Africa Knows! It is time to decolonise minds

About Africa Knows! conference


The Netherlands has a long history of critical scholarly engagement with Africa and of Africa-oriented teaching, research and policy advice. Its African Studies Centre Leiden, and the related Leiden African Studies Assembly, have decided to use the year 2020 to place Africa more firmly on the national and international academic agenda (read more about Africa 2020). This year will feature a variety of activities, organized with many partnering universities and other knowledge institutions in the Netherlands, elsewhere in Europe, and in Africa. It concludes with an international conference on Africa’s knowledge landscape: Africa Knows!


This conference is an AEGIS Thematic Conference, that precedes the ECAS9 Conference in Cologne, “African Futures”, 2-5 June 2021. This thematic conference ‘Africa Knows!’ hosts a maximum of 300 delegates; ECAS close to 2000 delegates. So, if your response to this Call for Papers cannot be accommodated in December 2020, we encourage you to come to Cologne six months later. Of course, we hope and expect that many delegates who succeed in getting an invitation to participate in ‘Africa Knows! will also join ECAS9.


In addition to Leiden University and its African Studies Centre and African Studies Assembly, key partners from the Netherlands are NUFFIC (the Netherlands University Foundation for International Cooperation), Erasmus University Rotterdam (including the International Institute of Social Studies), The Hague University of Applied Sciences/De Haagse Hogeschool, and others, alongside many partners from Africa and some non-AEGIS partners in Europe. A list of all partners and sponsors can be found elsewhere on the website.

 Student involvement

We aim to get the organizational input of 40 dedicated students. A number of these will be Leiden/Delft/Rotterdam-based students in the Minor African Dynamics, and in ongoing (Research) masters and PhD programmes dealing with Africa. Other students will be from the ‘Heart of Africa’ student group in and around The Hague University for Applied Sciences. Others will be recruited from our collaborating partners in Europe and Africa (if paid by these partners). These students will have free access to the conference.

 ‘Green conference’

We intend to make Africa Knows! a sustainable conference by reducing the carbon footprints associated with taking part as far as possible. Towards this end, €20 of the conference fee will be devoted to offsetting the carbon emissions that conference travelling is likely to produce, by sponsoring a climate change adaptation project. Other strategies are also being developed to make the conference ‘greener’, facilitating initiatives to reduce waste, enhance the ‘virtual’ dimensions of the conference, and include more sustainable food options at the event.

If you have questions about the conference please email Marieke van Winden, African Studies Centre Leiden on winden(at)