About us

AfriKo is a consultancy platform, incorporated in Lithuania, but uniting professionals from across the globe. At AfriKo we aim to bridge in – depth knowledge and expertise of our members with the needs of individuals, companies and institutions that seek to understand, engage, celebrate and learn more about Africa. To achieve these goals AfriKo provides tailored consultations, designs in-depth analysis, hosts events discussing the most current trends of various areas in Africa.

AfriKo seeks to become leading hub uniting Africa related professionals in the Baltic states – though partnering with specialists from Africa – and the

first choice for anyone either in business, politics, culture or academia who seeks to work closely with African continent.

Current members of AfriKo have Africa related academic background, with professional experience and research interests ranging from politics of the African Union, South African photography to resistance movements and e – Governance in Africa or conflicts in the Great Lakes Region, to name but a few. AfriKo, however, seeks new members and aspires to further their expertise and provide opportunities to participate in various international consultancy projects.

Our team

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Karina Simonson

is a PhD candidate in Art History and Theory at Lithuanian Culture Research Institute. She graduated with two Master degrees, one in Photography and Media Arts from Vilnius Academy of Arts, another in Media Arts from University of Cape Town in South Africa. There her interest in South African art and culture started to emerge. Karina’s research is on the intersection between African Studies, Jewish Studies and Art History. She is currently writing a dissertation on South African Jewish photography and its socio-political context.

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Jurate Vazgauskaite

is a freelance journalist with a particular interest and focus on African urbanization, governance and electoral processes. Jurate has a particular interest in historical and current narratives of the Democratic Republic of Congo. She graduated with two Master degrees, one in Comparative Politics from Vilnius University and another from African Studies in University of Copenhagen. Being curious, interdisciplinary and having experience from different fields of media, communication and academia, Jurate is able to adapt her experience and knowledge broadly.

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Eugenija Kovaliova

is an international development cooperation consultant with particular interest and focus on NGOs work in Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently Eugenija is focused on finalizing her Master’s degree and developing activities with the recently established think-tank Afri|Ko. Eugenija is pursuing her Master’s degree in African Studies at the University of Copenhagen, where her interests range from the impact of multinational companies on local communities and local resistance strategies, to various human rights issues, as well as questions of humanitarianism, eco-feminism, and Western narratives about ‘Africa’.

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Mante Makauskaite

is an international consultant with a particular focus on public sector-related projects. Mante’s experience and interests vary from e-Government reforms in Africa to politics of the African Union in the area of conflict resolution, and these are flavored with a great affection for African literature as well. Mante gained her MA degree in African Studies at the University of Copenhagen.
Being a strong believer in the value of interdisciplinarity and experiences from different sectors and fields, Mante pro-actively seeks to gain knowledge from public, private and NGO sectors, as well as academia.

What we do

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Research

All Afri|Ko team members have Africa-related academic background and always appreciate opportunities to engage in both short desk-based and longer term field work research activities. We  study political, economic and social environment of African countries broadly as well as conduct in-depth academic analyses of various cultural, business or development cooperation-  related aspects. We take a multidisciplinary approach and work with a wide network of partners, which allows us to cover a large number of research topics.

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Consultancy

Our in-depth understanding of African affairs gained through our academic engagements allows us to provide consultancy services for governments, businesses, donors and NGOs that may be local-needs driven and leading to positive socio-economic impact. We focus on solutions that can drive inclusive and sustainable development, and run our projects together with partners and team members from African countries in order to ensure that. Having good and critical understanding of international development agenda we always thrive for African solutions to African problems rather than applying the so-called best international practices.

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Knowledge sharing

Afri|Ko can provide training, facilitate workshops and organize public events for various audiences: private and public institutions, NGOs working in the development field as well as academic institutions. We  train volunteers, public servants or business people who are planning to work in African countries, organize thought-provoking public seminars with international experts on both most-pressing and more contextual topics, and develop  longer term educational courses.

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Network facilitation

Having studied and worked in a number of countries, Afri|Ko team members have access to the best possible expertise and solutions through our global network. We help to find people for different types of engagements in African countries – be it simply local support, particular area of expertise needed for a specific project or a lecturer or trainer for your organization. Being strong believers in the power of professional networks we also position Afri|Ko as a hub uniting Africa-related professionals in the Baltic states.

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Arts & Culture

We see all forms of art – literature, photography, music, design – as a wonderful way for exploring and understanding the history and modern lives of people in Africa. We therefore not only research, but also engage in and organize  various artistic activities and have a number of African artists in our network as well as art critics in our team.
Throughout the years we have gathered  a collection of more than 200 Africa-related books – fiction, poetry, policy, academic – that will be soon available for borrowing from Afri|Ko at no cost for those based in Vilnius. As the world is celebrating African literature, we are happy to bring some of this celebration to Lithuanian audiences.

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