A continent of over 1 billion people, thousands of languages, dozens of countries, and a median age of 19.5, Africa stands out as a continent flush with opportunities for productive research collaborations and transformative educational experiences for MIT and African students alike.

The MIT-Africa Program empowers MIT students and faculty to advance knowledge and solve the world’s great challenges by connecting them with researchers, companies, and other partners in African countries. Specifically, MIT-Africa:

  1. Furthers MIT’s educational objectives by creating applied international learning opportunities for MIT students in African countries that increase their ability to understand and address real-world problems and build strong, meaningful intercultural connections with their host countries;
  2. Bolsters the Institute’s research mission by promoting collaborations between MIT faculty members and their counterparts in African countries via the MISTI Global Seed Funds Program;
  3. Partners with companies, universities, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and government entities on the African continent, especially those that serve as hosts and collaborators for our students and faculty, to address shared challenges;
  4. Collaborates with partners around the Institute and host public events, serving as a vital nexus of Africa oriented activity, to enable and inspire international projects and initiatives.

MIT-Africa Annual Reports









MIT-Africa Internships

Each year, MISTI sends dozens of MIT interns to Africa. Placement countries include Uganda, Ghana, Mauritius, Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa and others. Students work at universities, corporations, governments, and non-profits.  

"My summer in South Africa raised my awareness of the diversity of human conditions. Working at a research unit in the largest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere expanded how I understand healthcare systems as well as clinical research."

--Ankita Reddy, 2019, Biology

Learn more about the experience and impact of MIT-Africa Internships:
Abigail Anderson
Jamie Kang


MIT-Africa Travel Awards

The MIT-Africa Travel Awards Program, in partnership with the MIT Travel Office, provides air tickets to MIT students interested in pursuing the development of a startup or relevant research on the continent. MIT-AFRICA Travel Awards have been awarded to over 30 MIT students.

“MIT-Africa Travel Awards have been crucial in our goal to create Africa's Khan Academy.” 

--Tunde Alawode, PhD, Mechanical Engineering, 2017

Learn more about Tunde's experience here. 


MIT-Global Startup Labs in Africa

MIT-GSL empowers young entrepreneurs in emerging regions by exporting MIT best practices for catalyzing startups. MIT-GSL in Africa has worked in Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.




MIT-Africa Seed Funds

MIT-Africa seed funds support new collaborations between faculty and research scientists at MIT and their counterparts in Africa and are open to applications from all disciplines. MIT’s Global Strategy envisions the creation of new region-specific platforms for cultivating, facilitating, and coordinating faculty and Institute-level collaborations in targeted countries and regions.


Below is the reach of MIT's engagements across the continent.  Click here for additional details. 



Contact Us

Please contact the program manager for more information
Managing Director
Faculty Director

Featured Partners

Wilmar’s portfolio of high quality processed agricultural products is the preferred choice of consumers and the food manufacturing industry. Its consumer-packed products have a leading share in many Asian and African countries. Through scale, integration and the logistical advantages of its business model, Wilmar is able to extract margins at every step of the value chain, thereby reaping operational synergies and cost efficiencies. Wilmar is a firm advocate of sustainable growth and is committed to its role as a responsible corporate citizen.
South African Airways (SAA), Africa’s most awarded airline, operates from Johannesburg, South Africa, to 38 destinations worldwide. South African Airways is the official airline of MIT-Africa.
Total is a global, integrated energy producer and provider, the world’s fifth-ranked international oil and gas company and second-ranked photovoltaic solar energy operator.