Director’s Message

重田 眞義 アフリカ学際研究拠点推進ユニット長 アフリカ地域研究資料センター長・教授 国際担当理事補

Director,  Interdisciplinary Unit for African Studies,
Director/Professor, Center for African Area Studies, 
Deputy Executive Vice-President for International Affairs, Kyoto University


Interdisciplinary Unit for African Studies was established for the purpose of organically and effectively linking research, education and international service activities that Kyoto University has actively developed in Africa for more than half a century. Through the activities of this Unit, we will further expand our cooperative relationship with African universities and research institutions. At the same time, we will promote a range of activities related to research, education and international service in order to realize Africa’s potential. This Unit has the following three specific goals:

1)To promote collaboration across Africa-related graduate schools and research institutes withn the university and work toward establishment of “Kyoto University Africa Center (tentative name),” an overseas office in Africa, in the middle and long term, 

2)To collect and disseminate information on research, education and international service activities in Africa, and coordinate stakeholders to launch new joint projects, promote exchange of studnets and researchers, and  contribute to international service programs, and 

3)To strengthen network and cooperation with alumni associations, partner universities, and governmenal organizations in Africa as the university’s liaison organization for the region.

One of the major roles this Unit plays is to connect different schools and researchers related to Africa. By doing so, we can share information accumulated over the years, coordinate their education and research activities, and provide university-wide services more effectively.

At Kyoto University, more than 60 full-time faculty members are engaged in education and research on Africa. Yet, because they carry out their activities according to the needs of each department, they may have missed various opportunities they could otherwise pursue. As a hub of Kyoto University, we aim to foster coordination and collaboration across the university by removing departmental barriers and sharing resources each department can provide. The Unit can provide a wide range of services, such as planning large-scale interdisciplinary projects across different departments, providing advise on study abroad in Africa, or functioning as a liaison organization for Africa.   While continuing these activities, we would like to broadly appeal the potential of the Unit and work toward the establishment of Kyoto University Africa Center, which is the top priority of this Unit.

We sincerely hope for your support and collaboration on activities of the Unit.