LDE-minor: African Dynamics


Joint Minor Erasmus University Rotterdam, TU Delft and Leiden University 


In an increasingly interconnected world, Africa is faced with a list of ‘wicked problems’ including inequality, climate change, and unsustainable economic growth. At the same time, the continent offers unprecedented opportunities. As the oldest human inhabited and one of the most diverse continents in the world, Africa has immense human potential. It is a rich continent with extensive local knowledge, abundant geo-resources, enormous natural biodiversity and vast cultivable land, offering immeasurable opportunities for growth and development.

Based on the continent’s ongoing economic growth rates, the IMF forecasts that in the coming decades, with sixty percent of Africa’s population younger than 24 years, Africa will be the second-fastest growing region in the world. Yet, living in the world’s most unequal continent, impatient youth are actively seeking employment opportunities and better living conditions. Their growing frustration, among others, manifests in migration flows within and from the continent.

As its closest neighbour, Europe feels exposed to pressures of growing numbers of refugee-seeking and economic migrants. Africans are however also increasingly looking beyond the West. Forging new partnerships, China has become Africa's largest trading partner and concerns have been raised that the Sino-African political, economic, and military relations may undermine African nations’ sovereignty.

The way in which Africa unfolds will greatly impact the course of the world’s shared future in the 21st century. Fusing expertise in the humanities, social and natural sciences and technology, the aim of the African Dynamics minor is to capacitise LU, TUD and EUR bachelor students from different disciplines to identify, track, and strengthen Africa’s role in the globalised world. The minor offers students a valuable opportunity to build their understanding of integrated and sustainable development approaches in Africa from leading academics of all three universities. It consists of two separate blocks, the first (Block A) imparting foundational theoretical knowledge and the second (Block B) affording students an opportunity to apply their knowledge, build networks and experience Africa in reality.

Following a general introduction to Africa’s past, present, and future, Block A further includes three modules representing specific and interrelated areas of study:

(1) African Economies: Africanists from EUR Rotterdam School of Management focus on socio-economic realities, and consider new paradigms to address ‘wicked’ challenges, develop guiding principles and business models to implement the SDGs.

(2) African Resources and Infrastructure: TU Delft Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences guide investigations into key resources, such as water, energy, and land, their related infrastructures, and linkages with sustainable development.

(3) Social Dynamics: the African Studies Centre, Leiden University addresses the challenges of poverty, hunger, health, education, equality, and governance building on the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals.

The modules are interwoven to construct a holistic understanding of sustainability in an African context. Through collaboration and individual activities, students will arrive at an integrated multidisciplinary understanding of African opportunities and challenges.

This understanding will be expanded and deepened in Block B during interactive webinars with African and Dutch policy makers, think tanks, knowledge platforms, NGOs, and entrepreneurs. Knowledge will be embedded through day excursions to relevant ministries and institutions. Participating in a Small Private Online Course (SPOC), presented as a Global Classroom, students will critically engage with peer students from African universities on advancing the SDGs. Comparing theoretical knowledge to African realities, the second block concludes with a three week field study in Africa.

Take note: this is a selection minor for which you can only apply between 1 and 15 April 2021!

For more information about the structure, content, application procedure and the contact information, click here.  (URL LINK: https://studiegids.universiteitleiden.nl/studies/8579/african-dynamics#tab-1)


Learning Objectives

To achieve the overall aim of the minor; capacitating students from different disciplines to identify, track and help strengthening Africa’s role in the globalized world, in an integrated and sustainable way, Block A imparts relevant theoretical knowledge and Block B affords students an opportunity to apply their knowledge, build networks and experience Africa. Starting on an introductory level, the minor builds-up to an intermediate level, whilst remaining on a level that enables learners from different disciplines to follow.


See the Leiden University e-prospectus for detailed course descriptions. Please note it is not possible to follow only one course, as the minor is a consistent package of courses designed to help you build your knowledge in a logical and connected way.


The minor is demanding and aspects such as continuous collaboration and going abroad for the field study require dedication and motivation. Therefore, although no prior specialist knowledge is required, students will be selected on basis of a motivation letter in English. They have to motivate why they are interested in the minor and what their personal learning objectives are.

LU & TUD students who apply a 30 EC minor are obliged to follow both Block A and B. Block A can serve as a complete unit to accommodate EUR students who have a minor requirement of 15 EC. These students may choose to complete Block B, and since their participation enriches the multi-disciplinary feature of the minor, they will be gladly accommodated in Block B. It is however not possible to enrol for Block B without having completed Block A, as this is the theoretical foundation of the minor.

For more information about the structure, content, application procedure and the contact information, click here.  (URL LINK: https://studiegids.universiteitleiden.nl/studies/8579/african-dynamics#tab-1)

Studiepunten (EC)

Leiden University, African Studies Centre

TU Delft, Faculty Of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management

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