The Centre of African Studies, founded on 15 May 2019, brings together experts and academics from all over the Czech Republic studying Africa from a wide range of perspectives – from zoology through natural science to political science and linguistics. The head of the centre is Professor Markéta Křížová, who is also Vice-Dean for International Relations at CUFA. The Centre has been founded by CUFA in cooperation with the Faculty of the Humanities, CU; Faculty of Education, CU; Faculty of Natural Sciences, CU; Faculty of Tropical Agriculture at the Czech Agricultural University in Prague; Faculty of Natural Sciences, Ostrava University; Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University; and various NGOs. The Centre will coordinate events, projects, and conferences related to African Studies, and work with the general public.
Professor Křížová has commented on the motivation to establish the Centre in an interview: „… I started seeing was a renewed interest in African Studies among students and young academics and it occurred to me that we needed to do something about it. The more I looked across departments, the more obvious it became that there really was a lot of interest across different fields in Africa: in archival science there is a young woman writing a brilliant thesis about the Czech traveller in Africa Emil Holub. There are others who are writing exciting work about post-colonial literature in Africa and the list goes on. I realised that we needed to promote Africa more among students, that we needed to coordinate courses already being taught and also to communicate with academic institutions that are already studying these problems. So we decided to establish a platform to promote Africa within the faculty and also to communicate with the public. The third role of universities is very important in this respect. This stood at the root of the establishment of the Centre of African Studies.” The full interview, „Africa is the Continent of the Future“, by UNIMEDIA, is available online.
The Centre was launched during the Africa Day at Kampus Hybernská on 25 May. The rich programme of the festival included lectures, workshops, readings, and concerts. 25 May is celebrated worldwide as the commemoration of decolonisation of Africa.