The Association for Asian Studies in Africa (A-ASIA) was founded at the Asian Studies in Africa Roundtable, held in Chisamba, Zambia in November, 9-11, 2012. Concerned scholars from five continents and 17 countries gathered to discuss the state of Asian studies in Africa as well as to identify a way forward, and thus A-ASIA was born. The roundtable was the first ever pan-African conference on Asian Studies that brought together a diversified range of scholars and institutions from the continent and the rest of the world with a shared focus on Asia and Asia-Africa intellectual interactions.
A-ASIA's creation comes at a critical moment for scholarship in Africa focused on Asia. Increasing transnational linkages between Asia and Africa underline the necessity for such an association. It is dedicated to the capacity enhancement of institutions, programmes, and scholars. Current initiatives include scholarly exchanges, new programmes and institutions, support for existing capacities, conferences, workshops, graduate student support, and curriculum development, among others.
The Secretariat of A-ASIA is hosted by the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. The organisation is formally registered as a non-profit organisation with the Republic of Ghana.
The inaugural A-ASIA Conference was held on 24-26 September 2015. Hosted by the University of Ghana, it was a huge success—300 participants from more than 200 institutions gathered to exchange their ideas and approaches across many subjects on Africa-Asia.
The second conference, titled Africa-Asia, A New Axis of Knowledge - Second Edition, will be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 20-22 September 2018. It is set to surpass the Accra 2015 event in the number of participants and institutions involved.