African Studies Centre ASC

Linked with Connecting Africa, with Global Connections, and with Development Policy Review Network DPRN.

Welcome to the ASC. The African continent and its societies are changing continuously under the influence of global, continental, national and local forces. Such forces range from the by now familiar aspects of globalization and climate change to technological innovations like the cell phone. These changes require continuous research and new research questions. To keep up with these challenges, the ASC formulates a new research programme every five years, facing the developments on the African continent and at the same time building on the results of the Centre’s previous research … (full text research programme 2007-2011).

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Address: African Studies Centre, Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK  Leiden (or PO Box 9555, 2300 RB  Leiden), NL;

Organization /About the ASC: 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.

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, (only available in Dutch, to order this brochure free of charge please contact here).


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 History).

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