Project and activities of  Institute of African Studies/ centre

The Institute has a folk museum. The museum collects, preserve, documents and displays artifacts and other cultural materials. The museum carries out exhibitions to support the activities of artists and researches with the approval of the Director and on the recommendations of the Exhibition committee. Four categories of exhibitions are recognized by the Institute:

  1. Exhibition fully funded by the Institute
  2. Exhibitions partially funded by the Institute
  3. Group exhibitions sponsored by the Institute
  4. Privately sponsored exhibitions.

The museum artifacts cover all aspects of the cultural life of the people of south-eastern Nigeria. Below is a collection of face masks from the museum.

Seminar and Workshop Services

The Institute runs monthly seminars/workshops on topical issues on African Studies. Academic staff or researchers may apply to give seminars in this scheme of the Institute or they may be appointed to persons for workshop or seminar presentations international bodies or agencies interested in the concerns of the Institute.

African Lecture Series

The Institute also runs public lecture series on leading themes on Nigerian/African Studies and research. Speakers for the lectures series are usually experts in their chosen field. The public lecture


Series  always stand out as a benchmark in the programmes of the Institute whenever such lectures are organized.


Collaborative Research &Grants

The Institute has opportunities for collaborative interdisciplinary research with the academic staff members in the university, other Nigerian universities and those abroad as well as with local and international agencies. Such studies run for short periods of one year to a maximum of three to five years.

The Institute welcomes well-articulated proposals on different aspects of Nigeria/African life especially, those on the people of South-Eastern Nigeria and their neighbours. Proposals could be sent to the Director at any time of the year.

The Institute obtains a small amount of funds from the University to sustain basic research operations but solicits major funding from grant-awarding bodies, government agencies and individuals interested in African Studies.

The Ethnographic Unit

The Institute has an Ethnographic Unit committed to salvage operations. When the project started in 1982, it was focused on the Igbo Culture. Research in this area is being sustained with new insights and paradigms.

Technical Services Unit

“One picture is worth a thousand words,” says a Chinese proverb. This adage might be said to form the basic philosophy by which the Technical Services unit was formed. Like all the other units in the Institute of endeavour is that of cultural research. This type of research can best be described as audio-visual.  The tools of this research are 16mm motion picture cameras, still photography equipment with black and white processing facilities, video tape recorders, and audio recording equipment.

  1. This unit provides audio-visual recording services to research fellows and to Units of the Institute.
  2. The Unit is also available for consultation and assistance to members of the academic community who may wish to employ video, or still photography in their research.
  3. As part of the institute’s Outreach programme, the Technical Services Unit is accessible to the community to record the cultural events that may be of relevance to the research interests of the Institute.
  4. The Technical Services Unit also conducts its own research with emphasis on the audio and visual presentation of events. It is able to organize its own video production which includes writing for the visual medium, directing, and production management.


Town &Gown programme


African or Nigerian culture cannot be properly captured without a close interaction with the rural and urban communities that make up the society.

Therefore, the Institute seeks collaboration with the people in the rural and urban communities of the nation for a well focused and authentic exploration of the diverse cultures of the people.


The Research Library

This Institute has a research library located on the third floor of the Institute’s building. The library has varied collections of published works on African Anthropology, Nigeria folklore, African traditional religion, Reports on Ethnographical surveys, journal, etc.

In addition, the library runs photo-copying and spiral binding services for its clientele.

The Institute welcomes readers who want to enjoy a cool and serene environment for their academic work to our library. The library is open daily from 4pm on week days.

         The Research Grants and Scholarship Unit

This Unit solicits, procures and awards research grants/fellowships to qualified persons, groups, and NGO’s interested in African Studies.

Areas of research in which grants are solicited/ awarded include: Conflict Resolution, Gender and peace Studies, Health Care, especially HIV/AIDS, African history, oral literature etc.




      The Institute seeks endowments and support from well meaning Nigerians in        diaspora and external agencies for research and infrastructural development. In doing this, it co-operates with UNRED in its fund raising efforts.


 Linkage Programmes

The Institute places emphasis on the establishment of linkage programmes with other institutions in interested institutions and agencies are invited to establish such linkages with us.


The Institute organizes annual international/ national conferences on African Studies to bring scholars together for intellectual and cultural exchange. Our conferences are normally advertised on our website. Interested participants in the Institute’s conferences are advised to check our website for conference announcements.