In 1988, the Edward Bouchet Abdus Salam Institute (EBASI) [then known as the Edward A. Bouchet-ICTP Institute (EABI)] was created by Professor Abdus Salam, the late Nobel Laureate and Founding Director of the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) [now known as the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (Abdus Salam ICTP)]. The objectives of EBASI include:  Providing a mechanism for synergistic scientific and technical collaborations between African and American physical scientists, engineers, and technologists;  Enhancing the impact of science and technology on the sustainable development of the countries on the African continent, and more specifically;  Increasing the technical manpower pool working in Africa today by facilitating the training of Ph.D. students from African universities.
The Institute was named in honor of Edward A. Bouchet, who became in 1876 (Yale) the first African American and the first known person of African descent to earn the Ph.D. degree in Physics. African physicists affiliated with ICTP and the National Society of Black Physicists (USA) organized the Edward A. Bouchet-ICTP Institute. The Council is composed of African members, American members, the Administrative Officer, and one ICTP Representative. It was in 1998 that the name of the Institute was changed from its original name to its current name in order to honor the late Professor Abdus Salam.