The Sam Moyo African Institute for Agrarian Studies was established as an independent Trust in 2002 to fulfil a need that had been observed through research, for a policy institute focused on addressing Africa's land and agrarian questions. The AIAS interacts with various organisations and countries to assist them in developing capacity for policy formulation and research. It also facilitates policy dialogue among governments, academics, civil society and others on land and agrarian development, especially the land rights of marginalised social groups.
AIAS is a regional organisation that seeks to influence land and agrarian reform policies through multidisciplinary social science research, policy dialogues, training, networking and information dissemination. The main focus of the AIAS is to mediate in the policy making processes so as to enhance rural livelihoods through an improved policy framework.