SOAS University of London

Royal African Society

The Royal African Society (RAS) is a membership organisation that provides opportunities for people to connect, celebrate and engage critically with a wide range of topics and ideas about Africa today. Through their events, publications and digital channels they share insight, instigate debate and facilitate mutual understanding between the UK and Africa. They amplify African voices and interests in academia, business, politics, the arts and education, reaching a network of more than one million people globally.

RAS is located at 21 Russell Square and maintains close links with the Centre of African Studies at the University of London. Membership of the society is joint with the African Studies Association of the UK, and is open to all. RAS has a diverse and influential membership network made up of individuals, companies and organisations who take a proactive interest in Africa and value opportunities to connect, share ideas and develop partnerships.

The society:

  • engages companies working in Africa through the profile business programme
  • hosts an esteemed Annual Lecture, as well as many public events with over 8,500 attendees every year, many of these taking place at SOAS
  • administers the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group raising the profile of Africa in Westminster. Chaired by Chi Onwurah MP (Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation & Skills) the APPG is currently the largest in parliament, with over 200 members. 
  • runs the leading news and analysis site African Arguments, which has over 100,000 unique visits every month from the world over. In partnership with ZED Books and the International Africa Institute, RAS also publishes the book series of the same name
  • publishes African Affairs, the world’s top journal on African Studies, in partnership with Oxford University Press
  • organises two highly popular annual cultural festivals, Africa Writes and Film Africa, with a combined audience of 7,000, engaging diaspora communities and helping to mainstream Africa’s creative outputs
  • runs an Education & Outreach Programme which aims to engage, inspire and educate children, young people, their teachers and families about the rich cultural diversity of the African continent.

For more information please visit the RAS website:


Royal African Society, SOAS, 21 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5EA

+44 (0)207 074 5176