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Post Graduate Research Students, School of Social and International Studies

The John & Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS) was established in August 2002 as the African Centre for  Peace and Conflict Studies (Africa Centre), based in the world-renowned Department of Peace Studies at the  University of Bradford. The African Centre was the first ever specialist and area studies Peace and Conflict Research institute established in Europe and North America. It was established as part of the strategic expansion of the Department of Peace Studies and as an integral part of the Department’s specialised research and capacity building centres. 

In February 2005, the Africa Centre was awarded the Allan & Nesta Ferguson Trust Project Grant of £1.75 million to strategically support the expansion of the Africa Centre and its core activities. After the death of the benefactress, Mrs Elnora Ferguson, and in recognition of the academic/research work that Professor John Ferguson had done in Africa, the Ferguson Grant Project Management Committee decided to change the name of the Africa Centre to the John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS) in January 2009. 

JEFCAS is a product of the demand for African specialism in the area of Peace and Conflict Research and, in particular, understanding the nexus of peace, security, conflict and development in contemporary Africa.

Importantly, the 1990s saw an exponential increase in Peace Research teaching and learning focus on Africa. Available statistics show that out of a total number of 83 postgraduate research applicants to the Department of Peace Studies between October 2001 and July 2002, 38 were either from Africa or had proposed research topics on Africa.

In addition, due to Peace Studies’ international profile, key western governments, intergovernmental organisations such as EU and UN, Africa regional institutions, educational foundations, Non-governmental organisations (NGO) and media institutions such as the BBC, have inundated the Department of Peace Studies with a variety of requests on African specialism.

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