Overview
Faculty
Program Activities
Curriculum
Minor
Connect SAIS Africa Blog
Events Calendar
Our Alumni
Research
External Resources
Contact

The African Studies Program offers an extensive curriculum covering development, governance and security across the continent. We draw on leading theories of international politics, political economy and comparative analysis in approaching this dynamic region. The program offers excellent foundations in the history and politics of the region, with a consistent focus on current policy concerns and emerging issues in Africa. Courses address general themes as well as particular countries, regions and specialized topics.

With an incomparable location in Washington DC, our students engage with a global array of leading academics, policymakers, activists and development practitioners. Through opportunities for independent research [2], internships and study visits, students regularly travel to the region. Graduates pursue successful careers in the private sector, international development institutions, non-governmental organizations, government and the policy world.

Political Crisis in DRC: The Way Forward with M. Felix Tshisekedi, DRC Opposition Leader
Political Crisis in DRC: The Way Forward with M. Felix Tshisekedi, DRC Opposition Leader
SAIS African Studies Program hosting speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at the 2017 "Political Economy of Gender and Women's Empowerment in Africa"
Lecturer Dr. Chiedo Nwankwor and several African Studies students at Dr. Nwankwor's "The Point of Intersection: Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, & Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie"
Vice Admiral Michael T. Franken of AFRICOM visits SAIS.
African Studies student and Yayi Bayam, president of a small non-profit that provides skills training for young women in a religiously "conservative" community just outside of Dakar.
SAIS International Development-African Studies intersession trip to South Africa.
Nigerian elections: distribution of voting materials, photo: Jenny Bussey Vaughan
"The Political Economy of Gender and Women's Empowerment in Africa"
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Faculty

Program Activities

 

Program Highlights

Students in the African Studies Program have many opportunities for travel, research and engagement with contemporary issues on the continent.

Our seminar series brings dozens of speakers to campus each year, focusing on a wide range of academic and policy topics. Recent seminars have covered the political foundations of ethnic violence, the challenges of institutional reform in Africa, politics in Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and South Africa, conflict in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the role of social media and democracy, and China-Africa relations. The program's annual conferences [27] cover a range of themes from development, to democratization, to the role of religion in politics.

Most students benefit from assistance for travel to Africa, including internships, independent research and structured study trips. Research opportunities include extended programs in Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia, as well as self-designed initiatives in other countries.

 

Internship Opportunities

African Studies students regularly receive internships in the United States and Africa. These encompass a range of organizations in government, nongovernmental institutions and the private sector. Students have had recent access to internships in Benin, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger Republic, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

 

Travel Opportunities

On an occasional basis, the program offers study trips to students during intersession and summer periods. Recent trips have included South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal and China.

An independent study field program to Senegal, Ghana or Tunisia is an option between the first and second year. Students should develop a project proposal in the fall semester to be submitted by March of the spring semester. Proficiency in Arabic or French is required for Tunisia, proficiency in French for Senegal.
In the past few years, other study trips and research projects have included:

  • “African Migrants to Europe: The West African Coastal Link” (Senegal) 
  • “Authoritarian Development in Ethiopia and Rwanda”
  • “Beyond Local Content: Catalyzing Economic Development through Ghana’s Oil Sector”
  • “China’s Engagement in Africa: the Case of Cameroon”
  • ”Constitutional Development in a New State” (South Sudan) 
  • “Democracy and Traditional Rule in Ghana” 
  • “Developing Transport Linkages in SADC: Malawi and Zambia” 
  • “Displaced Persons and Land-Related Violence in Kenya”
  • “Education in Conflict-Stricken Areas: Challenges and Achievements of Education in Rwanda”
  • “The Evolving Character of Ghanaian Democracy” 
  • “IDPs and Conflict in Northern Nigeria”
  • “Managing Resource Wealth in a New Oil Producer” (Ghana)
  • “Media Programs and Governance: the Case of Sierra Leone” 
  • “Political Survival and Regime Change in Africa”
  • “Protest and Democratic Succession in Senegal”
  • “Regional Variation in Southern African States” 
  • “The Role of Kenya’s Civil Society in the Constitution Review Process”
  • “A Strategic Approach to Women’s Right in Senegal: Engaging Local Partners in Legal Reform”
  • “Success and Shortcomings of Kenya’s Counterterrorism Efforts”
  • “Understanding Accountability Across Post-Conflict Societies: The Cases of Nepal and Liberia”
  • “Violence and Resources in the Niger Delta of Nigeria” 
  • “Youth Movements and Political Crisis in Cote’ d’Ivoire”
  • “Youth Unemployment in South Africa: The plight of South Africa’s marginalized and under-skilled youth”
 

Events and Conferences

The African Studies Program sponsors a weekly seminar series and annual conferences [27] covering a wide range of topics on Africa.

Curriculum

 

AFRICAN STUDIES | MA Requirements

African Studies Program Learning Goals and Objectives [28]

Entering Class 2017-2018

MA students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate. Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 courses (48 credits) or 14 courses (56 credits) as approved by Academic Affairs.

 

AFRICAN STUDIES

Students concentrating in African Studies take at least 6 courses within this program, which may include one course outside African Studies on an African topic. Courses in the curriculum cross-listed with African Studies may be counted toward the concentration requirement. African Studies MA students must take a minimum of one of the following courses below and are highly encouraged to take two additional courses with the prefix of SA.780.XXX:

  • SA.780.648 Political Economy of African Development
  • SA.780.724 Contemporary African Politics
 

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS

Students must complete 16 credits. The four required courses are:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent: Microeconomics)
  • International Trade Theory (prerequisite: Microeconomics)
  • International Monetary Theory (prerequisite: Macroeconomics)

If a student passes a waiver exam [29] in one of these areas, the student must take a replacement International Economics program course(s) to fulfill the concentration requirement.

Starting with the entering class of Fall 2017, students who pass Microeconomics in Pre-Term [30] will have the concentration reduced to 12 credits, but still must complete Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory (or a replacement course(s) if waiver exam(s) passed). The Pre-Term Microeconomics course is not for credit and is not factored into the GPA.

Beyond the requirements, many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization [31] in one of four areas of economics. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets [32].

Concentration GPA Requirement
Students must achieve a combined GPA of at least 2.67 in four (or three if Microeconomics is passed in Pre-Term) required International Economics program courses or they must retake the course(s) until a 2.67 concentration GPA is achieved. In the standard case, the concentration GPA will be the average of the grades of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory.

If one or more of the four standard courses is waived, the school will use the highest grade(s) from any eligible replacement International Economics program course(s) to compute the International Economics concentration GPA.

 

QUANTITATIVE REASONING

Students must complete one course from the list below.

  • Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
  • Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
  • Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
  • Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
  • Risk Analysis and Modeling
  • Quantitative Global Economics (prerequisite International Monetary Theory)
  • Credit Markets & Credit Risk (prerequsite Corporate Finance)

Students may not double-count the same course toward the Quantitative Reasoning requirement and as an International Economics concentration course and vice-versa.

If a student passes the statistics waiver exam, the student must take an alternate course from the list above to fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Starting with the entering class of Fall 2017, students who pass Statistical Methods for Business & Economics in Pre-Term [30] will have fulfilled the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. The Pre-Term course is not for credit and is not factored into the GPA.

 

CORE COURSES/EXAMS

All students must pass 2 core courses and/or exams from the subjects below.  African Studies concentrators must pass Comparative Politics as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the core courses/exams are not completed by the start of the final semester, the student no longer has the option of completing the exam and must enroll in the core course(s) for credit.

  • American Foreign Policy Since World War II
  • Comparative Politics
  • Evolution of the International Systems
  • Theories of International Relations
 

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

African Studies MA candidates a required to demonstrate proficiency in French, Portuguese or Arabic, through a course sequence and/or proficiency exam. Please consult the program for permission to use Swahili (not taught at SAIS). All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering the school. Native speakers of French, Portuguese or Arabic must pass proficiency in a second language which can include English.

 

CAPSTONE

African Studies concentrators in the second year produce a program paper of publishable quality, which may be the product of a regular course or supervised independent research. The paper is due by April 15th of a student’s second year. For those whose final semester is fall, consult the Program Director for a due date.

 

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS BY ACADEMIC YEAR

Entering Class 2016-2017 [33]
Entering Class 2015-2016 [34]
Entering Class 2014-2015 [35]
Entering Class 2013-2014 [36]
Entering Class 2012-2013 [37]
Entering Class 2011-2010 [38]
Entering Class 2010-2011 [39]
Entering Class 2009-2010 [40]

Minor

African Studies Minor Requirements:

  • 3 African Studies courses (12 credits) including:
    • SA.780.648 Political Economy of African Development or SA.780.724 Contemporary African Politics or SA.780.727 Politics of Foreign Aid in Africa
    • 2 additional African Studies (or cross-listed) courses (8 credits)

General Minor Requirements:

  • MA students may pursue an optional minor in a policy or regional program. A student cannot pursue a minor in General IR or International Economics, but can pursue a Specialization in International Economics [41]
  • A student can have only one minor and can declare a minor at any time prior to graduation.
  • Students do not receive bidding priority for a minor.
  • All minors require three courses. Some minors require a specific course(s) and/or language proficiency.
  • A student may use a maximum of one applicable cross-listed course (4 credits) toward both a minor AND concentration requirements. In the IR or Asia concentrations, the cross-listed course must be from the primary concentration area and not from the 2 additional required courses in the other IR or Asia areas.

To add or change a minor, please click HERE [42].

Connect SAIS Africa Blog

Please join us at our community page, Connect SAIS Africa [43], for updates,comentary, and news on students and alumni.


[44]

Events

The African Studies Program sponsors a weekly seminar series and annual conferences covering a wide range of topics on Africa.

For a detailed listing of our annual conferences connect to our conference page [45].

Past Events
2016-2017 Academic Year Events [46]
2015-2016 Academic Year Events [47]
2014-2015 Academic Year Events [48]
2013-2014 Academic Year Events [49]
2012-2013 Academic Year Events
2011-2012 Academic Year Events [50]
2009-2010 Academic Year Events [51]
2008-2009 Academic Year Events [52]
2007-2008 Academic Year Events [53]
2006-2007 Academic Year Events [54]
 


Our Alumni

 

Alumni of the African Studies Program can be found across the African continent and around the world, in government, private, academic, and non-governmental sectors. Among the professional opportunities for our graduates:

o African Capacity Building Foundation, Harare, Zimbabwe
o African Development Bank, Tunis
o African Risk Capacity (ARC), Johannesburg
o African Union
o Albright Stonebridge Group
o AT Kearney
o British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Kinshasa, Congo
o The Brookings Institution
o Catholic Relief Services
o Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC
o Chevron
o Control Risks Group LLC
o Corporate Council on Africa, Washington DC
o Department for International Development (DFID), UK
o Economic Development Institute, World Bank
o The Enough Project
o The Eurasia Group
o Foreign Ministry of Tanzania
o Foreign & Commonwealth Office, U.K.
o Freeport McMoRan
o Frontier Strategy Group
o General Electric
o Harvard School of Public Health
o IHS/PFC Energy
o Institute for Security Studies, Johannesburg
o International Business Initiatives
o International Finance Corporation
o International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
o International Republican Institute, Washington, DC
o Jeune Afrique
o JP Morgan
o Lagos State Government
o Louis Berger
o Mitchell Madison Group, New York
o McKinsey & Company
o National Assembly of Nigeria
o National Democratic Institute, Washington DC
o National Endowment for Democracy
o Roland Berger
o South African Reserve Bank
o United Nations Development Program
o United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
o USAID, Washington DC
o US Congress
o US Department of Commerce
o US Department of Justice
o US Department of State
o US, Department of the Treasury
o US Trade Representative
o World Economic Forum
o The Whitaker Group
o The World Bank

Research

 
 
 

External Resources

 

News and General Information

Africa South of the Sahara (Stanford University) [81]
Comprehensive list of Africa-related links

AllAfrica.com [82]
Compilation of news sources from across the continent

BBC News/Africa [83]

Inter Press Service - Africa [84]

Thomson Reuters Foundation [85]

United Nations, Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) [86]
News and analysis on areas of conflict
 

 

Research and Data

ACLED (Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project) [87]

African Power and Politics [88]

Afrobarometer Home Page [89]

Survey research site, extensive analysis of politics and reform

Center for Global Development [90]
Research and policy analysis, special focus on aid and reform

Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) [91]
Oxford University 

Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University [92]
A leading source for economic research in the region

Council on Foreign Relations [93]

Effective States and Inclusive Development [94]
Consortium based at University of Manchester

Innovations for Successful Societies [95]
Princeton University

International Food Policy Research Institute [96]

University of Cape Town-Centre for Social Science Research [97]
Inequality, poverty, HIV/AIDS and public attitudes

University of Sussex- Institute of Development Studies. (Brighton, U.K.) [98]

United States Institute of Peace [99]

The World Bank [100]
Data, economic policy analysis, perspectives on governance

Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) [101]
University of Gothenburg and Kellogg Institute
 

 

African Studies Centers and Organizations

African Politics Conference Group [102]

African Studies Association Home Page [103]

The central African studies organization in the U.S.

African Studies Center, Leiden, Netherlands [104]

Institute for African Development (IAD), Cornell University [105]

Michigan State University, African Studies Center [106]

Northwestern University Program of African Studies [107]

Nordiska Afrikainstitutet/Nordic Africa Institute [108]

Royal African Society [109]
Leading institute on African affairs in the UK

University of California, Berkeley, Center for African Studies [110]

UCLA, African Studies [111]

University of Florida, African Studies Program [112]

University of Wisconsin, African Studies Program [113]

WomenAlsoKnowStuff : African Politics [114]
List of scholars and areas of specialization

 

 

Policy and Advocacy

Africa Center, Atlantic Council [115]

Africa Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies [116] 


Africare [117] 

The Enough Project, the project to end genocide and crimes against humanity [118]

Ghana Center for Democratic Development [119] 

Global Financial Integrity [120] 

Global Voices Online [121]


Human Rights Watch - Africa [122]

Institute for Policy Studies [123]

International Crisis Group [124]
Authoritative analysis and advocacy on conflict

Mo Ibrahim Foundation [125] 

Natural Resources Governance Institute [126]

Network of African Democracy Research Institutes [127]


ONE Campaign [128]

OXFAM [129]
Focus on sustainable development

The South African Civil Society Information Service [130] 

Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative [131] 

Transparency International [132]

 

African Studies Resources by Region and Country

Central Africa [133]

Southern Africa [134]

East Africa/ Horn of Africa [135]

Indian Ocean [136]

West Africa [137]

Contact Us


Paul Lubeck
Acting Director of the African Studies Program
plubeck1@jhu.edu [8]
202-349-0981
Bernstein-Offit 715

Allison Janos
Academic Program Coordinator
ajanos2@jhu.edu [138]
202.663.5676
Bernstein-Offit 716

Address & Phone

African Studies
Bernstein-Offit Building
1717 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC
20036

202.663.5676