The Africa Initiative (AI) is a multi-year, donor-supported project undertaken by CIGI in cooperation with the South African Institute of International Affairs. Launched in 2008, it creates knowledge-sharing opportunities, building capacity in Africa with a focus on five thematic areas: conflict resolution, energy, food security, health and migration, with special attention paid to the crosscutting issue of climate change.
The AI has three main components:
The research program supports innovative field-based research in the social and physical sciences. It aims to inform and influence African policy making and contribute to the body of research on topics of importance to the continent.
The exchange program supports short-term academic placements for African- and Canadian-based scholars undertaking research on Africa. Each year, the program offers highly motivated graduate students an opportunity to carry out research in a cross-cultural experience.
The Africa Portal is an online knowledge resource for policy-related issues on Africa. It equips users with research and information and provides a platform to publish work on areas of concern to policy makers and the public.
CIGI and AI release new research through a Policy Brief Series and Discussion Paper Series. The Policy Brief Series presents analysis and commentary emerging from field-based research on issues critical to the continent. Findings and recommendations in this peer-reviewed series aim to inform policy making and to contribute to the overall African research enterprise. The Discussion Paper Series presents policy-relevant, peer-reviewed, field-based research that promotes discussion and advances knowledge on issues relevant to policy makers and opinion leaders in Africa. Papers in this series are written by experienced African and Canadian researchers, and have gone through the grant review process. In select cases, papers are commissioned studies supported by the research program.
As of December 2013, the Exchange Program and Research Program have concluded; no further calls for applications will be issued. The Africa Initiative looks forward to announcing new directions for its 2014-2018 programming, in the coming months.