Africa Portal's New 'Community of Practice' Blog Offers Collaborative Space for Insight On African Research Trends

press release

Waterloo, Canada - July 10, 2012 — The Africa Portal invites policy makers, journalists, researchers and students conducting work on African policy issues to explore Community of Practice, a new blog offering fresh insight on Africa-related research.

Launching today, the blog draws on the unique role that online, collaborative spaces can have in pushing forward important discussions, specifically on critical issues concerning African policy making. The blog will feature exclusive interviews and commentaries, including observations from the field, from a group of top researchers and practitioners. Integrated into the Africa Portal -- an online, open-source knowledge resource -- Community of Practice is an interactive hub open to readers' comments and contributions.

"This blog gives individuals an online space to converge and take part in discussions with others around the world who are committed to improving Africa," says Erica Shaw, program manager of the Africa Initiative. "Community of Practice is a landmark addition to the Africa Portal. It's opening up an opportunity to inform policy makers and researchers on new challenges and trends taking shape on the continent, and it will also contribute to the larger discussion about Africa's global importance."

As part of the Africa Initiative, the Africa Portal and Community of Practice are run by The Centre for International Governance Innovation, Makerere University and the South African Institute of International Affairs. In addition to the new blog, the Africa Portal also offers open access to a suite of features including an online library collection, experts directory, international events calendar and a mobile version of its website -- all aimed to equip users with research and information on Africa's current policy issues. The Africa Initiative project aims to contribute to the deepening of Africa's capacity and knowledge in five thematic areas -- conflict resolution, energy, food security, health, and migration, with special attention to the cross-cutting issue of climate change.

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