AEGIS is a research network of European centres in African studies, which aims to create synergies between experts and institutions. With primary emphasis on Social Sciences and Humanities, AEGIS' main goal is to improve understanding about contemporary African societies.
AEGIS was founded in 1991 by African studies centres in Bayreuth, Bordeaux, Leiden, London, and Uppsala. In the course of a decade, it developed into a network that included centres from more and more European countries. An executive committee of three was constituted. and has been elected every two years. Yearly meetings of the member centres were instrumental for the development of multiple links between them. Starting in 1998, international conferences on a variety of thematic areas were organized in different countries.
In the new millennium, the organization of European Conferences on African Studies (ECAS), open to everybody, became the central activity. These conferences are taking place every two years, always in a different country. The first European Conference on African Studies was held at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London in July 2005; the second Conference was held at the African Studies Centre in Leiden, Netherlands, in July 2007. ECAS 2009 was held in Leipzig and ECAS 2011 was organized by the Nordic Africa Institute at Uppsala. The 5th European Conference on African Studies was organized in 2013 by the Centro de Estudos Africanos at ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. In 2015 the 6th ECAS took place in Paris, and the 7th edition of ECAS will take place in Basel in 2017.