The vision of the Williams in Africa Initiative, launched in 2006-2007 by Professor David Eppel, was to create a set of curricular and extracurricular programs to encourage students to engage meaningfully with the African continent. The initiative began with a pilot year of summer internships and post-graduate fellowships. It now consists of an experiential study away program- the Cape Town Policy in Action Program and a post-baccalaureate policy research fellowship program – The Williams/EPRI Fellowship. The Policy in Action Program runs during the Fall semester. The 14 month Williams/EPRI Fellowship, open to graduating Seniors and recent Williams alums, begins each June and runs through July of the following year. There are also Winter Study Courses and summer opportunities that supplement the Williams in Africa experience.
This innovative experiential study away program teaches students about South African politics, society and development and cultivates their research skills through a special seminar/tutorial and fieldwork placement at the Economic Policy Research Institute in Cape Town. The program’s unique feature is the unifying seminar/tutorial on contemporary social and political issues in South Africa. The seminar/tutorial partners Williams students with South African Parliamentarians and government ministers in a collaborative learning effort focused on policy issues of mutual interest.
This newly created fellowship at the Economic Policy Research Institute in Cape Town, South Africa provides recent Williams graduates the opportunity to work on cutting edge policy research focused on tackling poverty and promoting socio-economic progress in developing countries. Fellows work side by side with senior researchers and Williams interns at the Institute for 14 months beginning in June.