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Launched in 2008, the Africa Initiative supports policy-oriented research, knowledge sharing and capacity building on policy issues of major importance to Africa.  

As of 2014, the Africa Initiative (AI) has initiated new activities. Working closely with CIGI’s core programs in Global Economy and Global Security & Politics, the AI is exploring economic, security and political themes as they relate to African countries, sub-regions or the continent as a whole. Current areas of focus include climate change, conflict resolution, Internet governance, sovereign debt restructuring and central bank independence.  CIGI-AI collaborates with African think tanks, policy makers, scholars and practitioners to find governance innovations in those areas.   

The Africa Initiative also operates the Africa Portal, an online knowledge resource aiming to increase the availability, accessibility and use of policy-relevant research on Africa.  Jointly undertaken with the South African Institute of International Affairs, the Africa Portal has an open access digital library with 4,000+ publications on African policy issues.  These publications are contributed freely by content partners – most of whom are African organizations. 

In late 2013, the Africa Initiative concluded two Africa-Canada programs, the Research (grant) Program and the graduate student Exchange Program (no further calls for applications will be issued).  However, original research from these programs is freely available.  This includes peer-reviewed policy briefs and discussion papers based on grantees’ field-based research, as well as graduate student backgrounders and research papers.  

The Africa Initiative is a multi-year, donor-supported program.