The African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL)

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The African Studies Centre Leiden, founded in 1947, is the only knowledge institute in the Netherlands devoted entirely to the study of Africa. It undertakes research and is involved in teaching about Africa and aims to promote a better understanding of African societies. The Centre is part of Leiden University and participates in the LeidenGlobal network. The ASCL’s work is not only of importance to researchers but also to policymakers, journalists, NGOs, businesses and other organizations.

The ASCL’s research programme lasts for a period of five years. Projects are multidisciplinary, empirical in nature and are carried out in cooperation with African colleagues and institutions by the Centre’s researchers and PhD and Research Masters students.

The ASCL organizes a one-year and a two-year Masters in African Studies in cooperation with Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities. The two-year (Research) Masters prepares for a research career.

The ASCL’s Library, Documentation and Information Department has the most extensive and specialized collection on Africa in the Netherlands in the fields of the social sciences (including law and economics) and the humanities. The library, which is open to the general public, has more than 80,000 books, 1500 documentaries and feature films from and about Africa, and subscribes to nearly 750 periodicals. African Studies Abstracts Online offers some 10,000 abstracts and journal articles, and web dossiers provide background information on specific topical events and themes.

ASCL researchers publish in many different journals and with well-known publishing houses. The Centre also has several publication series of its own: Africa Yearbook, Afrika-Studiecentrum Series, African Dynamics, African Studies Collection, Langaa Series, ASC Infosheets and ASC thematic maps.

Regular seminars are held at the ASCL on Thursday afternoons on a wide range of topics. These are given by prominent local and international Africanists and are open to the general public.

Visiting Fellows
Between six and nine African academics are invited to Leiden every year on three-month fellowships to promote an effective academic dialogue between Africa and the North. These scholars use their stay in Leiden for data analysis and writing, and present a seminar.

Africa Thesis Award
A prize is awarded annually for the best Masters thesis on Africa by a student at a university in the Netherlands or in Africa. The winning thesis is published in the African Studies Collection series.

ASCL Community
The ASCL Community includes (honorary) fellows, affiliates, artists and associates of the Centre, and people with a professional interest in Africa who are working in business, policymaking, NGOs and in media circles.

We would like to welcome you as a partner in the ASCL Community!

African Studies Centre Leiden
Pieter la Court Building
Wassenaarseweg 52
Postbus 9555
2300 RB Leiden

T: +31 71 527 3372

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