Established by the French Department of Foreign Affairs on the 12th of May 1995, IFAS-Research has been founded to answer France’s wish to take part in the construction of the new South Africa concerning research in the Human and Social Sciences. Its regional mandate over Southern Africa is bringing IFAS-Research to develop cross-projects on the countries of the region as well as partnerships with other institutes on the continent and in the world (for more information, visit the website of the French Research Institutes abroad). IFAS-Research supports several researchers every year coming from the most prestigious French and European centres on Southern Africa. Its mission is to promote the creation of mixed research teams through calls for proposals as per annual programmes. IFAS-Research hosts French students and researchers during their field trips in Southern Africa and assists Southern African researchers doing research work in Europe.

Since its inception, the Institute has emphasized the reconstruction of space and identities in post-apartheid South Africa, and the observation of social and political change indicators by favouring an interdisciplinary approach. Past programmes have for example focused on security and governance in Sub-saharan African cities, democratic transformation in developing countries and land redistribution in constitutional, liberation and post-liberation regimes in Southern Africa.

Mission and mandate of IFAS–Research

A regional mandate over the whole of Southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Four main objectives:
  • Acting as a catalyst for scientific exchange between French, European and Southern African researchers and organisations to promote the creation of networks and mixed teams;
  • Giving rise to and supporting the projects (missions, conferences, seminars) of European and African researchers who contribute to the development of expertise in Human and Social Sciences on Southern Africa;
  • Publishing results in books and articles in French and English, and organising public events (international conferences, book launches);
  • Welcoming young researchers and contributing to their training in research by integrating them into international research networks.

UMIFRE CNRS 25 / USR 3336