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MIASA starts into the main phase

The University of Freiburg will coordinate the BMBF-funded “Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa” (MIASA) for a further six years.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the center as one of now five "Maria Sibylla Merian Centers" until 2026 with approximately 13 million euros. The University of Freiburg is in charge of its establishment and coordination, with the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) and the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) acting as operational structures. MIASA is located at the University of Ghana in Accra as the most important African partner. Further European partners include the Center for Interdisciplinary African Studies (ZIAF) of the University of Frankfurt, the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg and the German Historical Institute Paris.

MIASA’s main research area is "sustainable governance". In an interdisciplinary approach, excellent scientists from various disciplines focus on topics like migration, democratic consolidation, ecological transformation, but also the restitution of cultural assets acquired during colonial times. MIASA has already contributed to the reduction of global knowledge asymmetries in the pilot phase – a goal that can now be pursued on an even larger scale.


“MIASA's great work with African colleagues, especially at the University of Ghana, can now be continued permanently and on a larger scale. This is a milestone for scientific cooperation with Africa and for Africa-related research in Freiburg. Vice-Chancellor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu and I are happy about the joint success and wish the consortium all the best on its way.”

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, rector of the University of Freiburg


“With the Africa Centre for Transregional Research (ACT), Freiburg has set the course for becoming an important partner in German Africa research. This would hardly have been conceivable without MIASA as flagship. I will make every effort to ensure that the internationalization of the university focuses more strongly on the Global South based on appreciative scientific cooperation, not least through the channels now established and the profile topics of our university.”

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Krieglstein, designated rector of the University of Freiburg


“The University of Ghana is extremely delighted about the continued success of MIASA. This achievement constitutes a milestone for the scientific cooperation between Ghana and Germany and a testament to the attractiveness of our internationally recognized location at UG, Legon, Accra”

Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana


Information on partner institutions


Background: "Maria Sibylla Merian Centres"

With the International Research Colleges "Maria Sibylla Merian Centres", the BMBF aims to promote the internationalization of the humanities, cultural and social sciences in Germany via close bilateral and multilateral cooperation projects at locations outside Germany. To this end, Research Training Groups have been established in regions and partner countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa that are important for science and science policy. These groups of researchers – primarily from Germany,  the host country, and the partner region – conduct joint research as fellows in the humanities and social sciences. The Research Training Groups are established and operated in partnerships with German academic institutions.