The Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) was first established in 1960 as a non-profit organisation. Today it is a statutory body following the Africa Institute of South Africa Act (no 68 of 2001). Although the institute has been existence for more than 51 years, this saw it being brought into the fold of science councils in South Africa and given the full support of the Department of Science and Technology.
South Africa and Africa have undergone fundamental changes in the past decade and AISA has been at the forefront of research and training on African Affairs. Through the AISA campus, an annual training programme that educates students from universities in research methodologies, AISA has contributed to fostering a new generation of research specialists. AISA has also been able to produce some of the finest research on contemporary African Affairs by having its dedicated and highly qualified researchers conduct field research every year throughout the African continent. This means that all research output is based on first hand empirical evidence.
AISA has also become involved in community outreach programmes by doing all it can to provide maps and other resources to under- privileged schools in rural South Africa. AISA has undertaken to promote knowledge creation as a fundamental part of development and growth for Africa and as such aims to encourage research as a career choice for young people as they leave school.