Africa–Asia Initiative

Africa–Asia Initiative

'Africa–Asia: A New Axis of Knowledge' is an inclusive transnational platform or collective that convenes scholars, artists, intellectuals, and educators from Africa, Asia, Europe, and beyond to study, discuss, and share knowledge on the intricate connections and entanglements between the African and Asian world regions.

The initiative's aim is to contribute to the long-term establishment of an autonomous intellectual and academic community of individuals and institutions between two of the world’s most vibrant continents. It aspires to facilitate the development of research and educational infrastructures in African and Asian universities, capable of delivering foundational knowledge in the two regions about one another’s cultures and societies. This exchange is a prerequisite for a sustainable and balanced socio-economic progress of the two continents. It is also an opportunity to move beyond the Western-originated fields of Asian and African area studies – something that would benefit Asian, African and Western scholars alike.

The 'Africa–Asia platform' was first envisioned during a roundtable on Asian Studies in Africa in 2012, in Lusaka, Zambia. This roundtable led to the establishment of the pan-African Association for Asian Studies in Africa (A–ASIA), which is the key-partner in the platform's network.

For more information visit the website:


A–ASIA held its inaugural conference in Accra, Ghana, from 24–26 September 2015, entitled 'Africa-Asia, a New Axis of Knowledge'. Organised with the support of the ICAS and IIAS, it was the first-ever conference held in Africa to bring together a multidisciplinary ensemble of scholars and institutions from the continent and the rest of the world with a shared focus on Asia and Asia-Africa intellectual interactions. The second edition took place at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2018.

Africa–Asia ICAS Book Prize

The Africa-Asia Book Prize was established and currently coordinated by the International Convention of Asia Scholars Secretariat (ICAS) and Association for Asian Studies in Africa (A-ASIA) in 2013. Being the first award within the Africa-Asia Studies field, its aim is to create, by way of a global competition, an international focus for publications on Africa-Asia while increasing their visibility worldwide. Competing books in the Humanities and Social Sciences are written by African scholars on an Asian topic or by any other author on Africa-Asia (transnational) linkages. The book prize is awarded for outstanding English, French, and Portuguese language works in the field of Africa-Asia Studies.

AAIBP 2015
The first AAIBP was launched in 2014, and the winners were announced during the Africa-Asia, a New Axis of Knowledge conference on September 2015 in Accra, Ghana. 25 titles were entered in total. The winner was Adam Lifshey with his book The Magellan Fallacy. Globalization and the Emergence of Asian and African Literature in Spanish (2012, University of Michigan Press)

AAIBP 2018
The winner of the AAIBP 2018 was announced during the Second International Conference ‘Africa-Asia, a New Axis of Knowledge’ (Dar es Salaam; 20-22 September 2018). The winner was Ching Kwan Lee, The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa (2017, The University of Chicago Press).