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University of Toronto and Africa

  • Many U of T faculty are engaged in research and scholarship in Africa and with African institutions and scholars. Ongoing activities in the region include academic programming, faculty to faculty research collaborations and capacity building projects. The top research areas for joint publications are medicine, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology, social sciences, and agricultural and biological sciences. U of T faculty members have active research collaborations with a range of universities.

    U of T is in the process of developing the African Higher Education Health Collaborative with eight leading African universities — Addis Ababa University, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, African Leadership University, Amref International University, Ashesi University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Moi University and University of Cape Town — with a focus on developing the health sectors in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, U of T is developing a suite of programs to train and prepare young professionals for the meaningful work of growing African health sectors equitably and efficiently to meet the health needs of each country, with an emphasis on employment opportunities for women. Our shared vision is to provide the training, knowledge and hands-on experiential learning required for developing high-quality and equitable health-care delivery in Africa, by Africans, for Africans. As an essential component of broader, multi-sector efforts to develop African health systems, the collaborative’s work will help stimulate economic growth, address access-to-care issues, create stable and rewarding jobs in health care, and contribute to robust societies.

    U of T students have the opportunity to participate in global learning experiences in Africa through Woodsworth College’s Summer Abroad program in South Africa. U of T’s engagement with Africa is guided in part by the President’s International Council on the Engagement with Africa, comprised of current U of T faculty with expertise in the region.

    Please note: The country and institutional pages of this website provide but a sampling of the rich and deep relationships that the U of T community enjoys with many countries, institutions and communities around the world.

  • Across the University of Toronto community, staff and students engage in collaborative work with many institutions in Africa. The below highlights the ones with which we currently have a strategic, institutional partnership that includes joint funding and programmatic opportunities. U of T, through the Office of the Vice-President, International, builds institutional partnerships with peer institutions where there is evidence of strong, existing faculty-to-faculty engagement and collaboration already in place.

    Addis Ababa University (AAU)

    The Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC) was founded in 2003 in partnership between U of T and AAU. The multidisciplinary program was founded to assist, and strengthen capacity and sustainability for medical, engineering, social sciences and other academic and technological graduate training programs that currently number over 20 disciplines. Under the leadership and guidance of AAU faculty, U of T volunteers teach, supervise graduate students, provide clinical supervision and teach technical skills.  Once trained, the new AAU graduates are hired and expand faculties at AAU and new universities to take on responsibilities so each program becomes capable of replicating themselves. Since its inception, joint publications involved 1,684 investigators at 507 institutions in 101 countries. To date TAAAC has assisted over 200 AAU graduate students to become specialists.

    MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

    Since 2013, U of T in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, has provided full scholarships at the undergraduate level to talented, yet financially disadvantaged students from Sub-Saharan Africa. This fully comprehensive scholarship provides full financial assistance for tuition, travel expenses, housing, food, books and other learning materials and expenses for the duration of study. In addition to financial support, scholars are provided with a comprehensive support network to ensure academic success. To date, U of T has offered 69 scholarships to scholars from 11 countries. The goal of this program is to create a globally educated and highly qualified group of future leaders, who upon graduation, can return to Africa to help foster the region’s development.

    For U of T faculty members interested in funding opportunities for research collaborations with African institutions, please visit the International Partnerships tab on the U of T Global homepage  

    For U of T students interested in global learning opportunities in Africa please visit the U of T in the World tab on the U of T Global homepage 

  • The University of Toronto and the Mastercard Foundation are collaborating with eight leading higher education institutions in Africa to support the building of a more robust health ecosystem. Together, we have created the Higher Education Health Collaborative, a partnership to advance MCF’s health strategy for sub-Saharan Africa.  Our vision is the development of more robust health ecosystems in sub-Saharan African, by preparing young professionals for the meaningful work of growing African health sectors to meet the health needs in their respective countries. The initiative’s emphasis is on talent development opportunities for youth and women, starting in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa.  

    Over the next decade, the member institutions will co-develop diverse curricula to establish a transformative network of universities and other collaborators committed to developing health sectors. Together, the Health Collaborative will deliver a suite of programs focused on three pillars: health employment, health entrepreneurship and health ecosystems.  


    Guided by a set of shared principles, our shared commitment is to provide mentorship, training, knowledge and hands-on experiential learning that is required for developing high-quality and equitable healthcare delivery in Africa – led by Africans, with Africans and for Africans.  

    As an essential component of broader, multi-sector efforts to develop African health systems, our work will help stimulate economic growth, address access-to-care issues, create stable, rewarding jobs in health care and contribute to robust societies.  

    Member Institutions:

Degree students

(Fall 2019)

Student mobility



(April 2020)

Joint publications