Eastern, Southern African and Virginia Networks Association

Don’t give us your electricity;

Sit with us in the dark and we’ll tell you what we need.”

(Black Consciousness Collective, University of Witwatersrand)


At the Tropic of Capricorn, South Africa

ESAVANA is a network for transformative educational experiences, involving engagement between the University of Virginia and a number of partnering institutions in Southern and Eastern Africa.

The program fosters interdisciplinary participation that transcends the traditional classroom environment through innovative approaches to experiential education. We strictly adhere to our tenets of Engagement: Respect, Relationship and Reciprocity.

Through three central pillars of Research, Education and Outreach, we seek to pursue collaboration and transformation through our partnerships with higher education and communities on the ground.

Our objective is to create change through innovative approaches to the education of  tomorrow’s leaders and cooperatively build sustainable solutions to real world challenges around the globe, with an emphasis on Eastern and Southern Africa.

We do not seek to do for – but to work with and learn from – our collaborative partners.

At the Cradle of Humankind, World Heritage Site, South Africa

We live in a world marked by sweeping changes in how nations, economies, cultures, and peoples interact. For current and future students of the University, their successes will depend in large part on developing a keen understanding of the ever-expanding opportunities for global exchange and learning.

ESAVANA exemplifies the University’s strong commitment to interdisciplinary learning in global contexts. ESAVANA projects are currently under way in four nations on the African continent, combining research, learning, and service in the fields of energy, medicine, engineering, and agriculture.


Learning about entrepreneurship and tourism in Mozambique

With a track record of success over nearly 20 years, ESAVANA is well positioned to reinforce its base in Southern Africa and expand to meet the expressed needs of colleagues and communities in East Africa. With additional funding, the program can develop the resources to establish a lasting intellectual legacy in Africa and here at the University of Virginia.


Near Three Rondavels, South Africa