Photo: Internal seminar at MIASA bungalow on Legon campus, November 2021, photo: Susann Baller, CC-BY

This blog showcases research conducted at the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA), University of Ghana, Legon Campus, Accra.

The overall goal of MIASA is to strengthen the role of African research in the social sciences and humanities in the global scientific community. The institute is committed to reducing asymmetries in knowledge production and to strengthening female scholarship. Moreover, MIASA encourages critical debate and intellectual exchange across existing boundaries: across disciplines, across different countries and academic cultures, and between established and early-career researchers.

MIASA’s research programme explores the issue of “sustainable governance” in an interdisciplinary perspective, focusing on three thematic areas:

  • democratic governance
  • peace and conflict
  • sustainability transformations.

Moreover, MIASA is interested in issues that are at the intersection of these areas and that allow for anchoring its research in concrete experiences and historical contexts:

  • migration and mobility
  • landownership and acquisition
  • restitution of colonially taken African objects
  • African cities
  • Human rights.

MIASA provides time and space for supporting innovative academic research of top international quality through its residential fellowship programme:

  • Interdisciplinary Fellow Groups (IFGs)
  • Tandem Fellowships
  • Individual Fellowships.

MIASA’s distinguished Academic Advisory Board selects more than twenty fellows per year based on excellency. MIASA also invites short-term guest researchers and artists in residence.

MIASA organizes a broad range of academic events, including the annual Anton Wilhelm Amo Lecture, international conferences, writing and publishing workshops, female academic careers workshops as well as a Public Lecture Series. Key findings of research supported by MIASA are published in the institute’s working paper series, as external papers in peer reviewed journals or books and on this academic blog. MIASA pursues an actives open access policy.


MIASA is based on a German-Ghanaian research collaboration between the University of Ghana and four German partner institutions:

MIASA: its sponsors and partners

The Institute is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the University of Ghana.

MIASA is part of the BMBF-sponsored Maria Sibylla Merian programme which enables research in the humanities and social sciences in long-term, transnational work contexts in India, Mexico, Brazil, Ghana, and Tunisia:

  • ICAS:MP – M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies “Metamorphoses of the Political” (established in July 2015 in New Delhi, India)
  • CALAS – Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies “Coping with Crisis” (established in March 2017 in Guadalajara, Mexico)
  • MECILA – Maria Sibylla Merian Center “Conviviality-Inequality” in Latin America (established in April 2017 in Sao Paolo, Brazil)
  • MIASA – Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa “Sustainable Governance” (established in March 2018 in Accra, Ghana)
  • MECAM – Merian Center for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb “Imagining Futures – Dealing with Disparity” (established in March 2020 in Tunis, Tunisia)

MIASA is a member of the UBIAS network (University-based Institutes for Advanced Studies).

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