“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. Plus, we will continue to contribute to helping U.S. corporations in ways that will be important economically…” Chancellor Mark Wrighton on establishing the Africa Initiative. The Source —


Chancellor Mark Wrighton established the Africa Initiative 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.

Our charge is to create a strategic framework to enhance Washington University’s impact and programmatic efforts on the  Africa continent, in terms of research, teaching, advisory, and entrepreneurship.

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.

VISIT @WashUAfricaInitiative on facebook.

See the impact WashU is making in Africa.

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.

What’s Happening in Africa

What’s Happening at WashU in St. Louis

Join students from around the world. Now accepting applications!



Africa Initiative Faculty Briefings
Nov 7 | 3-4 PM | Brown Lounge, Room 218 in Brown Hall
Nov 8 |  3-4  PM | Lobby Conference Room, Room 15145 – 15th floor Northwest Tower
Africa Initiative Faculty Briefing Alternates
Nov 12 | 8-9  AM |  Lobby Conference Room, Room 15145 – 15thfloor Northwest Tower
Nov 13 | 8-9 AM | Brown Lounge, Room 218 in Brown Hall
Africa Initiative Student Briefing
Nov 15 | 12-1 PM | Goldfarb Hall, Room 333A

U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria at Washington University
Stuart Symington, U.S. ambassador to Nigeria gave a lecture, “A Transatlantic Partnership of Global Importance,” in Knight Hall’s Emerson Auditorium on the Danforth Campus on October 1.
You can watch the recorded live stream at the link below.
Ambassador Symington Public Address
Read more about Symington’s visit to Washington University at The Source.


Benjamin Akande

Benjamin Ola Akande, PhD | Bio
Senior Advisory to the Chancellor
Email: benjaminakande@wustl.edu

Assistant Director
Proscovia Nabunya, PhD | Bio
Research Assistant Professor
Email: nabunyap@wustl.edu

Mary Mauro

Administrative Coordinator
Mary Mauro, BS | Bio
Email: mary.kane@wustl.edu

Survey | Current Faculty Engagements in Africa

 Dr. Benjamin Akande invites all Washington University Faculty to fill out a brief survey to collect summary information of their current engagements on the Africa continent. Please fill out the survey at the link below.

 Africa Engagement Survey

For more information, please contact us by using the form below.

Africa Initiative

 Africa Initiative in the News