchange their experiences of influencing policy and practice
Provides training, guidance and small grants to strengthen Diaspora organisations’ influencing skills
- Supports alliances of Diaspora individuals and organisations to conduct influencing work
This year’s programme includes mentoring and support for Diaspora organisations, training sessions, policy workshops and networking opportunities across the UK.
- The project is implemented by AFFORD and delivered by the Centre of African Studies along with other national and regional partners.
Africa-UK events delivered by CAS
- London Workshop: 'Exploring Effective Collaboration Between the Diaspora and the Academic Community' 26 October 2013
- Edinburgh Workshop: 'Enterprise as the Driving Force for African Development' 8 February 2014
- Cardiff Workshop: 'Remittances and the Role of the African Diaspora in the UK’ 5 March 2014
- Birmingham Workshop: 'Agricultural Development and the Role of the African Diaspora' 19 March 2014
CAS Collaboration with AFFORD
AFFORD and CAS held an important one day conference on 30 April 2012 on Impact Funding through the Diaspora, which brought together diaspora organisations involved in development grant-makers from the UK, EU, and Africa. The aim of this event was to enable grant-making organisations to understand better the needs and pressures facing the diaspora sector in the UK, and for diaspora organisations to have an improved understanding of the constraints faced by grant-makers in terms of ensuring value for money, transparency, and compliance in how their funds are managed. The event was well attended with over 250 delegates from the public, voluntary, and diaspora sectors, and included speakers from funders such as DfiD, Comic Relief, Big Lottery Fund, Southern Africa Trust, and the Barings Foundation, as well as leading academics in this field from SOAS and CASS Business School, and diaspora organisations such as FORWARD and SACOMA.
CAS, AFFORD, and the Royal African Society also supported the launch of the SOAS African Development Forum (ADF), an initiative set up by postgraduate students of development at SOAS which seeks to create a space for discussion of African development issues by practitioners, academics, and students. ADF held its inaugural event at the Brunei Gallery on 29 May 2012, on theme of ‘Africa – Driving its own Growth’, bringing together African business leaders, leading academics, and development practitioners.
Following on from the annual Africa Diaspora Development Day (AD3) that takes place in July, AFFORD in partnership with CAS held a one-day conference at the Brunei Gallery on 7 July 2012, entitled ‘Building the Africa-Gives Platform’, which was attended by over 120 young African diaspora professionals and students. ‘Africa-Gives’ is led by young people from the diaspora, and the aim of this event was to work with young people to build a platform for ‘Africa Gives’ and develop key priorities for this over the coming year. Speakers included Hon. Chuka Umunna MP, Herman Chinnery-Hesse (Founder & Chair of Softribe, Ghana), Susan Kagondu (Rockefeller), Boko Inyundo (Lewis Silkin LLP), and Jacqueline Shaw (Founder, AfricaFashionGuide). For more information on ‘Africa-Gives’, please see the Africa Gives website
Africa Europe Platform and Research on Good Practice in Diaspora Development
AFFORD is one of five European diaspora and civil society organisations involved in the delivery of the ‘European-Wide African Diaspora Platform for Development’ (EADPD), a programme supported by the EC, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The aim of EADPD is to promote the contribution of the diaspora to the development of Africa through the creation of a network of the African diaspora in Europe, the Africa-Europe Platform’ or AEP. This is a network of African diaspora organisations and networks from the 27 EU Member States plus Switzerland and Norway. Through the Platform, the capacity of the African diaspora in Europe to contribute to Africa’s development will be made visible and enhanced, providing an innovative space to share knowledge, accumulate ideas and create strategies together to participate meaningfully in the development cooperation process in Africa.
As part of the EADPD project, AFFORD are responsible for conducting an online consultation on what constitutes good practice in diaspora development in the EU, with the aim of producing a Good Practice Guide for diaspora organisations and development agencies.CAS successfully bid to deliver this short research project in the summer of 2012, and the research is due to be completed in autumn 2012.
For a summary of the research you can read Best Practices for Diaspora Organizations.
Biennial festival celebrating the best African cinema
Since its inaugural festival in 2011, The Centre of African Studies has sponsored and actively supported Film Africa, a 10-day programme of the best African fiction and documentary films from across the continent, accompanied by a vibrant series of events, including director Q&As, talks and discussions; professional workshops and master classes; school screenings and family activities; The Industry Forum; and Film Africa LIVE! music nights. Film Africa also recognises and supports new filmmaking talent through The Baobab Award for Best Short Film.
Watch the Film Africa trailer
Film Africa 2014 runs from Friday 31 October to Sunday 9 November. With an astonishing 85 films from 23 countries, the festival once again features an wide range of the amazing filmmaking talent and culture coming out of the continent.
Visit the Film Africa website to view the full programme and book tickets
Centre of African Studies Annual Igbo Conference
Each year, the Centre of African Studies facilitates the Igbo Conference.The aim of the annual Igbo Conference is to encourage and promote Igbo Studies in the UK. Whilst there are limited Igbo Language and Cultural studies available in British Universities, the Igbo Conference seeks to provide a forum for intellectual and cultural exchange between scholars, students and members of the community.
Centre For Global Finance
- Website: Centre for Global Finance
Society for the Study of the Sudans (SSSUK)
- Website: SSSUK.org
- Website: OctoberGallery.co.uk
- Website: Shabaka.org
Poetry Translation Centre
- Website: PoetryTranslation.org
Sotheby's Institute of Art
- Website: SothebysInstitute.com
International African Institute (IAI)
- Website: InternationalAfricanInstitute.org