Archie Mafeje Research Institute (AMRI)


The Archie Mafeje Institute for Applied Social Policy Research, in short the Archie Mafeje Research Institute (AMRI), is a policy research institute based at Unisa. It is dedicated to promoting the legacy of Professor Archie Mafeje in terms of innovative knowledge production for applied social policy in pursuit of progressive change in African society. This is through the provision of fresh thinking and novel policy ideas for the fight against poverty, inequality, social disintegration, lack of social justice, weak citizenship, collapse of institutions of community and family and other societal ills. It conducts research and facilitates scholarly and policy debates based on a rigorous understanding of African social formations and a clear definition of societal transformation aimed at social justice and poverty eradication on the continent. In particular, AMRI is concerned with change that results from knowledge garnered from the experiences and thought patterns of ordinary Africans.

Mafeje left South Africa at the height of apartheid after being refused a university position. He worked in various universities and research centres, including in Cairo, Dar-es-Salaam, Harare, Windhoek and The Hague, where he produced cutting edge research on different dynamics of societal transformation. He joined Unisa as a professor in 2002 until his death in 2007. Throughout his academic life, he inspired the wider community of African scholars to pursue independent and critical approaches to knowledge production and to contribute towards Africa’s renewal agenda and global peace.

As a result of his passion for alternative and transdisciplinary discourses on the African condition, Mafeje dedicated his life to promoting endogenous knowledge that would inform solutions to African social problems and to building an epistemic community of African scholars dedicated to creative thinking about critical African policy challenges. For this reason, AMRI aims to provide a platform for African scholars and analysts to become thought leaders for social transformation on the continent.

Last modified: 2019/05/21