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About the Chair

African Studies (Africanistics) as a specialization, is a programme offered by the Faculty of Oriental studies (formerly known as the Oriental Institute, till January 2008), University of Warsaw. The tradition of African studies at the University of Warsaw dates back to the 1950s. The first Department of African and Semitic Studies was founded in 1969.

The Chair of African Languages and Cultures was founded in 1977 as a centre for interdisciplinary area studies. From the beginning until now it has had three regional sections: Ethiopian, Hausa and Swahili studies. In addition to intensive language courses in Amharic, Hausa and Swahili, the Chair focuses on social, cultural, linguistic, historical and literary studies.

From the beginning until 1988 it was headed by Prof. Joanna Mantel-Niećko, then by Prof. Stanisław Piłaszewicz, Prof. Nina Pawlak, Prof. Iwona Kraska-Szlenk and now the Head of the Chair is Prof. Beata Wójtowicz.