Overview of Future Africa

In a tranquil setting in the heart of South Africa’s capital city of Pretoria, a new hub of scientific discovery and innovation for Africa is breaking
ground and taking shape.

The University of Pretoria’s new Future Africa campus will be the place where Africa’s leading scientists and scholars from across the world and from a broad range of disciplines will come together to leverage the benefits of transdisciplinary research to address the grand challenges that face Africa and the world.

Issues of critical relevance to Africa will be tackled: from sustainable development and good governance, citizen participation and human rights, to advancing innovation for the bioresource economy.

In a world where ideas and technologies evolve rapidly and the challenges we face are multifaceted and transnational, Africa needs a new generation of original thinkers with international perspectives, yet with a scholarly vision and voice that is rooted in Africa.

The Future Africa campus will provide a dynamic living, learning and research environment where a community of scholars and other societal role players will engage to advance excellence in scholarship, dialogue and impact. Here the continent’s brightest young geneticists, chemists, economists, lawyers, engineers, social scientists and other specialists will work side by side in an environment that facilitates world-class creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

Future Africa will:
  • take a future-oriented perspective on skills development for a new generation of transformation-minded science leaders in Africa;
  • actively build networks between leaders of science across Africa and the rest of the world; and
  • develop interdisciplinary and multinational research teams who, together with societal structures beyond academia, can engage in impactful and responsible research to find innovative solutions to complex problems in Africa. Future Africa will have a cutting-edge campus dedicated to the process of fostering outcomes oriented transdisciplinary research.

It will offer a dynamic living, learning and research environment where a community of scholars and a range of other leading minds can engage to advance excellence in scholarship, dialogue and social responsibility across disciplines, cultures and generations.

The Future Africa campus is aligned with initiatives such as Future Earth, the global research initiative that was launched at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012. Both initiatives aim to develop knowledge to respond effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and foster increased sustainability in the coming decades.

Future Africa will aim to mobilise scientists in effective collaboration across natural and social sciences, humanities, economics and technology development, to find the best scientific solutions to multi-faceted problems. The Future Africa campus will give life to the initiative by offering an ideal setting to bring people together to develop innovative responses to Africa’s most pressing challenges.

On-site facilities will include offices, living quarters for postgraduate students, accommodation for visitors and a dining facility/function venue. A Knowledge and Research Commons will host regular conferences, meetings and workshops. Future Africa is a continental asset that will support the search for knowledge and lay the foundation for the industries of tomorrow — through pioneering, transdisciplinary research that helps generate solutions for healthy, sustainable and successful societies across Africa and the world.