British academy

The Nairobi Report: Frameworks for Africa-UK Research Collaboration in the Social Sciences and Humanities

The Nairobi Report was the culmination of a two-year process of reflection and discussion among UK and African scholars across the humanities and social sciences. It presents a series of frameworks derived from the collective ideas of some 60 scholars and research leaders, who met in Nairobi in September 2008, which aim to address the challenges facing Africa-UK research collaborations in the humanities and the social sciences, and to formulate practical solutions to these.

The challenges are substantial and the investments which will be needed to overcome these considerable, and much will need to be tackled at higher levels. However, much can also be done through a renewed, frank and open partnership between African and UK researchers and institutions, and it is hoped that the Nairobi Report might help to inform this dialogue.

UK Launch, March 2009

The Report's launch at the British Academy on Friday 27 March 2009, featured short presentations by Professor Duncan Gallie, FBA (British Academy Foreign Secretary), Professor Goolam Mohamedbhai (Secretary General, Association of African Universities), Professor Graham Furniss (SOAS), Dr Ama de-Graft Aikins (University of Cambridge) and Mr Richard Dowden (Executive Director, Royal Africa Society).

Prof Graham Furniss gives the keynote lecture at the launch in Africa of the Nairobi ReportAfrica Launch, March 2010

On 18 March 2010, the Report was launched in Africa, at the British Institute in Eastern Africa, based in Nairobi. The occasion was marked with a series of presentations by scholars from the UK and Africa who are involved in initiatives aligned with the findings of the Report, and which serve to demonstrate the effect which the Report has already had across the academic community. It is clear that the Report has helped to launch, and importantly to sustain, a significant and timely conversation about the future of the humanities and social sciences in African universities, and to ensure that these vital disciplines are not forgotten in the drive to scale up and strengthen science, engineering and medical training and research.
Speech by Professor Graham Furniss FBA