The African Excellence Network (AEN) is a newly formed association that brings together alumni from all the DAAD African Excellence centres. A culmination of discussions that had begun 2 years prior to that. In 2017, at the 1st alumni conference that took place in Cape Town, South Africa, participants (alumni) recognised the urgent need to set up an association that would facilitate engagement among alumni from all the centres of excellence and provide a platform through which members can support the centres of excellence. Such an association would also engage with issues facing sub-Saharan Africa, through research and advocacy. Subsequently, an interim committee consisting of five alumni was formed and tasked with developing these ideas further. The team consisted of Anotinette Darko, Abisha Damba, Charlton Tsodzo, Eria Serwajja, and Winnie Sambu.

AEN was officially registered as a non-profit organisation in South Africa in September 2018. During the 2nd alumni conference which took place in Akosombo, Ghana, the leadership structure was solidified with the formation of a steering committee consisting of representatives from seven centres of excellence and three additional alumni. The current steering committee members are: Antoinette Darko, Abisha Damba, Charlton Tsodzo, Eria Serwajja, Helvi Petrus, Janet Ronoh, Nelly Kamunde, Patrick Mfossa, Omondi Owino, and Winnie Sambu. Detailed profiles of the committee members are available.

The steering committee is guided by an Advisory Board, whose members include centres’ alumni and internationally recongised experts and leaders in the field of development.

AEN is grateful for support received from the DAAD African Excellence Programme, the South-African German Centre for Development Research, and the Ghanaian-German Centre for Development Research.


AEN’s vision is to be a vibrant network of African scholars engaged in finding home grown solutions to diverse challenges on the continent. A forum that promotes the ideals, values, goals and aspirations that inspired the establishment of DAAD African Centres of Excellence.

A hub that facilitates healthy and fulfilling cooperation among alumni on the continent in diverse areas.