The RVI anniversary event at SOAS was introduced by the Director, John Ryle, in these words: "The RVI is a transnational network distributed across Eastern and Central Africa. Our goal is to bring local realities and local knowledge to bear on economic and political interventions in African societies – to help those who aspire to do good do it better. To this end we work, so far as we can, not in the cities of the global north, but in Africa itself – from Somaliland to the Congo – in places where conflict and poverty put access to knowledge in jeopardy. In these places we are involved in social research, tertiary education, open-access publication, and advocacy for justice and human rights. It's long-term social investment, designed to further the movement of vital information between villages, cattle-camps, shantytowns and bidonvilles, and the global knowledge economy."