Duke's global centers & initiatives

Africa Initiative


The Africa Initiative (AI) is a faculty-led initiative that brings together scholars, from across Duke University and the Duke University Health System, who have a shared interest, through their research or programmatic activities, in the countries and cultures of the African continent. The goals of the initiative are to:

  • build connections between schools, programs, institutes and departments;
  • continue to foster new collaborations across disciplines;
  • transport existing knowledge gained whether in Durham or the African continent to other Duke locations around the globe;
  • and explore and pursue new funding opportunities and sponsored research.

Summary of 2019-2020

It has been a year of challenges and contrasts for Duke’s Africa Initiative(AI). While the fall was filled with interesting and important events, the spring was marked by cancellations because of COVID-19. Despite the reduced schedule of events this spring, we were still able to organize or co-sponsor over 20 events during the year. As in the past, the year’s events expanded the range of topics covered and disciplines engaged, and we take pride in the fact that the AI connects schools and disciplines across Duke’s campus, and offers events and opportunities for students and faculty, as well as for community members. This year’s AI steering committee consisted of John Bartlett and Charlie Piot (co-chairs), as well as Fred Boadu, Samuel Daly, Tsitsi Jaji, Anne-Maria Makhulu, J. Lorand Matory, Karin Shapiro, Stephen Smith, and Erika Weinthal. Meredith Watkins continues to serve as program coordinator.

2019-2020 Notable Programs


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