MIASA starts into Main Phase


MIASA has been granted funding for the running of its programmes during the period 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2026. It is one of the five "Maria Sibylla Merian Centers" whose programmes are financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany. MIASA is a joint project between a consortium of African and German partner institutions. The institute is co-funded by the University of Ghana in Accra, who integrated it as one of its three institutes under the College of Humanties in 2018 and hosts it in a newly renovated building on its main campus in Legon. The Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg in Germany is the initiator and coordinator of the MIASA project, with the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) and the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) as operational structures. Other German institutions involved are the Center for Interdisciplinary African Studies (ZIAF) of the Goethe University Frankfurt, the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg and the German Historical Institute Paris, each of them contributing to the MIASA academic programme and strategy with their own activities.

MIASA’s thematic focus is "Sustainable Governance". Topics such as migration, democratic consolidation, ecological transformation, and the restitution of cultural assets illegally acquired during colonial times are the areas of interdisciplinary work carried out by outstanding researchers from different disciplines. MIASA dedicates itself to the reduction of global knowledge asymmetries. This objective, which was already pursued in its pilot phase, can now be prioritized on an even larger scale.


“The University of Ghana is extremely delighted about the continued success of MIASA. This achievement constitutes a milestone for the scientific cooperation between Ghana and Germany and a testament to the attractiveness of our internationally recognized location at UG, Legon, Accra”

Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana

“MIASA's great work with African colleagues, especially at the University of Ghana, can now be continued permanently and on a larger scale. This is a milestone for scientific cooperation with Africa and for Africa-related research at the University of Freiburg. Vice-Chancellor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu and I are happy about the joint success and wish the consortium all the best on its way.”

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, rector of the University of Freiburg

“With the Africa Centre for Transregional Research (ACT), Freiburg has set the course for becoming an important partner in German Africa research. This would have hardly been conceivable without the flagship position of MIASA. I will make every effort to ensure that the internationalization of the university focuses more strongly on the Global South on the basis of appreciative scientific cooperation, not least through the channels now established and the foci of our university.”

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Krieglstein, designated rector of the University of Freiburg

Background information

With the International Research Centres  "Maria Sibylla Merian Centres", the BMBF aims to promote the internationalization of the humanities, cultural and social sciences in Germany by encouraging close bilateral and multilateral cooperation projects at locations outside of Germany. To this end, Research Training Groups have been established in regions and partner countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa that are important for science and science policy. These groups of researchers, primarily from Germany, the host country and the partner region, conduct joint research as fellows in the humanities and social sciences. The Research Centres are established and operated in cooperation with German academic institutions.