New Africa Centre for Transregional Research
Research related to Africa, exchange with African researchers and joint publications are the three main goals of the new "Africa Centre for Transregional Research" (ACT), which aims to help eliminate global knowledge asymmetries. Council and Senate of the University of Freiburg have approved the establishment of the new university centre.
ACT is an interdisciplinary association of research institutes and individual researchers. Within the framework of Eucor - The European Campus, close cooperation is planned with the University of Strasbourg (France) and the Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel (Switzerland). The focus of the research will be transregional studies with an African dimension. The Centre will invite researchers from Africa to come to Freiburg to study global challenges such as migration or ecological transformation together with local researchers. Jointly organised conferences, public lectures and open access publication of research results will also contribute to promoting global scientific dialogue.
The University of Freiburg and the ABI are already working in close partnership in the "Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa" (MIASA) in Ghana. The international research college, which was founded in 2018 by the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), the ABI and the University of Ghana, as well as the University of Frankfurt with the Centre for Interdisciplinary African Studies (ZIAF) and the Point Sud network, the German Historical Institute Paris/Max Weber Foundation and the Institute of African Affairs of the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg will be supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with a total of almost 12 million euros for a period of six years starting in September 2020.
In addition to the cooperation with the University of Ghana, further partnerships with other universities in Africa are planned, explained Prof. Andreas Mehler, Director of the ABI and key figure behind the establishment of the ACT. For example, students from the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Freiburg and the Institute of Sociology at the University of Namibia will soon have the opportunity to discuss research on colonial and post-colonial questions together.
In addition, ACT will be a service centre in Baden-Württemberg for academic and social exchange with Africa: African students and researchers will be able to obtain information from the Freiburg Centre on opportunities for studying, teaching and conducting research in Europe.
Further information on the "Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa”
Photo Freiburg: Thomas Kunz