Africa Rising - On the Continent and at Berkeley


As the new director of the Center for African Studies, I am honored to be part of an interdisciplinary institution that has supported Africa-focused research and teaching at Berkeley for nearly 40 years. I look forward to working with the constituencies served by the Center—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members—to pursue emerging opportunities for promoting greater understanding of the continent, its societies, and its peoples.

We have already begun to expand the Center’s programming to meet the needs of a growing and increasingly diverse campus community interested in Africa. 

Teaching: To advance our mission of supporting advanced instruction, the Center is currently collaborating with the Global Studies major to create a new set of courses for undergraduate students to minor in Africa.

Research: To foster a culture of collaboration and innovation among scholars, the Center maintains a regular Africa Matters Series (see here for the fall 2021 schedule) in which invited scholars as well as Berkeley faculty and graduate students present findings from cutting-edge research.

Training: To prepare graduate students for scholarly research, the Center supports a biweekly Africa Research Seminar so that students can receive feedback for improving fieldwork designs, grant applications, and dissertation chapters.

From the humanities and social sciences to engineering and the sciences, Berkeley faculty and students are at the forefront of studying the changes that are transforming Africa. Our goal at the Center is to secure the resources and provide the programming required to sustain such excellence. Looking to the future, the Center will continue to develop new programs and rethink existing ones as we expand Berkeley’s engagement with the region. We hope, for example, to create new public service fellowships that will provide undergraduates with experience working in Africa before graduation as well as visiting fellowships for African scholars to come to Berkeley to pursue research collaboration.

If you would like to support our work, please considering giving to the Center for African Studies

With best wishes,

Leonardo R. Arriola