CAI was launched at UW-Madison in 2012 to promote closer collaboration between research institutions, government agencies, and non-government organizations working on conservation, agriculture, and sustainable development in Central Africa.
Founded by a professor of botany and a professor of French and African Studies, CAI brings an interdisciplinary approach to these regional challenges. We aim to promote close working relationships with partner institutions in Central Africa to strengthen research capabilities and solve conservation questions in the region. At the same time, this focus fosters interdepartmental engagement and capacity-building at UW-Madison. We believe that this effort to expand research capacity and international partnerships is a crucial method of combatting the environmental and social barriers faced by the Congo Basin region.
In addition, CAI collaborates closely with other North American and European institutions working on similar research and development questions. We were the first university member of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership and participate in its annual summits of international stakeholders. We also partner with a variety of US government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and international consortia to focus research agendas and streamline funding processes.