Student news

Africa Week marks Nelson Mandela milestone

The University’s Africa Week – which runs from 25 to 31 October – this year marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

The milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on the man, his life and legacy.

The Mandela Centenary Symposium will screen excerpts from the documentary ‘Nelson Mandela: A True Pan-Africanist’. A discussion will follow the screening.

A photographic exhibition will present images of apartheid in South Africa. ‘Gazing at Africa at the End of Empire’ will show how apartheid was understood by those outwith the continent.

Africa Week events also celebrate the University’s engagement across the African continent.

The programme focuses on leading research across the region and the contribution of African culture to the University.

Partners include Edinburgh Global, the Centre of African Studies, Supporting Evidence Based Interventions (SEBI), the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program and the Africa in Motion Film Festival.  

Research focus

Events will focus on the multi-disciplinary research work being carried out by the University in Malawi, including health service provision, education and cervical screening.  

Rebellion is the theme for this year’s Africa in Motion Film Festival. Films will be showcased from a number of countries including Kenya, South Africa, Morocco and Nigeria. 

Livestock for African Livelihoods will focus on science, data and innovation that is enabling researchers to work closely with African partners to improve animal health.

The third year of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme will be marked by an event, Celebrating African Scholars: A fusion of Afro-beats and Scottish music.  

UncoverEd, a student-led research project, will uncover the histories of Edinburgh alumni from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas.

African language skills can be learned at the student-led Tandem Language Café, which is open on Saturday afternoon.

African links

The University is committed to expanding access for students from around the world. Edinburgh is home to more than 900 students from 41 African countries.  

In 2017/18 this included 163 students from South Africa, 113 from Nigeria and 95 from Kenya.

The University is engaged in multi-disciplinary research linked to Africa through its five Global Academies which focus on Development, Health, Justice, Environment and Society, and Agriculture and Food Security.

Edinburgh’s Centre of African Studies is a world leader of research on Africa and the largest research hub of its kind in Europe.

Africa Week celebrates Edinburgh’s links with the continent while engaging with students and staff from across the University. Student numbers from Africa continue to grow and we are developing more research partnerships every year. Africa Week is an essential means of showcasing the University’s commitment to Africa.

Derek MacLeodAfrica Regional Director, Edinburgh Global

Historic connection

The University has a long historical connection with Africa.

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


Full programme

Africa in Motion Film Festival

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme

Centre for African Studies

Edinburgh Global