About Us

Who we are – our identity
The Dakar Institute of African Studies – Institut d’Etudes Africaines de Dakar (DIAS-IEAD) is a center of learning and research that focuses on African Studies, Francophone Studies, African Languages, and Education. The Dakar Institute provides a summer program and research opportunities in Senegal for undergraduate, graduate students, and scholars interested in developing their knowledge of Africa. Courses are taught by a diverse group of American and Senegalese professors with teaching and research experience in the U.S. and in Senegal. These courses fulfill requirements for specific majors and minors in different fields of Humanities and Education as well as General Education requirements at the students’ home institutions.
What we do – our mission
The mission of The Dakar Institute is to provide African, American, and European university students learning opportunities in Africa. Facilitated by professors with experience in the U.S. and Senegal, the program aims to encourage students to gain a deeper understanding of African realities through education, cultural exchange, and excursions. Through this tripartite formation, our institute aspires to prepare students to maneuver in our globally interdependent and diverse world.
What we stand for – our ideology
In addition to operating a unique study abroad program of high academic standards, we believe it is crucial to contribute to the valorization of the African cultural heritage and to place this heritage in conversation with other worldviews. While we are dedicated to educating students from different regions of the world and from around Africa on African cultures, histories, and systems of thought, The Dakar Institute also believes in giving back to the Senegalese community by exposing local students to global sources of knowledge. We believe that education should be accessible to all and, through the important work that we are doing, we are committed to making this noble mission a reality, especially for those in whose country we are based.
How we stand for it – our goals and practices
One of the most important goals of this program is to create an environment that will enable peers from Senegal and the U.S. to learn the particularities of their respective cultures. Not only will study abroad students take African Studies or Education courses with a number of Senegalese peers, they will also have the opportunity to live with host families. This cultural exchange and immersion will provide the study abroad students with deeper understanding of Senegalese culture, as well as a worldview based on African cultural heritage. This cohabitation will enable both groups, the study abroad students and the Senegalese students, to develop a new community of peers, ready to face the challenges of the world today.
Who represents us – our makeup
Executive Board

The executive board consists of founding members. These members are permanent members who have participated in the creation and development of the institute and made material contributions towards its operation. All structural, financial, and academic decisions are made by a consensus of the founding members.

Advisory Board

The advisory board consists of members who advise and assist the executive board on matters that will strengthen the mission of The Dakar Institute of African Studies. Members of the advisory board are volunteers who share expert knowledge of Africa and African Studies with the Institute. They are selected and appointed by founding members of The Dakar Institute.

Faculty Assembly

The faculty assembly is composed of all permanent and part time faculty members of The Dakar Institute. It is an advisory committee that can bring to the attention of the board of directors any academic issue relevant to the Institute.

About The Country

Bound by the Atlantic Ocean, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau, Senegal is a peaceful West African country with a mixture of many cultures and languages.
Dakar, the capital city, is an international cultural hub, home to major academic institutions, the heart of diverse artistic and musical innovations and
the center of creative political expressions.

Senegal offers many cultural and tourist attractions. It has a rich cultural heritage represented by historical sites such as Gorée Island and St. Louis, traditional
villages like Yoff, ecological landmarks like Popenguine and Toubab Dialao, and religious centers like Ndem village and Touba.
Home to Youssou Ndour and Koumba Gawlo, the country has a prolific history of musical and artistic expression.

In addition to diverse genres of music, from mbalaax to rap, the Senegalese art-scape includes painting, sculpture, and dance. Senegal offers colorful markets,
exquisite couture, and beautiful beaches side-by-side modern shopping centers and five-star resorts. Senegal is also the champion of traditional
wrestling in Africa, which dominates the sports scene in the arena and on TV in most living rooms. Dakar, the capital city, has a vibrant nightlife.
There are numerous concerts and art performances, multi-ethnic restaurants, and nightclubs tailored to different tastes.