Afara Academic Publishing (AAP) is an innovative social entrepreneurship initiative that is aiming at publishing empirical research papers from university graduates from Africa/MENA region (i. e. BA, MA and PhD students) on an online platform, that will be hosted in Berlin, Germany. Official partner is the Free University of Berlin (FU Berlin).
Interested researchers on the region, e. g. universities, international organizations, libraries, research networks etc. can browse the data base of AAP and download the papers for a fee, that will directly benefit the author of the paper. The process of identification, quality check, publication and financial handling will be organized by a team in both, Berlin, Germany and the institution in the partner country.
The impact expected is multi-dimensional:
On one hand AAP will give graduates a chance to receive a compensation/income for their work as well as empower them to continue their academic carrier. Therefore AAP's long-term goal is to make research a vehicle for income generation, give graduates a professional perspective by fostering their academic creativity, activity and knowledge and helping them see the benefits of the time, energy and financial resources they and their families had invested in their education. It is expected that the option of being rewarded by gaining a positive image through official publication of the own research and by receiving financial incentives will eventually strengthen the belief and engagement in their countries' development. Furthermore increased research activity will improve the academic landscape altogether for example by enhancing the quality and quantity of papers as well as by creating networks and think tanks among students. As a consequence the university will become more attractive not only to students but also to teaching staff, international researches and the like. Therefore AAP is an initiative that combines academic research with economic and social development.
On the other hand AAP will offer researchers outside Africa/MENA a chance to enrich their knowledge on the region through genuine first-hand information. Currently the predominant approach to researching Africa/MENA is influenced by a "white" research culture that still neglects the regional perspective. The problem is that such a research cultures frequently construct, deconstruct and perpetuate images of the region based on a limited and presumptuous instead of taking into regard authentic empiric data from indigenous research. AAP's long-term goal is to "decolonize" research and to boost the relevance and visibility of research from Africa/MENA internationally.
AAP connects research within and across continents. "Afara" means "bridge" in the Yoruba language!