About us

An interdisciplinary society

The Swiss Society for African Studies was founded in 1974. Its primary aims are to advance the research on Africa as well as the organization of conferences to discuss questions of African lifestyles or aspects of African culture.

The SSAS is based on the model of Area Studies. With this view it offers opportunities to connect researchers and the interested public in a theme-oriented and multidisciplinary exchange.

The SSAS has on its own or in cooperation with other organizations organized colloquia and symposia such as "The Yoruba Artist" (Zürich 1992), der "10. Afrikanistentag" (Zürich 1993), "Überleben im afrikanischen Alltag - L'Afrique part tous les matins" (Bern 1994), "Writing about the past - The C.C. Reindorf Centenary" (Basel 1995), "Scientific Research Partnership for Sustainable Development" (Bern 1996), das "Forum Young Africanists in Switzerland" (Bern 1996) oder "Dilemmes alimentaires - Food controversies" (Freiburg 1997), "Suisse-Afrique, aspects politiques et socio-économiques" (Zurich 1999), "Text in context : langue et écrit face à l’oralité africaine" (Zurich 2001), "Côté jardin, côté cour : regards pluriels sur l’économie actuelle de la maison africaine" (Genf 2003), "Langue, politique et réalité communicative" (Basel 2003), "Débats Sud-Nord sur les relations de protection sociale et le genre" (Ouagadougou 2003), "Religion, Mission et Afrique" (Lausanne 2005), "La SuissAfrique: partenariats scientifique et académique" (Genf 2007). "Africa on the Move" (Neuchâtel 2009), "Living the City" (Basel 2009), "Visualising the Game" (Basel 2010), "Mémoire africain en péril" (Genf 2011), "Nouveaux mouvements réligieux" (Genf 2013), "Re-Figuring the South African Empire" (Basel 2013), "Land-Rush" (Bern 2013), "Social policy and regimes of social welfare in Africa" (Fribourg 2014), "Assessing quality and performance in area studies" (Fribourg 2014), "Islam in Africa" (Bern 2015), 7th European Conference on African Studies (Basel 2017), Civil Wars and State Formation - Africa in comparative Perspective (Genf 2018), 1968-2018. L’œuvre de Yambo Ouologuem : un carrefour d’écritures (Lausanne 2018), Past, Present and Future of African-Asian Relations (Neuchatel 2019), Peopling History of Africa. A Multidisciplinary Perspective (Genf 2019).

The SSAS has also organized the Forum of Africanists that has encouraged young researchers to present their research and to network with other researchers from various disciplines (Bern 1996, Basel 1998, Geneva 2000, Basel 2002, Neuchatel 2004, Zurich 2006). Since 2010, the biannual Swiss Researching Africa Days in Bern promote the exchange among researchers at different stages of their careers.

Until 1992 the SSAS had been publishing the periodical Genève-Afrique for 30 years in collaboration with the IUED in Geneva. A newsletter (40 pages) relating to recent topics is now published biannually. The SSAS additionally advances African Studies by editing or co-editing anthologies.

The SSAS is a member of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences. 


c/o Centre for African Studies Basel
Veit Arlt, secretariate
Rheinsprung 21
CH-4051 Basel

e-mail veit.arlt@unibas.ch
Tel. +41 61 207 34 86