The Development of an African region-al studies program was an important con-cern of the University of Khartoum when it became a degree-granting institution in 1956. In 1964 the University established the Sudan Research Unit within the Faculty of Arts which focused upon humanities studies in the Sudan. To implement research on the Sudan, the Unit trained Sudanese researchers in Sudanese languages and in recording techni-ques of the collection of oral and written traditions. The results of their research were published in reports and periodicals and have been presented at international con-ferences sponsored by the Sudan Research Unit. As the Sudan increased its involvement in both the African and Arab worlds, Univer-sity administrators and scholars agreed that the scope of research within the Sudan Re-search Unit should be widened to include neighboring countries in Africa and the Middle East. In 1972 the Sudan Research Unit was transformed into the Institute of African and Asian Studies (IAAS).
To be a center of Excellence in Teaching and Research in Sudanese Studies, African Studies and Asian studies.
To Be a Leading Institute in the Pursuit of Knowledge Through Excellent Research, Teaching, and Consultancy in Collaboration with Relevant Academic Institutions and Stakeholders.
Thus, the IAAS was established to achieve the following objectives :
1- to promote, coordinate and communicate studies, research and teaching on the Sudan, Africa and Asia.
2- to encourage and promote interdisciplinary research projects independently or with other university departments or units.
3- to offer postgraduate studies leading to higher degrees (postgraduate Diploma. M.A and Ph.D.).
4- to establish documentation centers in its field of specialization.
5- to offer seminars and hold conferences on academic and current affairs on Afro-Asian Studies.
6- to have the right to publish all data resulting from projects or work undertaken under its jurisdiction.
7- to cooperate with all persons, institutions and other interested bodies in its fields of specialization.
8- to do all other things that may be necessary to further and promote the objectives of IAAS.
The Board of The Institute
The Institute of African and Asian Studies is governed by a board whose chairman is the Director of the Institute. Membership of the board includes the Vice-Chancellor of the Uni-versity and individuals from outside the Uni-versity whose work is related to the activities of the Institute.
The board determines the policy of the Institute with regard to financial and administrative affairs. It prepares and sub-mits to the University Council an annual budget. It is accountable to the University Senate in matters pertaining to courses of study, teaching, research, examinations and the award of post-graduate degrees in the Institute. The Board of the Institute submits an annual report on the Institute's activities to both the Univer-sity Senate and the University Council.
With regard to academic affairs within the Institute, there are departmental boards for each of the three departments. These boards are concerned with teaching, course content, examinations, research and degrees within their respective departments. They function as advisory bodies to the Director and the Board of the Institute on all academic matters