Africa In­sti­tute

Ap­plied re­search in African key mar­kets.

Europe and Africa can only answer the big questions of our time together.

Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor

Offerings of the Africa Institute

Pro­ject Port­fo­lio

Topics for joint projects with African partners

Transformation management and commercialization of research

  • Network development and qualification measures based on the model of the German universities of applied sciences
  • Development of entrepreneurial universities & university-industry co-operations
  • Interdisciplinary & inter-university workshops for commercialization of co-operation
  • Development of e-learning content


Healthcare Management

  • MSc Health Information Management
  • MBA Healthcare
  • International leadership training
  • Hospital management for health professionals
  • Expert network Healthcare Management in East and Central Africa


Applied En­tre­pre­neurship

  • Applied entrepreneurship education programme/academy
  • Interdisciplinary master programmes
  • Entrepreneurship & renewable energies
  • Capacity building & lecturer education programmes


Logistics and resource management

  • Big data in logistics
  • Development of business models based on the application of renewable energies
  • Showcases for best practice of decentralized electrification for productive use
  • Circular economy
  • Cooling chains



  • E-Learning
  • Excursions
  • Joint research
  • Joint Master degree programmes
  • Networks
  • Student exchange
  • Guest Lectureships

Ser­vice Port­fo­lio

Services and expertise for German companies and institutions

Market & Contract research

  • Economic analyses of African markets or concept development by professors of the Africa Institute
  • Analyses of African markets within the framework of Bachelor/Master theses or market entry strategies developed by competing study groups in project-based seminars

Partnering & Workshops

  • Arranging contact to reliable business and cooperation partners in select countries
  • “Africa Day for Companies” with lectures, discussions, and exchange of experiences: Africa Day 2019 and 2020
  • Implementation / evaluation of in-house workshops on all market and environment-related issues of business activity in Africa

Annual Africa Day for Companies

Africa Day 2022

On May 10, 2022, the Africa Day for Enterprises will take place for the fourth time under the motto "Learning from and with Startups in African markets". The event will take place entirely online and in English.

Trainings, Talks & Key Notes

  • Customized personnel training for your Africa business for decision-making, business entry, or expansion
  • Topic-related lectures or keynote speeches for workshops or conferences

Cur­rent Top­ics and Events

Stu­dent theses

Are you studying at HNU and interested in writing a thesis on an Africa-related topic?

Feel free to contact us at africainstitute[at]hnu[dot]de! We supervise a wide variety of topics, gladly related to our ongoing projects, and sometimes the opportunity for on-site data collection arises.

Possible topics are listed here, but we are very open to your ideas.

Topics for Student Theses

for student theses
  • Prevalence and acceptance of product-service-systems business models in Rwanda
  • Bioeconomy in the agricultural sector of Rwanda
  • Consumer awareness and acceptance of circular economy business models
  • Identifying case studies of extant circular business models in Rwanda
  • Assessing lifecycle impact of circular business models in Rwanda
  • Intersections between the agricultural sector and other industries in Rwanda
  • Modelling for closed-loop supply chains for selected products in Rwanda
  • Prevalence of circularity in sustainability regulations / governmental documents in Rwanda
  • Prevalence of circularity in comparison of Rwanda to other selected African countries / European countries
  • How to make a product / process of an established company more circular – case study / feasibility study
  • Solidarity economy in Rwanda - potentials, concepts
  • Mapping inputs and outputs of a typical farm in Rwanda
  • Literature review on the differences between “new economic concepts” (bioeconomy, circular economoy, circular bioeconomy, green economy,…)
  • Trends, objectives, research gaps in the scientific community on the subject of the circular economy
  • Circular economy in the degrowth debate
  • How to promote and support business incubation in developing rural areas in Namibia [Experiences, difficulties, & opportunities]
  • Concepts to generate social and economic wealth in remote rural areas of Namibia – A critical analysis [Examination of experiences and deduction of forward-oriented opportunities]
  • Site analysis for local production and supply chain management in Kenya
  • 'Smart simplicity' as criteria for innovative product development - The adaption of products to the specific needs of the huge and rapidly growing markets in Africa and Asia
  • Improvement of supply chains in the food/agricultural sector through cold chains
  • E-mobility in Kenya - market potential and market analysis
  • Manufacturing value-chains in Kenya for E-mobility technology
  • Shared & circular economy business models in rural Kenya
  • Innovative and sustainable social business models in Kenya
  • Marketing for incubators – a comparison of German and Kenyan providers
  • What makes German and Kenyan incubators successful?
  • How to brand German and Kenyan start-ups from the renewable energy sector?
  • Business models for German and Kenyan start-ups from the renewable energy sector
  • A comparison of German and Kenyan consumers – using archetypes
  • A comparison of German and Kenyan companies in terms of image – using archetypes
  • A comparison of Germany and Kenya as brands – using archetypes
  • What data do German companies need to launch a product or service in Kenya successfully?
Completed Bachelor theses 2020
  •     Presentation of the framework conditions for promoting e-mobility in West Africa
  •     Presentation of the framework conditions for the promotion of renewable energies in African countries
  •     Opportunities and risks of German companies for investments in sub-Saharan Africa
  •     International project management and intercultural competence: The importance of culture and its influence on project success.

Our Part­ners in Africa

The Africa Institute maintains relations to the following countries in Africa:

Ethiopia, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda


Be­sides co­oper­a­tions with sev­eral pro­ject part­ners, the Africa In­sti­tute is in­volved in the net­works BRIAS, UAS Africa, Ger­man-African Busi­ness As­so­ci­ation and Africa First Net­work!

Bavarian Research Institute of African Studies (BRIAS)

Bav­arian Re­search In­sti­tute of African Stud­ies (BRIAS)

The Bavarian Research Institute of African Studies (BRIAS) combines Africa-related disciplines and research competencies in cooperation with the Universities of Bayreuth and Würzburg, the Ingolstadt University of Technology and the HNU. The HNU focuses on health management, blended learning and practically oriented entrepreneurship education. As an interdisciplinary platform, BRIAS aims to network existing scientific expertise in Bavarian Africa research, to strengthen university cooperation with partners in Africa, to establish new teaching modules and to develop joint future-oriented projects.


UAS Africa

UAS Africa 

Together with the universities of applied sciences of Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Flensburg and Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, HNU has founded the UAS Africa Network. This represents 5 theses on the model of applied sciences for African universities and is therefore essential for a sustainable cooperation with Africa.


German-African Business Association

Ger­man-African Busi­ness As­so­ci­ation

The German-African Business Association is a non-profit association with around 500 members, mostly German, but also European or African. Through the AV's excellent network, the association offers valuable contacts and communication with national as well as international companies, institutions, universities, private individuals and partner organizations. Members are thus supported in their activities in African countries. In addition, their interests are represented to political authorities. One main goal of the AV is to ensure an opportunity-oriented Africa policy. In the future, the HNU Africa Institute will conduct workshops and events together with other AV members, targeting political decision-makers and company representatives, for example. In the course of its membership, the Africa Institute is significantly expanding its network in terms of German companies interested in Africa. This will also enable an optimization and extension of the portfolio of services for companies and cooperation partners who want to work with the Africa Institute.


Africa First Network

Africa First Net­work

Since Africa is a continent of opportunities and the challenges of the future can only be tackled together with Europe, the Africa First Network is supporting projects in Africa, for instance. Through a wide network with numerous actors such as investors, entrepreneurs and financial experts, projects can be planned and realized that are not only profitable for the parties involved, but also for society and the environment.


Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE)

Al­li­ance for Rural Elec­tri­fic­a­tion (ARE)

The Alliance for Rural Electrification exists since 2006 and is the oldest and largest association dealing with and promoting decentralized electrification. Thus, the ARE is a strong and important partner for the Africa Institute. ARE's vision is that by 2030, there should be worldwide access to affordable, secure and clean energy.

Mem­bers of the Africa In­sti­tute

Professors from all faculties with a particularly strong research interest in the African continent are involved in the Africa Institute. Their work is interdisciplinary and they are supported by administrative and scientific staff.

Fur­ther In­form­a­tion


University-Industry Conference 2019, Kenyatta University, Project "Applied Entrepreneurship Academy"
Participants of the Health Data Analytics Winter School 2019 are testing Virtual Reality Glasses in HNU's Innovation Space
Prof. Engel and Prof. Bagula and their students are jointly developing a Supply Chain Management Game, 2019
Participants of the Africa Day 2020 are networking
Guest lecture by Dr. Prinz Asfa-Wossen As­ser­ate on the topic "Africa where to - Politics, Economy and Migration" at HNU, 2022
TT-CUIP workshop about technology transfer and commercialization of university intellectual property in Kigali, 2022
Visit to circular companies and startups in Rwanda with the CAE project team, 2022
Excursion to Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital at the Winter School 2022 in Kenya