Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Afrikaforschung - Frankfurt

Full member

(Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Afrikaforschung)

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Frankfurt am Main
Grüneburgplatz 1
60629 Frankfurt am Main

Dr. Stefan Schmid
Campus Westend,
room 6.418 (6th floor, Q4)
phone: 0049 69 798-32097
fax: 0049 69 798-32098






Research with a focus on Africa is done in 14 disciplines ranging from Archaeology and Archaeobotany to Zoology, comprising around 50 members. ZIAF differs from other Centres of African studies by its focus on palaeo-history and paleo-environment, and biodiversity studies. Currently, there are three main interdisciplinary clusters: 1) The development of complex societies in sub-Saharan Africa: The Nigerian Nok culture (DFG), 2) UNDESERT - Understanding and combating desertification to mitigate its impact on ecosystem services (EU), and 3) AFRASO - Africa’s Asian Options (BMBF).

There are no centre-specific publications.


ZIAF is organizing national and international conferences, both in Africa and Germany, and is running the DFG Program Point Sud in Bamako.

MA courses

There are several MA courses in different disciplines at Goethe-University offering a specialization on African topics.


Frankfurt hosts the “Special Collection 6.31 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Africa South of the Sahara”. The Collection covers all regions of Africa with the exception of the Mediterranean and neighbouring countries, Mauritania, West Sahara, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia. All areas are covered except economics, modern law, modern medicine, natural sciences, languages, and literature pertaining to the Orient (in particular Arabic).

Guest researchers

The Centre invites guest researchers proposed by its members. ZIAF is organizing the Fellowship Program in the Social Sciences in Sub-Saharan Africa financed by the Volkswagen Foundation.