Frequently Asked Questions



I have just joined as a member and would like to attend an event tonight. Will my membership be processed in time?

Membership is processed Weds-Fridays. If you have signed up for membership and you would like to attend an event the same evening outside of these days, please notify the events team via email on to let them know and they will contact you directly. If you receive no response, please call the main office number on 020 7074 5176

Can I bring a guest with me to events?

If you wish to bring an additional guest after you have registered for an event – they will need to register if the event invite allows them to. If they cannot register their place, please contact the Events Programme Manager at

Are all events free for members?

Most events are free or discounted for members. Members will be entitled to concessions at our more high profile and paid events such as our Annual Lecture as well as our festivals – Africa Writes and Film Africa.

Discounts and Benefits

How do I access the discounts I am entitled to?

Login to your membership account – all discounts are available as PDF versions and can be downloaded. If you experience any problems accessing these, please and these can be sent to you via email.

How do I access the African Affairs Journal?

Individual, Friend and Student Members can access African Affairs online and/or in print copy. You are automatically signed up for the online version – released every quarter. The link is accessible in your membership profile. Click on ‘African Affairs’ and click on ‘Click here’ or the ‘Read African Affairs’ image. If you would like to opt-in to receive the print version, please indicate this in the questionnaire you receive by email from

How do I get access to the SOAS library?

Signing up and having access to the SOAS library has changed slightly due to Covid-19. The process will now be that we forward your details to the library – with your permission – and they will sign you up to their services. Details will be your name, address and email address and they will send you details on how to sign up for book collection and returns, as well as access to their Reading Room and issuing or renewing of a Library Membership Card. You can then pick up your books, and your card when you make a visit to the SOAS library.


What if I don’t want my membership to auto-renew?

You can cancel the auto-renewal any time during the 12 months of your membership, and continue to enjoy the benefits until your membership expires. To do this, login to the member’s area and go to ‘Account’, then select ‘Cancel plan’.

I have a Direct Debit already – can this remain? When will Direct Debit subscriptions be taken?

Yes, your current Direct Debit can remain if you have one already. Direct Debits are taken on the 21st of each month and will appear on your bank statement as ‘Royal African Society’.

What should I do if I have paid twice by mistake?

If you have seen on your bank statement that you have accidently paid twice, please contact – and provide the following details: date, email address that you used to register, payment method (Credit / Debit Card, or PayPal), the amount paid and the internet browser you used. This will allow us to track your payment and resolve the issue.

When will Direct Debit subscriptions payments be taken?

Direct Debits are taken on the 21st of each month and will appear on your bank statement as ‘Royal African Society’

Can I pay by Direct Debit? What is ‘Auto-Renew’?

For Individual and Friend memberships, you can pay for your membership online through our website. Your membership will automatically be set to ‘auto renew’, which acts in a similar way to a direct debit, in that the payment will be taken on the same day the following year from your card. Direct Debit through your bank or mandate is currently not available. Please remember the option to cancel your membership at any item is available, and you will continue to enjoy access and benefits until your membership expires.

How can I pay for membership?

You can currently pay via credit / debit card or via bank transfer. If you wish to pay via bank transfer, please email – for our details. We hope to be able to resume cash and cheque payment options once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted

If I have a Direct Debit for my membership payment – how do I cancel this?

First, please cancel this through contacting your bank or via your online banking system. We are able to cancel your Direct Debit from our side as well – but to make sure errors in payment do not occur we request a cancellation from your bank in the first instance.


How do I renew my student membership?

Proof of student status is required for each year of your student membership. Please send proof of this to We will confirm, you can then login to your account and select ‘renew membership’.

How do I upgrade or change my membership?

If you wish to upgrade or change your membership, login to the member’s area and click ‘Upgrade’ on your membership profile. If you have any issues, please contact –

How can I check I am already a member? I think my membership has lapsed – how do I check?

If you signed up for membership from January 2020, you can use the member’s area to see if your membership has lapsed. A renewal page will appear if your membership has expired. If you think you have previously been a member (before 2020) and your membership has lapsed, please contact and we can check for you.

Can I give membership as a gift?

Yes you can. If you wish to give membership to someone as a gift – you can select this as a gift on the ‘Gift Membership’ page and select the appropriate level of membership you wish to buy.

When will I receive my welcome pack?

Once you register, you will receive an automatic confirmation email. Within 10 days, a pack will be sent to you via email, which will contain a membership confirmation letter and further details about your benefits. Before you receive this, you can logon to the members’ area to update your contact details, change your newsletter subscriptions and access exclusive discounts.

How do I cancel my membership?

If you wish to cancel your membership, please first notify us by emailing You can then cancel your plan by logging in to the member’s area. Go to ‘Account’, then click ‘Cancel plan’.

How do I renew my membership?

If you joined in 2020 or later, your membership will be renewed automatically on an annual basis, except if you are a student member (see below). If you joined before 2020 and you wish to renew, login to the member’s area of the website and a renewal page will appear.

Can I Gift Aid my membership?

If you are a current UK tax payer, you can currently Gift Aid on the Friend of the Society Membership priced at £120. This gives every 25p of £1 donated to the charity. Please fill out the Gift Aid form here and return this via email.

I’ve cancelled my membership, what happens to my African Affairs journal subscription?

When you cancel your membership with the Society – we notify our publishers that you have cancelled your membership and they in turn cancel your journal subscription. You will not receive access to the journal in print or online.

My Account

How do I manage my newsletter subscriptions?

Login to the members’ area and select which newsletters you would like to receive or remove.

How do I change my personal details?

Moving house or location? You can update these details via your membership profile. If you would like to change the email address associated with the account, please email

I cannot access my membership area online – can you help?

If you are having problems accessing your RAS website account, please email

How do I log into my online membership account?

You can log into your online membership account by clicking on the ‘Members Login’ link which is in the top right corner and enter in your email address and password.


I’ve purchased membership. What next?

Once your application and payment have been received, you should receive two emails – an automatic payment confirmation and an account confirmation email. These will be sent by from Please check your junk box if you do not see these emails. You can logon to your account straight away and start enjoying your benefits. Within 5 days, you will then receive a welcome pack from us. Please note that applications are processed Weds-Friday and take 1-3 days to complete. If you do not hear from the Society within 10 days of applying, please contact us at –

I live outside the UK, can I still apply for membership?

Yes you can. If you live outside of the UK – you can still apply for membership. Although most of our events are based in the UK – you can still obtain our benefits such as the African Affairs journal, the ASAUK Newsletter, online materials and resources, as well as being part of a diverse and vibrant membership organisation.

Am I eligible for membership?

Our membership is open to anyone with an interest in Africa and you can apply for any of the membership packages we offer, although conditions may apply for some membership types. Click on ‘Become a member’ to get started.

Am I required to register in order to make a membership purchase?

You are required to register before making a purchase, so please do take the time to fill in the fields as much as possible to continue to pay for membership.

How do I sign up for membership?

You can sign up for membership by clicking the ‘Become a member’ link and following the on-screen instructions.

Terms of Use

Where can I find your Terms and Conditions?

You can find our Terms and Conditions here.

What will you do with my personal data?

Please refer to our Privacy Policy which is located here.