ZIAF manages and supports interdisciplinary programs in order to promote networking with African and European partners and to generate innovative research perspectives as well as to promote young researchers. Another focus is the collaboration with the Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) for the promotion of African fellows. Currently, ZIAF is involved in four programs and one initiative within the European network of African centers (AEGIS). In addition, ZIAF members offer a Transnational Master Program in Film Studies.
- The DFG-Program Point Sud organises events to support academic exchange and networking between academics and institutions in Germany, Europe, Africa, and other parts of the world.
- On behalf of the Volkswagen Foundation ZIAF organises the Fellowship-Program for the humanities and social sciences. The programme supports the process of further qualification of excellent young researchers from Africa.
- The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) has an Africa-wide program of events organized by the ZIAF in addition to the classical tasks of supporting fellows. verfügt neben den klassischen Aufgaben der Förderung von Fellows auch über ein vom ZIAF organisiertes afrikaweites Veranstaltungsprogramm.
- The Pilot African Postgraduate Academy (PAPA) is aimed at young academics who have recently completed their doctorate and are working at universities in Africa. The aim is to promote a commitment to the value of science for its own sake and to deepen a general conceptual understanding in order to contribute to the further development of science
- Within the framework of the European network of Africa Centres (AEGIS), ZIAF and the Africa Studies Centre (ASC) in Leiden founded a Collaborative Research Group (CRG) on "Africa in the World – Rethinking Africa’s Global Connections" in 2017. The Frankfurt-Leiden-based AEGIS-CRG with its 40 or so members aims to build on the knowledge of Africa's global connections in order to jointly advance research, organize events, develop project proposals and publish them jointly.
- Transnational education: Archival Studies Master Program Jos. Development of the first Master's program for the training of academic staff for film and media archives and film-cultural institutions in Africa.