Multi-Inter-Transdisciplinary Conference On Africa Transformation Perspectives


Multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary research approaches have become increasingly popular in academic circles, as they seek to address complex societal problems that require input from multiple disciplines. 

These approaches are particularly relevant in Africa, where many of the challenges facing the continent are multifaceted and require a holistic approach. In this essay, we will explore the concept of multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary research from an African perspective and examine its potential benefits.

Multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary research approaches seek to incorporate the perspectives and methodologies of multiple disciplines in order to address complex problems. 

Multi-disciplinary research involves collaboration between researchers from different disciplines who work together to address a common problem. Interdisciplinary research, on the other hand, involves the integration of different disciplines in the study of a particular problem or question.

 Transdisciplinary research goes even further, breaking down the boundaries between academic disciplines and involving stakeholders from outside academia, such as policymakers, community members, and industry representatives. Transdisciplinary research seeks to generate practical solutions to complex problems by drawing on a diverse set of perspectives.

In Africa, multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary research approaches are becoming increasingly important as the continent grapples with a range of complex challenges. These challenges include poverty, inequality, disease, environmental degradation, and political instability, among others. 

These problems are often interconnected, and their solutions require input from a variety of disciplines, as well as from stakeholders outside academia. For example, addressing poverty in Africa may require input from economists, sociologists, political scientists, and representatives from NGOs and government agencies. 

By bringing together these different perspectives, multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary research approaches can identify innovative solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of the region.

One example of a successful multi-disciplinary research project in Africa is the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) at the University of Cape Town. The ACDI brings together researchers from a range of disciplines, including climate science, economics, and social sciences, to address the complex challenges posed by climate change in Africa.

 By working together, these researchers are able to identify solutions that take into account the needs of vulnerable communities in the region. For example, the ACDI has developed a climate risk atlas that provides decision-makers with the information they need to make informed decisions about climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Interdisciplinary research is also gaining traction in Africa, particularly in the field of health. For example, the African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI) brings together researchers from a range of disciplines, including psychiatry, psychology, public health, and anthropology. 


By Sinawo Hermans