McGill and Africa

A history of collaboration

McGill has a long history of academic and grassroots engagement in Africa, and is home to a wide range of health, environmental and social policy research with relevance to Africa; internships and exchanges which offer McGill students opportunities to pursue fieldwork in a range of African nations; and programs which nurture collaboration and engagement with citizens, communities and nations in Africa across a spectrum of scholarly domains. These include:

  • The Canadian Field Studies in Africa (CFSIA) program, which introduces students to East Africa with the objective of increasing their understanding of the goals, circumstances, challenges and opportunities of people living in the regions visited. The program is research based and is conducted over a six-month period, as part of a semester away.
  • The Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID), which provides students with access to a network of individuals and agencies working in the field of development. Through international conferences, multidisciplinary research and deep connections with a wide range of government, community and academic organizations in Canada, Africa and around the world, ISID has emerged as a renowned leader in the field, and its BA in International Development Studies is now the second-largest major at McGill.
  • The Faculty of Medicine’s Global Health Program, with 14 projects currently underway in sub-Saharan Africa alone, seeks to establish and facilitate international research collaborations that address leading health challenges, support the training of health care workers and researchers and promote long-term capacity building in health and health related sciences in low-resource areas.
  • The Brace Centre for Water Resources Management, which brings together researchers from the Faculties of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Science, Law and Management , to conduct research, teaching, specialized training and strategic studies in water resources management, both in Canada and internationally. Brace Centre researchers have collaborated with organizations including the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Water Council on projects with a direct impact on water-poor regions of Africa, and have conducted fieldwork in Zimbabwe, Egypt, and other regions.
  • The McGill Institute for Global Food Security, based in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is a world leader in research related to the safety and security of global food supplies. The Institute is home to a number of research projects based in and relevant to Africa, including the KARI-McGill Food Security Project, implemented jointly by McGill University and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of Kenya, the Kenya Medical Research Institute and Frescho Seed Ltd.
  • The Faculty of Law’s International Criminal Justice Clinic, staffed by students and supervised by professors with expertise in the field, provides high quality criminal justice research services to several active international criminal tribunals, including the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).   
  • McGill also works with external agencies, including the Zawadi Africa Education Fund, to provide scholarships to academically gifted but economically disadvantaged young women from Africa.

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