The Africa Initiative was established to document the University’s formal and informal programs in Africa and to determine the level of interest in expanding and/or creating additional programs and initiatives. The Africa Initiative at Washington University is an interdisciplinary endeavor committed to expanding knowledge and creating teaching, learning, and cultural opportunities for faculty, staff, and students. Washington University has programs and initiatives in over 36 countries in Africa, focusing on research, education, and innovation. The Africa Initiative will work to create a framework to support and or strengthen these current engagements, build capacity and create opportunities for future collaborations.

Our core responsibilities include:

  • support faculty and student research focused on the Africa continent;
  • help establish formalized institutional relationships between Washington University and collaborative partners on the Africa continent;
  • enhance engagement through workshops, roundtables, and conferences at Washington University and on the Africa continent with our partners.

Africa Initiative Awards Pilot Grants
The purpose of this program is to advance collaborative research in the fields of Health and Human Development and to forge meaningful research collaborations between Washington University’s faculty members and scholars at institutional partners in Africa.  LEARN MORE.

Africa’s rising economic significance and growing consumer markets can no longer be ignored. This positive view of Africa is justified—sub-Saharan Africa is the host of some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Listen to Dr. Benjamin Akande as he joined St. Louis on the Air and guest host Ruth Ezell for an update on the initiative as well as a conversation about other topics. 

The team of WashU’s Africa Initiative promote information and help to advance the strategies for collaboration and programming pertinent to the continent, and serve as liaisons for communication for WashU faculty, students and staff.

The Africa Initiative at WashU aims to strategically enhance a wide range of institutional activities connected to the African continent and provide opportunities for participation and development.

Africa is going to be far more important in this century, growing dramatically in population and economic strength, and we have to be positioned as a university to prepare our students for the challenge…We also need to provide opportunities for our faculty to increase their knowledge of and involvement in these issues.