Our Mission

What does it mean to study the prominent, the powerful, and the prosperous—Africans who wield power on a continental or global scale—in a part of the world often dismissed as marginal? This project seeks to leverage the insights of an interdisciplinary group of scholars to shift how Africa and its elites are understood.

Our goal is to challenge academic and public perceptions of African elites as grasping and self-interested—a framing that perpetuates negative depictions of the continent and its peoples and draws on a simplistic understanding of power and how it is wielded.


We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the University of Toronto, including the Department of Political Science, the Office of the Vice-President, International, the Faculty of Arts and Science, the Department of History, the Department for the Study of Religion, and the Department of Anthropology.

Our distinctive typeface, Format-1452, was designed by Frank Adebiaye, a French-Beninese type designer and founder of the experimental Velvetyne Type Foundry.