News archive

For more news during 2016 and previous years: please see the right hand column

2011

Growing caution against economic optimism

A few days ago I came back from an interesting week in Rabat. The reason for my visit was the 13th General Assembly of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). With my colleagues from the institute I also met...

Making the law relevant for all

A seminar on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor (LEP) was held at the Nordic Africa Institute on 12 December. The seminar discussed the relevance of LEP in research, with the report "Making the Law Work for Everyone" as point of departure.

Joint peacekeeping in Africa

Are hybrid peacekeeping operations the way forward for handling conflicts on the African continent? A workshop in Uppsala 15-16 December will bring together high level officials from the African Union and the United Nations, international scholars and...

CODESRIA meeting ends Friday

The Council for the Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is currently holding its 13th General Assembly in Rabat, Morocco. Lectures, round tables and panel discussions are centred on the theme “Africa and the Challenges of the...

Claude Ake Visiting Chair

The Claude Ake Visiting Chair was set up in 2003 at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University (DPCR), in collaboration with the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) and with funding from the Swedish Government and Uppsala University...

Tanzania – what lies ahead?

– Tanzania has achieved a lot since 1961, especially in terms of health and education, and to some extent, infrastructure, but we can achieve a lot more in the coming 25 years, says NAI researcher Francis Matambalya, who himself comes from Tanzania...

Growing tension in Mayotte

French-administered Mayotte in the Indian Ocean is in turmoil, reports NAI researcher Tor Sellström who recently visited the island. 

NAI - FOI cooperation

The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) and the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) has worked together on research cooperation and capacity building in African studies. During the period of 2008 to 2011 there has been a number of lecture series on...

DRC opposition faces uphill task

The Democratic Republic of Congo held presidential and parliamentary elections on Monday 28 November. However, logistical challenges could postpone the elections, argue observers according to the blog Congo Siasa. Earlier this week, NAI researcher...

Urban imaginaries

Last week the NAI Urban Dynamics research cluster was awarded funding from the Sida Department of Research Cooperation for a three-year research project entitled ‘Urban Imaginaries and Socio-Economic Exclusion’. This project focuses on the genesis...

Filmed seminar: 'The Concept of Displacement'

Filmed seminar, from November 9 (50 min): 'The Concept of Displacement' with Professor Amanda Hammar, Center for Africa Studies, University of Copenhagen. Seminar No. 3 in the 'Concept seminar series'. No special program is needed to see the film.

SANORD 2012 International Symposium

SANORD will be hosting an International Symposium at Aarhus University in Denmark 6-7 June 2012.  Symposium theme: “Strengthening the role of universities as hubs of development through the Southern Africa-Nordic university network”. Deadline to...

Volatile Congo going to polls

– There is a great deal of malcontent and frustration, says NAI researcher Maria Eriksson Baaz about the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The giant nation Congo, extremely poor and still plagued by army and militia violence, will hold...

Unearthing earliest agriculture

In a series of pictures, NAI researcher Terje Oestigaard reports from an archaeological excavation site in Ethiopia. The pictures show the meticulous work by PhD student Gedef Abawa Firew in trying to find evidence of the earliest domesticated...

Malawian storytelling filmed

Jonas Agerbæk Jeppesen, previously a study scholarship holder at NAI, has put together two audiovisual productions as part of his project “Democracy, Oral Culture and Communication for Social Change in Rural Malawi”. The project explores Malawian oral...

“Brings back old memories”

Dr Albertinah Luthuli, daughter of ANC leader and Nobel Prize laureate Albert Luthuli, visited the Nordic Africa Institute on Tuesday. – I am very pleased to visit Sweden and Norway. It brings back the old memories of when it was announced on the...

Liberians vote despite boycott

NAI researcher Mats Utas writes about Tuesday’s second round of elections on his blog. This is an extract from 8 November: "The CDC is aware that they will lose today’s election and ought thus in a democratic way accept this. Instead they keep...

Vendors lose out in Maputo

The 10th edition of the All Africa Games took place in Mozambique in September. Hosting this major multi sports event was announced as an opportunity to assert the nation’s capacity to the world and install a sense of national pride. But did the games...

Network to promote child research

A new network was recently established to promote Nordic research about children and youth in Africa. – Our aim is to facilitate exchange of research findings and to foster academic and policy debate, says project manager Dr Tatek Abebe.

EU policies hurt African progress

The EU’s raw material policies threaten African development, writes Karin Gregow, advocacy officer, Forum Syd, Sweden in a new article on NAI Forum. The EU must recognize the right of African countries to develop industrial policies based on...

New take on Africa’s global role

"Africa and International Relations in the 21st Century", a new volume edited by NAI senior researcher Fantu Cheru, Scarlett Cornelissen and Timothy M. Shaw, provides fresh assessments of Africa’s place in the international arena. The book contributes...

Conference on African cities

It is now possible to pre-register for the conference "(r)Urban Africa: multidisciplinary approaches to the African city" at Gent University 2 December 2011. The African city will be approached from a wide range of perspectives: political sciences and...

Guest Writer’s Grant at NAI

The Grant programme has just been through some successful years with its fifth and sixth guest writers: Brian James from Sierra Leone in 2010 and Christopher Mlalazi in 2011. However, for logistical and financial reasons, there will not be a call...

Seats left at Nobel symposium

There are still some remaining seats at the symposium on Dag Hammarskjöld and Albert Luthuli, in Uppsala 8 November and in Oslo 11 November. The event commemorates that 50 years have passed since the two leaders were awarded the Nobel Prize. Dag...

A New Deal for Africa in Busan?

Ahead of   November’s Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea: If official aid is to work, it must be de-linked from individual political or economic considerations of the donor government, write the authors of the latest...

NAI researcher going to Liberia

What is the role of former military commanders in Liberian politics? With this question in my mind I am today leaving for Liberia on a ten-day field study. The second round of the presidential election is of course a great opportunity to study the...

Rage over Libya war raises questions

In a new article on NAI Forum, Nii Akuetteh (activist and policy analyst from Ghana) asks why his fellow Pan-Africanists and anti-imperialists are in a rage over the six-month NATO-led intervention in Libya but not over the ten years Gaddafi was...

Liberian candidates mobilize for next round

Former warlord Prince Johnson has stated that he will rally his supporters behind sitting president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of elections. Attempts to tie ex-generals and commanders to a political race is nothing new in Liberia...

Debate on result based management continues

The discussion on result based aid management continues on NAI Forum. The approach has severe deficiencies argue the authors of the latest article. The topic was earlier raised by Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla...

South Africa's VP to visit Uppsala

Friday October 21 at 3.15 p.m., Uppsala University During the course of his visit to Sweden, South African Vice-President Kgalema Motlanthe will give an open lecture on the topic "South Africa's mediation role in Africa". This will take place on 21...

Gender politics from women’s point of view

Signe Arnfred, previously a researcher at NAI and currently Associate Professor at Roskilde University in Denmark has just published her new book: “Sexuality and Gender Politics in Mozambique: Rethinking Gender in Africa”. The book shows how insights...

What happens when donors fail to meet their commitments?

Has the aid industry introduced the reforms it agreed in 2005 to make aid more effective? No, according to the survey published recently by the OECD DAC. In this new article on NAI Forum, Owen Barder (Senior Fellow and Director for Europe, Center for...

“Congo’s natural resources are not cursed”

Interview with researcher Ann Laudati “Congo’s natural resources are not cursed”, says Ann Laudati, Assistant Professor of Human Geography at Utah State University. In her work she investigates how natural resources are linked to the continuing...

Follow NAI’s research blogs

Two of the researchers at the Nordic Africa Institute have just published their first blog posts. Peace and Conflict researcher Anders Themnér writes about developments in Liberia on his new blog. You can also follow researcher Andrew Byerley’s field...

Foreign loans and capital flight undermine Africa

Africa’s debt inflows and capital flight outflows are closely connected argue James K. Boyce and Léonce Ndikumana, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in a new article on NAI Forum. For every dollar of foreign borrowing, on average more than 50...

War-Torn Liberia went to the polls

Tuesday 11 October Liberia held presidential and general elections. The country is recovering from the lingering effect of two devastating civil wars, with about 85 percent of the population living below the poverty line. NAI researcher Anders Themnér...

NAI putting Indian Ocean in focus

The African island states in the Indian Ocean have become of great economic and military-strategic importance to the world powers. How does this affect the sovereignty of these small island states? Can the African Union (AU) act as a counterweight...

Conference: November 24-25 in Copenhagen

"The Future of Development Research: Exploring the Nordic perspective(s)" Organized jointly by the Association of Development Research in Denmark, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, the Nordic Africa Institute, the Finnish Society for Development Research...

Best way forward for Swedish aid - debate continues on NAI Forum

Jan Bjerninger, formerly head of long-term cooperation at Sida, responds in a new article at NAI Forum to the Swedish Minister for Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson's recent article. Jan Bjerninger argues that the Minister attacks her critics...

Follow NAI researchers on field work

Andrew Byerley reports from Uganda in new blog NAI researcher Andrew Byerley is currently conducting fieldwork in Jinja and Kampala in Uganda where he is studying urban planning. In his new blog he reports on the changes taking place and the...

China in Africa – lessons for Western donors

Is there anything the West can learn from the Chinese approach to development partnerships in Africa asks Professor Deborah Bräutigam, American University and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington DC, and University of...

Wangari Maathai – a tribute

Kenya's Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai passed away on Sunday, 25 September in Nairobi at the age of 71. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for promoting conservation, women's rights and transparent government. She was the founder of the...

Mission unaccomplished

Hammarskjöld and apartheid South Africa Fifty years after UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld died in a plane crash NAI researcher Tor Sellström, writes in a new article on NAI Forum that Hammarskjöld was requested by the UN Security Council to seek...

Gunilla Carlsson debates on new NAI Forum

On the newly designed NAI Forum Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden's Minister for International Development Cooperation, argues that the ways in which we organise, prioritise and measure the outcome of development cooperation have to change and adapt to the...

VP of Tanzania to meet Swedish ministers

The Vice President of Tanzania Dr Mohamed Bilal is visiting Stockholm today. Swedish Minister for International Development Co-operation will receive the Vice President. Dr Bilal will also hold talks with the Minister for Social Security Ulf...

Huge challenges for South Sudan leaders

NAI researcher Redie Bereketeab recently returned from Juba in South Sudan. In this interview he reflects on some of the difficulties that the world’s newest state is currently dealing with. - People have high expectations on their own government to...

NAI Forum - new design, new functionality

Subscribe to new posts Having been up and running for well over a year, and with more than 75 articles posted, NAI Forum has had a makeover. The most current article is easier to find and it is possible to share articles and comments with others...

Africa/has/the/floor: a photo exhibition

In 2010 the Göteborg Book Fair presented its broadest theme to date: African literature! Sixty-eight African writers from 28 nations participated as well as 15 African publishers. The theme was given the name Africa/has/the/floor. NAI now presents...

Horizontal partnerships as means for effective aid

The implementation of the Paris Declaration has lost steam argues Lars Engberg-Pedersen, DIIS, in a new article on NAI Forum. It is carried out within a framework of unequal relations between donors and receivers, he writes. As the High Level Meeting...

Past and current visions of city planning

How should a city be planned? Who should have the power to define the contours of the ‘Good City’ and the behavioural norms of the ‘Good Citizen’? Later this month, NAI researcher Andrew Byerley returns to Uganda to examine the developments in Nakawa...

New partnership

NAI has begun cooperation with IDEP – the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning. IDEP’s mission is to assist policymakers and other stakeholders in enhancing their skills in the areas of policymaking, long-term perspective planning...

Creating famine equals mass murder

NAI Forum The international community should make the same demands on the leaders in Somalia as on any other leaders argue Bo Göransson, NAI associate and formerly Director General of Sida, and Cecilia Bäcklander, journalist and TV producer in an...

Is EU's Africa policy becoming “Nordic”?

NAI Forum In a new article on NAI Forum, Gorm Rye Olsen (Roskilde University) argues that the several Nordic priorities and policy aims have been integrated into the common EU policy. At the same time, the bilateral Africa policies of Denmark, Sweden...

Seminar on Africa's new development partners

Johanna Jansson, currently one of NAI's guest researchers, will participate in the seminar "Africa’s Cooperation with New and Emerging Development Partners" at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs on Thursday 8 September at 2 pm. She will...

SANORD conference opens for registration

Registration for the 3rd Bi-Annual SANORD International Conference 27-30 November 2011 in Johannesburg is now open. Focus is on “Deepening Collaboration between Southern African and Nordic Higher Education for Shared Solutions to Research Capacity...

Dr Adama digging into waste again

Who does the best recycling job, the state or ordinary people collecting waste for money? NAI researcher Dr Onyanta Adama is on her way to Nigeria for a second field study about the informal recycling sector in the Nigerian city Kaduna. This time she...

Sida finds WDR 2011 timely and useful

Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General, Sida, welcomes the World Development Report 2011. In an article on NAI Forum she writes that the focus of the report on institutions, international coordination and confidence building as means towards...

Sohlman scholarship to Nigerian journalist

30 year-old Nigerian journalist Iliyasu Kasimu has been awarded this year’s Ragnar Sohlman scholarship. Filmmaker, radio producer, youth leader and peace activist Kasimu comes from the violence-struck city of Jos in central Nigeria. Last year violence...

Annual report nominated for prize

"The Rise of Africa – Miracle or Mirage?", NAI's annual report for 2010, has been nominated in the Svenska Publishing-Priset communication competition in the annual reports (organisations) category. The report provides readers with engaging stories...

World Development Report 2011 – old habits die hard

What makes the World Development Report 2011 an interesting read is not so much what is said but that it is the World Bank saying it, argues Finn Stepputat and Louise Riis Andersen (DIIS) in a new article on NAI Forum. The report suggests a growing...

Sweden losing influence in Africa

Where is Sweden in an African landscape of opportunities and growth, tension and conflict? Decades of relationship building in terms of aid and development cooperation, trade and tourism with Africa are being lost, write Bo Göransson, NAI associate...

Aud Talle has left us

It is with great sadness and loss that the Nordic Africa Institute shares the news that Aud Talle – colleague and friend of many of us – has passed away after a long time of illness. Aud Talle was professor of social anthropology at Oslo University...

Need to renew global goals

NAI Forum In an article on NAI Forum, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor of International Affairs, The New School, New York argues that the MDGs have had little impact on generating new approaches to fostering economic growth combined with social justice...

Meet us at the Göteborg Book Fair!

This year NAI has the pleasure to offer seminars with two North African writers and presentations by two of our researchers at the Research Square and the International Square. It is also possible to visit us in our stand B06:61.

On the new relationships between China and Africa

NAI Forum Despite the beneficial impacts of larger trade and capital flows it is not likely that the trade, investment and aid relationships between China and Sub-Saharan Africa will encourage structural transformation in Africa in the short term...

Workshop on access to water, land use and poverty in Africa

NB new date: 27 September in Stockholm Water has increasingly become a critical issue in local and global governance discourses. While the MDGs and other national goals have spurred an intensive activity in extending people’s access to safe water...

Scramble for African land

What are the consequences of the growing foreign control of African land to grow biofuels and ensure food security? ”Biofuels, Land Grabbing and Food Security in Africa” by Kjell Havnevik, Prosper Matondi, Atakilte Beyene (eds.) is the latest book in...

Awarded scholarships

The African Guest Researchers’ Scholarship Programme is directed at senior scholars in Africa engaged in research on/about the African continent. Five scholars have been awarded scholarships for 2012. Read who they are here.

"South Sudan confronted with daunting tasks"

South Sudan formally declared its independence on 9 July. Fighting in and around the border region Abyei, the deployment of peacekeepers and the emergence of insurgences in various regions have prompted many to doubt the future of Africa’s newest...

Debate WDR 2011 on NAI Forum

NAI Forum opens up for a debate on the “World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development”, with five articles on the topic. Coastal Roy sets the stage with a summary of the report. Phil Vernon concurs with the report and calls for...

Seminar on water governance – call for papers

NAI will co-organise a cross-continental and interdisciplinary seminar on “Poverty, Water and Local Development” in Kampala, Uganda, 28-30 November. The organisers invite scholars from all disciplines to contribute with multidisciplinary and critical...

Role for diasporas in peace-building in the Horn of Africa

An article on NAI Forum highlights some of the conclusions of a comparative research project on conflict-generated diasporas originating in the Horn of Africa. The project has studied diasporas currently residing in Europe who are actively engaged in...

How to tackle China’s growing economic role?

The main points made at Round Table 1 at the just ended ECAS 4 conference are summarised in this article on NAI Forum by Samuel Mwakubo, Research Manager, African Economic Research Consortium, Kenya. He asks the question: How should Africa engage...

Oral arts as alternative conflict mediation

A new issue in NAI's Discussion Paper series has just been published. Folashade Hunsu has critically examined Zangbeto, a society among the Egun people in Badagry, near Lagos. The study shows how Zangbeto, in the context of economic crisis and...

Effective aid monitoring is possible

As regards development cooperation, Jan Bjerninger, former Head of Department in charge of long-term bilateral cooperation at Sida, argues that Sweden is close to the “Obsessive Measurement Disorder” situation as described by the former head of US...

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