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West African Research Association 

Also Known As: WARA

232 Bay State Road 
Boston, MA 02215

Mission and Programs


WARA's mission is to invest in the upcoming generation of intellectual leaders in West Africa; to foster the production and dissemination of current research on West Africa and the diaspora; to promote scholarly exchange among West African scholars and institutions and their U.S. counterparts; to provide U.S. audiences with accurate information on West Africa and its diasporic communities; and to increase awareness of the critical place of West Africa in the global community. WARA is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), a consortium of 23 such centers. WARA is the only one in sub-Saharan Africa.


Program:West African Research Center (WARC)
Budget: $150,000
Category: Education, General/Other
Population Served: Other Named Groups

Program Description:

WARC is our biggest program. It supports scholars and students--African, American, and others--conducting research in West Africa. It is a center where researchers conduct and share their work, creating a transnational, interdisciplinary community of scholars. The WARC Library collects, catalogs, and disseminates results of current research on West African and its diaspora. It has a collection of more than 8,000 items; online access to research databases; a repository of African language publications; and a comprehensive collection of African filmsA regular program of lectures, seminars, and exhibitsA computer network & wireless access throughoutA seminar room with state-of-the-art technology for teaching, conferences, and screeningsClassrooms/meeting roomsOn-site cafeLogistical services for researchers (housing, research clearances, professional contacts, travel)Program planning & coordinating servicesUser feedback is systematically collected and used to improve programs and services.

Program:WARA Fellowship Program
Budget: $100,000
Category: Education, General/Other
Population Served: Other Named Groups

Program Description:

WARA's Fellowship Program supports research by a broad range of US and West African scholars. Research in the biological sciences, agriculture, and public health leads to practical solutions for problems facing the region; research in the social sciences and humanities has made important contributions to our understanding of the history and cultures of the region. WARA offers the following fellowshipsPre- and Post-doctoral - for US faculty and graduate students conducting research in West Africa Residencies - 4 to 8 week residencies for West African scholars at WARA member institutions for collaborative work with colleagues. Residents share their expertise with member institutions and their surrounding communities. Travel Grants - for West Africans conducting research in Africa; strengthens the regional network of scholars and research institutions. Library Fellowship - a 2-month on-site practicum at the WARC Libary in Dakar, Senegal, for MLS students here in the US.Diaspora Diaspora Internship - An award for graduate students to participant in internships at West African institutions. Undergraduate Paper Competition- Essay competition for undergraduate students.
Program:African Language Materials Archive (ALMA)
Budget: $22,000
Category: Education, General/Other
Population Served: College Aged (18-26 years)

Program Description:

In 2000, UNESCO, Columbia University, and CAORC's Digital Library for International Research joined with WARA to start ALMA. With its mission of increasing dissemination of and access to materials published in indigenous African languages, ALMA provides materials for education and literacy in Africa, and for African language study in the diaspora. While its original focus was on the digitization of published textual materials, ALMA has since expanded to produce original audio and video materials, as well. These include "African Immigrant Voices," a series of video interviews with Africans here in the U.S. conducted in the interviewee's native language. Another video series includes interviews with artists and activist in Africa. All these materials are available free of charge on the ALMA website. ALMA is funded largely by annual contributions from Title VI National Resource Centers for Africa. Recent cuts in the federal education budget have resulted in reduced contributions.
Program:African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review
Budget: $11,000
Category: International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other
Population Served: Other Named Groups

Program Description:

The African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review, is a peer-reviewed journal that grew out of the West African Peace Initiative, a multi-year project funded through the U.S. State Department. A joint project of WARA and Indiana University Press, ACPR began its 2nd year of publication in fall 2011. ACPR is an interdisciplinary forum for creative and rigorous studies of conflict and peace in Africa and for discussions between scholars, practitioners, and public intellectuals in Africa, the U.S., and other parts of the world. With both print and online multi-media content, ACPR disseminates current research on peacebuilding and conflict resolution, with a focus on research by African scholars.
Program:New England Outreach:
Budget: $41,000
Category: International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other
Population Served: Adults

Program Description:

The WARA Speakers Bureau builds on experience organizing events in collaboration with area colleges and community groups. By providing knowledgeable speakers and creating spaces for discussion of critical issues, WARA is able to share its intellectual resources with the community and provide access to cutting edge research on Africa. Because we have such a large network of scholars, we can offer speakers on a range of topics related to West Africa and the diaspora. The WARA Study Tour Program builds on our experience in Senegal organizing study tours for college students and professional development seminars for faculty. WARA Study Tours offer a comprehensive two-week program in Senegal that provides participants with a rich experience including visits to historical sites, lectures and presentations, an introduction to the Wolof language, and opportunities to exchange with Senegalese from different walks of life. Tours are tailored to the interests of group members.


  • B05 (Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis)
  • Q40 (International Peace and Security)
  • B70 (Libraries, Library Science)

Balance Sheet Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2016

Total Note: The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities also must be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.
Assets October 1, 2015September 30, 2016Change
Cash & Equivalent$104,055$125,372$21,317
Accounts Receivable$0$0$0
Pledges & Grants Receivable$0$0$0
Receivable/Other Due to changes in the 2008 Form 990, this data is no longer reported.$14,204$7,356($6,848)
Inventories for Sale or Use$0$0$0
Investment/Securities Due to Changes in the 2008 Form, this value now includes Publicly Traded Securities as well as Other Securities. $0$0$0
Investment/Other Due to various changes in the way this data is reported in the 2008 Form 990, it may not be possible to accurately compare this data from the 2008 form 990 against the same field on prior forms $0$0$0
Fixed Assets The 2008 form does not distinguish between LBE as investments and LBE as fixed assets. This value is equivalent to the sum of both line items on earlier forms (Part IV line 55 plus line 57). $0$0$0
Other Program Related Investments is now a separate field on the new form, Part X-13(A) and (B). $929$2,243$1,314
Total Assets:$119,188$134,971$15,783

LiabilitiesOctober 1, 2015September 30, 2016Change
Accounts Payable$0$6,632$6,632
Grants Payable$0$0$0
Deferred Revenue$0$14,990$14,990
Loans and Notes The value on this line may now include payables to former employees, disqualified persons and unrelated third parties. $0$0$0
Tax-Exempt Bond Liabilities$0$0$0
Other Due to various changes in the way this data is reported in the 2008 Form 990, it may not be possible to accurately compare this data from the 2008 Form 990 against the same field on prior forms $0$0$0
Total Liabilities:$0$21,622$21,622

Fund Balance:$119,188$113,349($5,839)

Basic Information

  • This organization is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity.
  • Financial information in this report is derived from the organization's September 30, 2016 Form 990.


Dr.  Wendy  Wilson-Fall 


Caroline Johnson


617 -353-4975



Year Founded: Information not available
Ruling Year:1992
Fiscal Year End Date: September 30, 2016
Assets: $134,971
(from Sep 30, 2016 Form 990)
Income: $654,192
(from Sep 30, 2016 Form 990)
No. of Employees:2

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