NTU and SBF launch South-east Asia's First Centre for African Studies

A new centre between Africa and South-east Asia will be set up to encourage deeper ties between the two.

The partnership between the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was announced on Wednesday, at the inaugural Africa Asia Oil and Gas Summit 2013 at Shangri-La Hotel.

The NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies is the first of its kind in South-east Asia, and will be hosted at NTU's Nanyang Business School.

The memorandum of understanding to set up the centre was signed on Wednesday by SBF chief executive Ho Meng Kit, and NTU's Shaw Chair Professor and Dean of Nanyang Business School (NBS), Professor Ravi Kumar.

Both the public and private sectors will learn about African markets through research, workshops and programmes at the centre.

Business, politics and social economics are part of the centre's focus, targeting policy makers and businesses in order to increase their engagement with Africa.

There are also plans for the centre to foster closer relations and understanding between Africa and South-east Asia.

NBS Dean Professor Ravi Kumar said: "Singapore companies are awakening to the immense growth potential of Africa. encouraging deeper ties. The NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies will be vital to helping them know the lay of this rich and fertile land, by providing actionable, timely and comprehensive insights, and nurturing leaders with first-hand exposure to the continent."