Centre for Africa Studies

Welcome to the Centre for Africa Studies (CAS) at the University of the Free State (UFS). We are a multidisciplinary research and postgraduate centre, launched in November 2007.


  • We are committed to the realities and challenges of the African continent as part of our teaching and research activities;
  • We actively promote the incorporation of an Africa focus in academic activities as part of the strategic priorities of the UFS.

Core Functions

  • Research/publication and
  • Postgraduate Teaching.

To promote the UFS focus on Africa, the centre initiates, facilitates, or coordinates and participates in projects with a focus on Africa. As it has limited academic staff, it operates through the assistance of colleagues in other departments and faculties at the university and beyond.


Research focus areas include:

  • Dynamics of Development in Africa incorporating aspects of rural development and land issues in Africa;
  • Global Political Dynamics and Africa with foci such as democratisation and governance challenges (e.g. multilateral institutions in Africa);
  • Theorisation of transitions in Africa; citizenship, identity, and social cohesion in African democracies, as well as post-conflict peace and gender issues; and
  • Indigenous Knowledge System and heritage-related research.

The CAS also enjoys the support of Research Associates, contributing to the teaching and research outputs. We have established a network of institutional partnerships for research collaboration with institutions such as the Africa Institute of South Africa, SANPAD and the National Heritage Council.


Postgraduate training programmes offered by the centre include an honours degree, master's degree (coursework and research) and a PhD programme in Africa Studies. The Gender Studies programme, also housed in the centre, offers a structured MA and postgraduate diploma in Gender Studies.

Africa Day

The centre hosts the annual Africa Day Memorial Lecture, where guest scholars are invited to speak on crucial issues facing the continent.

Seminars and Lectures

The CAS monthly seminar offers a platform for scholars to debate national, regional, or continental issues.


Centre for Africa Studies (CAS) (IB 110)
University of the Free State
PO Box 339
Bloemfontein 9300
T: +27 51 401 3121
F: +27 51 401 9676

Prof Heidi Hudson
E: hudsonh@ufs.ac.za
T: +27 51 401 2327

Dr Stephanie Cawood
Programme Director: Africa Studies
E: cawoods@ufs.ac.za
T: +27 51 401 2614

Ms Nadine Lake
Programme Director: Gender Studies
E: lakenc@ufs.ac.za
T: +27 51 401 3813

Dr Kate Law
Teaching Fellow
E: lawkv@ufs.ac.za
T: +27 51 401 7182

General Enquiries:
Ms Sihle Salman
Senior Assistant Officer
E: salmansz@ufs.ac.za
T: + 27 51 401 3121

Academic Programme Enquiries
Ms Ankia Bradfield: Senior Assistant Officer
E: bradfielda@ufs.ac.zaT: + 27 51 401 9609


T: +27 51 401 2240
Marica Coetsee: +27 51 401 2369
Mrs Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592
Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Nhlamulo (Lucky) Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3519
Juanita du Plooy: +27 51 401 3269

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