African Studies Centre ASC

Afrika-Studiecentrum, Univ Leiden/NL

Mission statement: The African Studies Centre is an independent scientific institute that undertakes social-science research on Africa and aims to promote a better understanding and insight into historical, current and future social developments in Sub-Saharan Africa … (about 1/2).

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Research; Reports; Publications; ASC book series; Newsletter; Library; ASA online; Online bibliographies; Events; Partners; FAQs;
Address: African Studies Centre, Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK  Leiden (PO Box 9555, 2300 RB  Leiden), The Netherlands;

About 2/2: … The institute is located in the Pieter de la Court Building of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Leiden.  

Main objectives:

1. To promote and undertake scientific research on Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the field of the social sciences and humanities;
2. To function as a national centre in the field of African studies and to contribute to the education and teaching in these sciences; and
3. To promote the dissemination of knowledge and an understanding of African societies in the wider public sphere.

  • Read the Annual Report 2009
  • Read the ASC General Brochure (in French and English)
  • Read the Research Brochure


The African Studies Centre was founded on 12 August 1947 as the Afrika-Instituut, with board members during the formative years including Prof. F.M. baron van Asbeck, K.P. van der Mandele and Prof. P.J. Idenburg. It consisted of a scientific documentation centre in Leiden and a trade office in Rotterdam, which later moved to The Hague and changed its name to the Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC). The Afrika-Studiecentrum Leiden was officially set up on 28 August 1958. The African Studies Centre has had various addresses in Leiden over the years – Rapenburg 45, Rapenburg 8, Stationsplein 10 – and has been housed at Wassenaarseweg 52 since 1989.

Many well-known Africanists have worked at the African Studies Centre over the years. Kofi Abrefa Busia, who later became Prime Minister of Ghana, worked at the Centre from 1959 to 1962 … (full text).

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