Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa


The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) is dedicated to the topic of ‘Sustainable Governance’. Governance we define as the interplay of informal and formal rules for steering public affairs, embedded in social, material and cultural practices of everyday life. MIASA’s three research foci are: sustainable environmental transformation, sustainable conflict management, and sustainable democracy.

Overarching aims of MIASA are working towards a reduction of global asymmetries in knowledge production and bridging the cultural divide between anglophone and francophone Africa. MIASA will serve as a hub for exchange, networking and collaboration amongst leading researchers from Germany, Ghana, the African and European continent and beyond. It will also offer ample funding opportunities for early career researchers.

MIASA is based on the beautiful campus of the University of Ghana, Legon (Accra), with a secondary site located at the Centre de Recherches sur les Politiques Sociales (CREPOS) in Dakar, Senegal. It is thus the first Institute for Advanced Studies in Sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa.

MIASA’s programmes are funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), while its local staffing, administrative and operational costs are borne by the University of Ghana. After a preliminary phase (2018-2020), German funding on an even more substantial scale is set to continue for another ten years of operation and transition (2020-2030), after which the University of Ghana (UG) will take full financial responsibility for the institute.


News Release


International workshop: Issues of Restitution and Repatriation of Looted and Illegally Acquired African Objects in European Museums

13-14 December 2018, Institute of African Studies, Conference Room, University of Ghana


Kwesi Aning

“Whenever Africa is mentioned in a global setting, it’s not for its progressive contributions...but as a continent that should be helped through technocratic interventions”

This was one of many powerful calls from Dr. Kwesi Aning (Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Accra Ghana) to rethink how Africa is seen by the world during his lecture on "African Agency in R2P: Interventions by African Union and ECOWAS in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Libya" at the University of Freiburg, 23rd Oct. 2018.



Follow up: Inaugural conference: Africa’s Institutions for Sustainable Governance

The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) has held its inaugural conference at the University of Ghana. Under the theme “Africa’s Institutions for Sustainable Governance” the event spanned between Thursday, 27th and Friday, 28th of September, 2018. The conference was attended by over 300 scholars from universities in Germany and across Africa. Participants were enlightened on topics in the areas of Gender, Democracy, Sustainable Energy, Agriculture, Elections and Peace during keynote addresses and plenary sessions.




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