Africa Week

Africa Week – which runs from 25 October until 1 November – celebrates the University's many links with the African continent.

Africa Week 2017

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, highlights include opportunities to learn about world-leading Edinburgh research taking place throughout Africa. 

There will also be a chance to appreciate art and language and to celebrate the achievements of Edinburgh’s student community. 

Arts showcase

Events include Voices from Sierra Leone, which features talks, songs, poetry and illustrations from those who have overcome adversity. You can also attend the Africa in Motion Film Festival – featuring documentaries from Ghana and South Africa. 

People can learn new language skills at the African Language Café. Elsewhere, an exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery by the acclaimed artist and film maker John Akomfrah focuses on gender and enslavement. 

An African ceilidh at Summerhall celebrates the successful first year of the $27 million Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa

During Africa Week, the University is announcing a £7 million infectious diseases initiative –Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa – named Tiba – after the Swahili word to cure infection. 

Millions of people could benefit from the study which seeks novel solutions to infectious diseases and emerging epidemics in Africa.

Teams of scientists will seek to develop better treatments for conditions such as malaria and sleeping sickness and Ebola.

The initiative will involve teams from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. It will be supported by experts in infectious disease and global health at Edinburgh.

Historic connection

The University has a long historical connection with Africa, from early pioneering graduates to current research and teaching.

The first African to graduate at Edinburgh was James Africanus Beale Horton, who gained a medical degree in 1859.

Our Centre of African Studies is a world leader of multi-disciplinary research on Africa. 

Africa Week events are organised by a range of departments and societies. These include Edinburgh Global, the University’s Centre of African Studies, Africa in Motion Film Festival and the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme. 


Over the past year the University has had more than 3,000 research outputs with 84 institutions across 44 African countries. This academic year we have welcomed more than 800 students from 37 countries to the University and The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program has more than doubled its intake of students. Africa Week is an essential means of showcasing the University’s commitment to Africa, which is more relevant than ever before.

Professor James SmithVice-Principal International, the University of Edinburgh


Full programme 

Africa in Motion Film Festival

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme

Centre for African Studies 

Edinburgh Global  

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