Focus on Africa

What is the program?

Focus on Africa was started during the fall of 2015. The program was a partnership with the Division of Applied Social Sciences in CAFNR and Bond Life Sciences Center’s Life and Science Society Program.

The unique mission of the Life Sciences & Society Program (LSSP) is to bring together researchers from across disciplines and schools to develop innovative, multidisciplinary approaches to the intersections between the life sciences and human cultures.As thus LSSP created International Working Groups.

Since 2015, LSSP has collaborated with the African Hub and the Division of Applied Social Sciences for a Focus on Africa theme. The purpose of this International Working Group is to encourage MU Africanist scholars to meet each other,stimulate each other’s thinking, and potentially lead to the creation of broader research networks and/or joint scholarship.

Presenters (faculty and graduate students) are chosen to highlight the intersection among multiple disciplinary perspectives. Once a month, two individuals present their research in a blitz format (15-20min) and then allow the audience to ask questions. The presentations are usually over the lunch hour (12-1pm).

Who are our collaborators?

  • Division of Applied Social Sciences (FY16-18): The Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS) is one of six academic units within the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR). The division’s purpose is to develop and empower decision makers who can manage the global food and natural resource systems and lead rural communities. The mission is to be the leading institution in outreach-driven education and research that integrates science-based information into public and private decision making. While much of our focus is on issues of concern to Missouri, we do work that directly affects national policy. We also are involved internationally on a significant scale. To learn more, please visit
  • Office of Research (FY16 to FY20): The Office of Research, Graduate Studies, and Economic Development at the University of Missouri works to ensure that the University’s research, graduate studies, and economic development missions are continually advanced by faculty and student discovery, innovation, entrepreneurship, and scholarship. The Research Division focuses on University’s research, instruction, and public service activities. Their goal is to create a research-centered academic ecosystem — a network that fosters connections between MU research and all of the institution’s other activities while creating a broader foundation for research support among internal and external stakeholders. To learn more, please visit
  • CAFNR International Programs (FY19 to present): CAFNR International Programs (CIP) provides technical assistance to their international partners and facilitates global engagement for faculty and students across the College of Agriculture Food & Natural Resources. CIP offer capacity building and development assistance as well as training programs for USDA Cochran Fellowship Program, Scientific Exchange Program and Norman E. Borlaug Fellowship. To learn more, please visit


Previous programs

Dr . James Cook