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Africa Centre

 

The Africa Centre was established in 2009 by the late Dr. Tamar Golan at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev in order to remedy the dramatic decline of African Studies in Israel which began in the 1990’s.

The primary objective of the Centre is to promote and develop multidisciplinary research on Africa.  At the same time, we encourage our BGU students (known for their social activism) to move beyond a purely academic perspective and to engage in the political, social and cultural challenges facing the continent.

The Africa Centre draws upon BGU’s academic and social strengths through research, partnerships, volunteering and activism in Israel and in Africa. The Africa Centre seeks to establish and develop deep and lasting ties between BGU researchers and their counterparts in Africa, based on the belief that interpersonal exchange greatly enriches the experiences and capabilities of all concerned.

The Centre's Activities:

1.      Research

The Africa Centre initiates and supports academic research on Africa from a variety of perspectives. The Centre emphasizes research in medical sciences, development studies and social sciences, while encouraging interdisciplinary projects. The Centre also organizes and supports events such as conferences, lectures and symposiums.

2.      African Studies

In addition to research, the Africa Centre provides annual funding for two academic programs in African Studies - BGU's program in African Studies and the Inter-University Program in African Studies of BGU, Tel Aviv University, and Open University. This Inter-University program combines the resources for all partner universities, and allows students to enroll in a wide array of courses covering the history, politics, cultures, geography, arts and religions of Africa. The support provided by the Africa Centre for these academic programs is used to fund adjunct teaching, course materials, books, and academic field trips.

3.      Academic Cooperation with Africa

The Africa Centre serves as a bridge between BGU and African universities, fostering the exchange of ideas, initiatives and knowledge via collaborative research, the Africa Africa website, visiting lecturers and student exchange programs.

4.     Activism and Awareness

Each year since 2006, BGU students have traveled to various countries in Africa for a period of three months or more. The students work in a range of development projects on behalf of the local communities. Participating students must first be enrolled in an academic course in which they are exposed to the social and political issues Africa faces today. In the course, they also experience firsthand how to plan and organize social and awareness projects on campus and in the community. At the end of the semester, only a small group of students is chosen to participate in the annual delegation to various countries in Africa.  Read more about - The BGU Student Volunteer Program - “Africa and Activism”

5.     "Africa Africa" Website

The Centre's “Africa Africa” website is an online resource center designed to provide broad-based information on Africa to a wide audience. The website provides information and references on African countries, universities and researchers, as well as current events and social and cultural trends. As an academic resource, the “Africa Africa” website seeks to provide a platform for exchange and collaboration between Africanist researchers around the world. This website also aims to move beyond a purely academic focus and to provide up-to-date news, educational resources and information on African cultures and societies for those within Israel and beyond.

For further information please see our Brochure.

Our Staff:

Dr. Lynn Schler, Director of the Centre

lynnsch@bgu.ac.il

 

Ayala Kuriel, Program Coordinator

africa@bgu.ac.il

 

Itamar Dubinsky, Projects Coordinator

itamardu@post.bgu.ac.il

 

Moran Mekamel, Projects Coordinator

mekamel@post.bgu.ac.il

 

Noa Levy, Projects Coordinator

noa2@post.bgu.ac.il

 

Noga Yehiely, Budget coordinator

africanstudies@bgu.ac.il

 

BGU Rector and Africa Centre Chair: Prof. Zvi HaCohen

 

Donors:

Baron Eric de Rothschild 

Mr. Eytan Stibbe, Vital Capital Fund