African universities suffer wideley from insufficient research resources and capacities and focus on lecturing mainly. There is a lack of a critical mass of research organisations and researchers focusing on African scientific development and also on supporting development in Africa. Donor supported research institutes are rarely linked to and well integrated into African universities. For many years African universities seem to have been forgotten by funders and policy makers. African universities are better connected with the North than with other universities in the African countries although some Pan-African universities opened their gates recently. As many academics and students leave African countries to conduct research and to study in the North there is a huge brain drain from Africa. Lacking funding African university members rarely get an opportunity to do research in their neighbouring countries. African universities can therefore rarely contribute evidence-based know-how to regional organisations. But the universities, the researchers, lecturers, the young academics and the regional organisations are Africa’s future!


The MISSION of the SUNARPA team is to contribute to strengthening research in Africa, to strengthening regional /pan-African research and to supporting sustainable development and peace of pastoralist areas through:

  • Promoting African science through interdisciplinary and regional research;

  • Establishing Centres of Excellence in African member universities through building capacity of young researchers by teaching students and supervising MA & PhD candidates;

  • Cooperating closely and building capacities by conducting & promoting interdisciplinary research in environmental, socio-economical, political, cultural, legal, peace and conflict related aspects of natural resources and their sustainable use in pastoralist areas;

  • Outreaching and providing evidence-based know-how and advice to policy makers, regional organisations, civil society, pastoralists and farmers, business people and development agents.