The Future Africa research community is based on the following objectives:

 

Africa focused

Africa is a very large continent, endowed with unbelievable richness in terms of the people, cultures, biodiversity and environments. We view this whole to have an undeniable connection; socially, ecologically and economically. It is also a continent on which research capacity needs to increase massively to be competitive with other parts of the world. We will thus actively strive to address issues at a broader African scale, and promote research and networks across the continent.

 

Interdisciplinarity, academic networks and team work

While individuals are often credited for scientific breakthroughs, and while we recognize the critical importance of individual brilliance, no scientific discovery is ever made in isolation. It always builds on the collective knowledge of a system. At the same time, we recognize that the complexity of issues facing the world cannot be addressed through isolated disciplinary approaches. A large proportion of the most significant work done today is therefore through interdisciplinary and multinational teams. Future Africa will strive to help develop such an interconnected, team-based approach, rather than focusing solely on individual brilliance, competition and promotion.

 

Transdisciplinarity and social responsibility

Future Africa concerns itself with the social context within which it exists and does its research. We endeavor to take up the responsibility that comes with the privilege of being knowledge producers. That means engaging society directly, and via consensus such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in the design and outcomes of research. We will seek to connect all the research that we do to the societies in which we operate.

 

Excellence

While Future Africa will not be competition driven, it will seek to ensure that it conducts its science to the highest possible standards. This will mean a constant strive to ‘raise the bar’ on the quality of our publications, our impact on society, our engagement with individuals and networks, our environment and our community of Future Africa scholars. In this context, we view curiosity driven, basic research and applied research as part of a continuum and important for the health of the science system.

 

Diversity

Future Africa views the contribution of the total richness of humanity as critical to the optimal efficiency and impact of science. We believe in the value of the individual to contribute to the collective, and without tapping into the richness of human diversity, the contribution to the whole remains incomplete. We will not only respect diversity, but seek to promote diversity in all that we do. With diversity we refer to race, gender, sexuality, culture, discipline, age and all the other rich layers of our society.

 

Open Science

Future Africa views science as a public good. The Future Africa community will respect legally protected and intrinsic rights to knowledge, patents or publications. However, we view science as predominantly publicly funded, and always a public good, that needs to be actively disseminated as widely as possible to contribute optimally to the good of humanity and the planet.

 

Leadership

In all the above-mentioned matters, we endeavor to take personal and collective responsibility to lead the change that is needed to make the world a more equal, just and sustainable place. Future Africa will endeavor to actively develop leadership skills in students and academics to instill and enable this proactive approach to transformation.