About the Institute

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The Africa Institute was established to promote and facilitate impactful research done by researchers at Western in Africa following an interdisciplinary, context-specific, collaborative, and capacity building approach. Western University is home to nearly 100 faculty researchers and 100 graduate and postdoctoral researchers whose primary focus is Africa. The Africa Institute strives to cultivate reciprocal partnerships between Western and African researchers studying diverse topics, such as waste management, ecosystem health, health policy, gender studies, linguistics, refugee studies, and transitional justice. This is facilitated by a strong history of Western staff, faculty, and student involvement with the African continent, through volunteer programs and academic exchange programs.

This ongoing association has developed a deep commitment at Western University to building sustainable relationships with Africans and African institutions, and a growing engagement with the most important issues affecting the continent. We are determined to collaborate constructively with the academic community, with institutions, and with governments and agencies working in diverse sectors throughout the African continent to create a preeminent institute of its kind in the world.


The Africa Institute at Western University was created to advance scholarship related to African societies. The Institute is an interdisciplinary entity with the participation of many faculty members, staff and students from across campus. Its members are building sustainable collaborations and partnerships with Africans to foster initiatives that address some of the most pressing issues facing the African continent and encourage knowledge exchange between partners.

Vision and Mission

  1. Community
    1. Create a community that is a voice, a connector, a champion of common issues, interests and goals pertaining to Africa
  2. Collaboration
    1. Address major societal concerns through an approach that is rooted in respectful and reciprocal partnerships, synery, collaborative and intersectional research. Create intentional and impactful change by fostering an environment that facilitates engagement, strategic communication and alignment of mutual strengths and goals.
  3. Capacity Building
    1. Offer bi-directional opportunities for capacity building to the Africa Institute members and African partners. Build the capacity of students by preparing them to work in careers in Africa and/or with organizations that operate in or impact Africa.

Vision & Mission Statements

External Vision/Mission:
To address African priorities, which will be determined by partners and aligning with our strengths, through impactful engagement in knowledge creation and exchange with African partners and in collaboration with other Canadian and global partners. 

Internal Vision/Mission:
To promote equity, diversity and inclusion in all programming, student recruitment, and hiring of faculty and staff at Western; to promote working in inter- and/or transdisciplinary partnerships; and to become a hub for Canada-Africa collaborations at global, national, and local levels. 

In summary, the Africa Institute is working to be recognized as a hub for sustainable Canada-Africa collaborations that address African priorities through the provision of transformative scholarship for transdisciplinary and impactful research undertaken by faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.