The African Minds Trust was founded in 2012 with the broad mission of supporting the dissemination of knowledge from and in Africa relevant to addressing the social challenges that face the African continent. To support its mission, African Minds conducts research on developments and trends in scholarly publishing in Africa in particular and in the making data, information and knowledge more transparent and accessible in general.

African Minds research projects

1. The African university press in a digital age: practices and opportunities

January 2015 to December 2016
Supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York [Grant number: D14118]

The purpose of the research is to produce new knowledge on African university presses, in particular regarding the overall landscape of academic publishing in Africa and the various revenue and distribution models operative at African university presses in the light of current technological advances and market opportunities. The research thus hopes to enhance access to basic knowledge and create new knowledge on African university presses by means of a cross-country mapping of baseline data and in-depth case studies; increase awareness and use of high‐quality academic publishing in Africa; increase the uptake of technological opportunities among African university presses; and increase awareness of and promote open access publishing and other viable models among African university presses. From the grant-maker’s perspective and from an institutional support perspective, the project is also intended to guide the development of the university press in Africa. [PROJECT PAGE]

2. Open data and information asymmetries

October 2015 to June 2016
Supported by the World Wide Web Foundation as part of its Harnessing Open Data to Achieve Development Results in Asia and Africa project supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) [Grant number: 107075]

This research project consists of two parts: (1) research on how open data can make value chains more transparent; and (2) research on the roles of intermediaries in extending the reach of open data beyond the web. For Part 1, African Minds will bring together stakeholders in a coffee value chain to discuss what data they own, what data they would like to have, and what data they are prepared to make open. The project is interested in finding out whether open data can create a more transparent value chain that is beneficial to all stakeholders in the chain. Part 2 will consist of research into intermediaries in the agriculture sector in Ghana, and how they are able to unlock the benefits of open data by connecting to grassroots communities.