Africa in focus

A series of events, highlighting Edinburgh’s work with partners in Africa, will take place over the next week.

Academics and students from a range of Schools will discuss topics including healthcare, the environment, student experience, infrastructure and institutional partnerships in Africa.

A range of research projects and initiatives will take place in countries across the continent, including Tanzania, Nairobi, Ghana, Uganda and the Gambia.


A blog will be updated by Edinburgh staff and students on a frequent basis and will provide information, articles and photos on the various activities and projects.


Edinburgh is engaged with numerous African research programmes across the range of schools throughout the University. The blog will recount some of the stories and experiences from Edinburgh academics and students who are committed to working and learning with people across Africa.


Ten students from the Widening Horizons programme will visit Tanzania in late-July.

Organised by the University’s Summer School Abroad programme and the School of Social and Political Science, the students will attend a Swahili Summer School at the residence of the first President of independent Tanzania, President Julius Nyerere.

The students are from a range of schools including Biological Sciences, Literature, Languages and Culture, Law, Business and Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences.


Four students from the schools of Informatics and Social and Political Science will visit information technology companies in Nairobi, led by Dr Jamie Cross from Social and Political Science.

The group aim to establish new collaborations around data and international development. The students won first prize in this year’s Innovative Learning Week ‘Smart Data Hack’.

A solar waste industry event also takes place in Nairobi from 20-21 July. The event will see the launch of an international scoring system, developed by Edinburgh, for the off-grid solar industry, which will rank products based on their sustainability of their designs.


Vice Principal, International, Professor James Smith’s research takes him to the Gambia to focus on Trypanosomiasis, the animal form of Sleeping Sickness and the International Trypanotolerance Centre, which is trying to breed cattle resistant to the disease.

The conservation of modernist buildings and urban landscapes in Ghana provides the focus for Dr Ola Uduku from Edinburgh College of Art throughout July.

Dr Uduku and colleagues will work in partnership with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in order to develop a strategy for architecture conservation and create an architecture department at the Ghanaian university.

Paul Nugent, Professor of Comparative African History, will shortly begin a study into African governance and space, having won a £2.5 M European Research Council Advanced Grant to focus on transport corridors, border towns and African port cities in transition.

As many Edinburgh projects related to Africa are just beginning, the European Conference on African Studies has come to an end.

Wolfgang Zeller, Coordinator of the African Borderlands Research Network will report on the topics discussed at the event in Paris from 8-10 July, including the main conference topic - Collective Mobilisations in Africa: Contestation, Resistance, Revolt - focusing on the repercussions of the so-called “Arab Spring” revolutions and how this has affected Africa.

Centre of African Studies

The University of Edinburgh has a long historical connection with Africa and is one of the world’s leading centres for the study of this vast continent.

The Centre of African Studies, founded in 1962, acts as a focal point for postgraduate teaching and supervision on Africa; a hub for research programmes that spans all three of the University’s colleges; and seeks to forge closer relationships between Scotland, the UK, Europe and Africa.