News archive

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

2013

The sun will rise tomorrow

Much has been said about what will happen to South Africa after Nelson Mandela dies. While all is not well in the Rainbow Nation, there are reasons to counter the portrait of a country on the highway to hell. As I wrote in June (opens in new window)...

Performing Islam

Much recent research on African Islam has focused on the division between Sufism and Islamic reform. Often these streams are seen as being in conflict and, especially since the political liberalisation of the 1990s, as competing for public space. A...

Trust, Identity and Beer

When smallholder farmers in the village of Isunga in mid-western Uganda need extra labour, they choose helpers on the basis of qualities such as trust and repute. Local social norms and networks shape the informal “institutions” that are used in...

Military side-income

Security personnel in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are involved in a wide range of income-generating activities. These can be small scale, like the petty trade in cigarettes, or they can be big business, like the import/export trade. What...

New light on Africa

NAI’s Director Iina Soiri was invited to comment the Minister of Finance Anders Borg’s speech about Africa’s economies at a seminar at The Swedish institute of international affairs December 16 in Stockholm. Under the headline “New light on Africa” it...

Economy of the street

Through film and photos, NAI researcher Mats Utas aims at portraying the reality of life among the urban poor based at two different locations in Freetown. The photo exhibition entitled 'Pentagon: Street life and Survival in Freetown, Sierra Leone'...

River gods at the source of the Nile

NAI researcher Terje Oestigaard is interested in a relatively unexplored area of ​​research. During a three-week field work in Uganda on the White Nile, he interviewed healers who are chosen by river gods. – I've been...

Big Business Security

Private Security companies have over the last two decades grown into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. A NAI workshop in Nairobi will discuss security companies’ connections to local economies and their social responsibility.

Mandela not with us anymore

NAI researcher Marianne Millstein wrote the following blog post earlier this year: "South Africa and the world are about to see the symbolic end of an era. The overwhelming tribute to Madiba as a statesman and humanist speaks volumes about him and his...

Maria Eriksson Baaz on the situation in Congo

NAI researcher Maria Eriksson Baaz recently participated in Swedish Radio (P1 Konflikt, opens in new window) in a conversation about the situation in Congo. There is a lot of optimism among UN personnel, civilians and within the Congolese army...

Post-Gaddafi repercussions

NAI researcher Mats Utas and Morten Böås from NUPI in Oslo are guest editors of 'Strategic Review for Southern Africa', a journal from University of Pretoria. This edition looks closer at francophone Central and West Africa (opens in new window).

Farmers’ thoughts and ideas on film

Canadian filmmaker Gerald Belkin lived and worked in Tanzania during the late 60's. His original tapes from that period are now kept at the Nordic Africa Institute’s library. For many years, the films were used for teaching and training Swedish...

Iina Soiri interview in Uppsala daily

NAI Director Iina Soiri is being interviewed in the latest issue of Uppsala daily newspaper UNT’s economy annex. She talks about African economies and her role at NAI under the vignette “Profilen” (the profile). Read the article on page 14-15 (in...

Conservation or livelihood?

Not only land for agriculture is contested in Africa. Community forests are also much debated. A regional workshop in Ethiopia arranged by NAI and Hawassa University will explore experiences in the East Africa region. In this workshop researchers from...

Better cooperatives in Liberia

NAI researcher Gun Eriksson Skoog was in Liberia on a field study gathering material for her project on inclusive development of agricultural markets. She has some preliminary reflections on the Cocoa-market development. – Many smallholders believe...

Warlord democrats

Democratization is crucial for building peace after war. A by-product of such processes is, however, that ex-warlords often reinvent themselves as democrats. – In many ways it is necessary to embrace such warlord democrats to prevent them from...

The world downside up

At Mats Utas blog, Lisa Åkesson describes the Portuguese immigration to Angola and the savage capitalism that dominates the capital Luanda. For the first time in African postcolonial history, citizens of a former European colonial power are seeking...

Not always positive

T. Chidi Nzeadibe and Peter A Makachia, guest researchers at NAI presented papers during the conference "Knowing Development - Developing Knowledge?" in Helsinki on November 14-15. – Sometimes you assume that development is always positive but I...

Violent conflicts on land rights

Morten Böås holds an open lecture at NAI Wednesday 27 November on land rights and the politics of origin. You use the word autochthony, what does it mean? – Autochthony means “emerging from the soil” and enables people to establish a direct claim to...

Africa Rising? Whose Africa?

"By 2050 a quarter of the world will be African and by the end of the century half the young people in the world will live on our continent.This demographic dividend could place Africa at the centre of the global economy. The strategic use of our...

Unrest in Arusha

– Arusha which was considered the Geneva of Africa is not so peaceful, says Peter McOmalla, chief coordinator of Tanansa.

Policy dialogue seminar: Who is responsible?

Friday November 29 at Sida, Stockholm 12-15 hours: 'Who is responsible? Donor-civil society partnerships and the case of HIV/AIDS work' Civil society organisations are today considered important in development partnerships. This issue of Policy...

More attention to social dynamics

NAI researchers Judith Verweijen and Maria Eriksson Baaz, together with Jason Stearns, have written a report on armed mobilization in the DRC. One of the conclusions is that poorly managed demobilization and military integration has contributed to...

What happened to the doctors?

Where have all the doctors gone? That is the headline of an upcoming lecture by NAI researcher Måns Fellesson at the seminar "Mozambique – today and tomorrow” held in Helsinki 16 November. He has looked into what happened to the many Africans who got...

Platform for development research

The conference "Knowing Development - Developing Knowledge?" will take place in Helsinki on November 14-15. Development researchers, practitioners, civil society actors and policy will meet to discuss and re-evaluate the relationship...

Aqim behind killings in Mali

A week ago two French journalists were kidnapped and then killed in northern Mali. Reports confirm that the militant group Aqim is responsible. – This can be a way for Aqim to show they are in control and stronger than what they really are. Similar...

Cease-fire in DRC

The M23 militia in eastern Congo has put down their arms, and will in the future seek to work only by political means. The growing engagement from the international community is one reason for the cease-fire according to NAI researcher Maria Eriksson...

Growing demand for knowledge

With growing populations and an emerging middle class the demand for higher education increases. A significant proportion of the world’s students will be from Africa in the near future and they are becoming more mobile in the search for international...

NAI library focusing on film

The Nordic Africa Institute library has made a big investment in movies this year. About fifty new films have been purchased, mainly documentary films but also movies. After the new investment there are 350 movies available for borrowers. The range...

Critical voices on Africa and the ICC

At NAI Forum there are currently four articles that comment on the African Union’s position towards the International Criminal Court (ICC).   – The International Criminal Court has throughout its decade of existence been met with a barrage of...

Aid is great, but needs update

“Development aid is great, but the system needs an update. We think we’re always right and expect to receive gratitude. Instead we should listen to what young people in Africa today want out of life and encourage them to follow their dreams,” said NAI...

AU diplomacy can foster peace in DRC

Peace talks between the Democratic Republic of Congo and M23 rebels have been suspended again in Kampala. African Union Commission chief Nkozasana Dlamini-Zuma is in the DRC to help peace efforts. – The Dlamini-Zuma's quiet diplomacy may foster peace...

Reading for decision-makers

Book review of 'The Horn of Africa: Conflict and security within and between states', edited by NAI researcher Redie Bereketeab. The review made by Abdullah Mezar, foreign affairs editor of the daily newspaper Al Khaleej in the United Arab Emirate...

Tore Linné Eriksen honored

One of Scandinavia’s most prominent Africanists is now retiring. On 23rd October a special seminar was held in Oslo to celebrate historian Tore Linné Eriksen who has devoted four decades to deepening and spreading knowledge about Africa in the Nordic...

Natural resources prolongs conflicts

There is no direct link between natural resources and violence. It is not a reason to why people fight, however, conflicts are maintained due to the existence of natural resources. This point was made by Koen Vlassenroot, professor of political...

Conflict simulation

Peacekeepers and international forces are asked to respond to varied and complex conflict situations in the Middle East and Africa. While some conflict dynamics may be general, conflicts and civil wars in the Middle East and Africa have their own...

Vacant positions: two researchers

The Nordic Africa Institute invites applications for two positions: Researcher with focus on Resources – water, food and energy and Researcher with focus on Migration and Mobility. The complete advertisement for both positions is available here. The...

Effects of social protection programs

Can social protection, improve agricultural production, food security and nutrition for rural households? This question will NAI guest researcher Raphael Babatunde look into during 7 October to 29 November.

Housing strategies in Kenya

Kenya has many strategies for housing and settlements, but all are not being translated into practice, says Peter Amalo Makachia, visiting researcher at NAI, within the urban cluster.

Africa and the rising powers

“The challenge for African nations is to draw relevant lessons from China, India and other rising economic powers,” states Sumit Roy, the latest researcher to join NAI’s African International Links cluster.

Unacknowledged gap fillers

Those involved in informal waste management are at the bottom of the waste value chain in Nigeria. People look at waste pickers as poor, dirty or criminal, a view that is often borne out of unawareness. – But the cities would drown in garbage if it...

Marginalized African farmers

– Farmers in Africa have always been marginalized. With little or no help from their governments to produce or sell their products, says NAI researcher Atakilte Beyene.

Sweden at the Berlin Conference

The image of Sweden is one of a small, democratic, and peace-loving country without the moral burden of a colonial past. However, in NAIs latest Current African Issue this is brought into question.

Instagram contributes to more nuanced image of Africa

The people behind the project 'Everyday Africa' (opens in new window)  hope that the photographs on Instagram will give a more nuanced picture of the continent. Press photos from Africa often show starvation and political...

Poor results for EU development aid in Congo

EU development aid to one of the world's poorest countries has led to very limited results. Fewer than half of the operations in the DRC audited by the European Court of Auditors has, or is likely to have its intended effect. Maria Eriksson Baaz...

Cosmology set against technology

In the geo-political context today the waters of the Nile are an increasingly disputed resource. Discussions are mostly held regarding water utilization, food security, irrigation schemes and dam developments for hydropower. – But water is important...

Informal waste management research

NAI guest researcher Chidi Nzeadibe publishes peer-reviewed article that acknowledges the contributions of NAI to informal waste management research in Africa. View article at Wiley Online Library (opens in new window).

The New Africa

The last decade 17 African countries have shown an economic growth of 3,5 per cent. What does this mean for Swedish opportunities in business, export and trade? NAI researcher Måns Fellesson was one of the speakers at Entreprenörskapsforums breakfast...

Half-cooked boiullabaisse

NAI researchers Maria Eriksson Baaz and Judith Verweijen write in African Affairs (article opens in new window) on rebel-military integration and conflict dynamics in the eastern DRC.

Claude Ake Visiting Chair

The Department of Peace and Conflict Research and the Nordic Africa Institute currently invite applications to the Claude Ake Visiting Chair for 2014. Deadline for applications: November 15th, 2013. As a novelty for year 2014, we invite...

Understanding Al-Shabaab

Leader of NAIs conflict cluster, Mats Utas, is impressed by the book Al-Shabaab in Somalia: the history and ideology of a militant Islamist group, 2005 – 2012 by Stig Jarle Hansen. – If you want to understand Al-Shabaab and its relative popularity in...

“Cinderella grew up”

"Africa is no more willing to fit into the shoes tailored solely by the North. So EU should be ready to face the real truth: the Cinderella grew up." writes The Puzzled Boss Lady concerning the talks on a new Europe-Africa economic partnership...

Many images of Africa

NAI researcher Mats Utas, Erika Bjerström from Swedish Television and head of communication at Sida, Joakim Beijmo will discuss our image of Africa at the book fair in Gothenburg. Internationella torget, Sunday 29 September, 12.00 – 12.20. More...

Law and land in the Nile Basin

Land acquisition is a contentious issue in the Nile Basin. In this enormous area, covering approximately one-tenth of the African continent, the River Nile is the vital artery. A new project has been initiated by NAI and the Stockholm International...

Migrancy in Burkina Faso

When the civil war broke out in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002, nearly 3.5 million migrant workers from Burkina Faso lived in the country. Almost one million of them fled back home to escape the conflict. Jesper Bjarnesen has recently joined the NAI urban...

Fair and ethical trade can drive development

Africa needs to deal with new trends such as globalisation, trade liberalisation and the emerging BRIC states. Yet another global trend is the greater focus on trade rather than aid  as a driver of development. What does all this mean for Africa? This...

Trading-up in East Africa: What will it take?

– Africa still plays a trivial role in international trade, accounting for only 3 per cent of global exports. Moreover, half of this share is fuel. The rapid growth in fuel exports doesn’t generate employment or improve human welfare in Africa. That’s...

Africa lacks industries

– International trade is dominated by manufactured goods. However, Africa has not developed a manufacturing sector and instead the continent’s major exports are minerals and oil. This is a problem that needs attention, says NAI researcher Francis...

Liberian child soldiers in Freedom

NAI researcher Mats Utas interviewed in an article on Liberian child soldiers in the Swedish newspaper 'Frihet' (Freedom, pdf opens in new window). The magazine tells of three former child soldiers' lives ten years after ...

More with access to land

– From a situation where 3-4 000 farmers controlled most of the best lands in Zimbabwe, now many people have access to land and can be part of food production. The land reform has led to great changes in rural Zimbabwe, says NAI-researcher Kjell...

Securing Land Rights

NAI researcher Linda Engström will present empirical material from Bagamoyo in Tanzania where a Swedish company has acquired land for a sugar plantation. The presentation will focus on the land allocation and resettlement process from perspectives of...

In defence of Nordic NAI

Two recent op-eds defend NAI’s existence as a Nordic institute. They criticize a proposal by The Swedish Agency for Public Management to scrap the Nordic ownership model. The Nordic countries don’t seem to care much about the fate of the institute...

What about development?

The possibility for free education for foreign students at Swedish universities was a way to gather many policy areas in the struggle against world poverty. Now, as these scholarships are covered by Swedish foreign aid the development focus on Africa...

NAI nominated in two categories

Both the NAI website and the NAI Annual Report 2012 are nominated for the Swedish Publishing Award (Svenska Publishing-Priset). It is the first time the NAI website is nominated, the NAI Annual Report has been awarded two times before and nominated...

Suprastructure - photo exhibition

Through images from the million city Jos in Nigeria, a photo exhibition presently on display at the Ångström Laboratory in Uppsala portrays what happens when infrastructure moves from the background to the foreground and increasingly shapes daily...

More African billionaires

Today, there are 35 African billionaires, and more than 2,500 extremely rich with over $ 30 million in assets. – The prosperity is due to increased exports of only a few products. This is not good if the intention ...

Commercialization of rape

Media, organizations and researchers have contributed to ”commercialization” of rape in DRC. Rape victims are used as a resource to gain donor money. NAI researcher Maria Eriksson Baaz calls for a more nuanced approach. Read article in Norwegian...

Research contributes to economic development

How can economic development be enhanced in the Lake Victoria Basin? This was the main theme in the Trading-Up Conference in Arusha, Tanzania 18–20 June. – NAI as a research institution aims to contribute to greater understanding on how to do...

“Kilimo kwanza” (agriculture first)

Follow NAI travel scholarship holder Mikael Bergius on his blog during his fieldwork in Tanzania (opens in new window). In 2009, Tanzania put agriculture at the forefront of its development agenda through the “kilimo kwanza” (agriculture first)...

Ground zero: Revival of Democratic Mali?

Not long ago, Mali was considered a beacon of democracy in West Africa. Then came the military coup, out of the blue to many outsiders, and the rapid mobilisation of several armed groups, more or less radical in religious views, which quickly moved to...

‘We are a people of storytellers’

Eugenia Abu, for 17 years a news anchor on national television, is one of Nigeria’s most recognisable faces. She now divides her time between writing books – poetry, fiction and non-fiction – and teaching and mentoring.. In the Blink of an Eye is the...

Is peace returning to Jos?

The year 2010 was disastrous for the city of Jos in Nigeria. Ethnic and religious rivalry exploded into violence and many people lost their lives in clashes in the streets, at roadblocks manned by armed youths, or in nocturnal raids on villages and...

Land worries in the Lake Victoria region

Land-related conflicts and rapid urbanisation, combined with slow industrialisation, are causes for concern in the Lake Victoria region. – New ideas and perspectives need to be developed, says researcher Opira Otto, who recently joined the National...

Transition to democracy in Mali

NAI researcher Mats Utas writes on his blog about Mali post-election (opens in new window). "Elections took place rather peacefully and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) of the Rally for Mali party won a confident victory in the second round. The runner...

Warlords running for presidency

Welcome to an open seminar at NAI that will discuss the implications of including ex-warlords in election processes in post-conflict countries in West Africa and other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Is it a necessary evil in a post-conflict society...

Conference at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

25-26 September: Conference at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ultuna, Uppsala, Sweden. NAI organises a panel on "Securing Land Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa" at the Agri4D Conference 2013 on Agricultural Research for Sustainable ...

Vacant positions

The Nordic Africa Institute has two vacant positions - Nordic Researcher from Sweden and Finland. Read the complete advertisement. Closing date for applications: 30 September 2013 Finland, Norway and Sweden are each represented by a researcher at the...

Costly to send money from Sweden

Last year, the world's migrants sent more than 400 million dollars to developing countries - known as remittances. That's more than three times as much as the total official development aid  to the same countries. In ...

Seminar in Oslo on infrastructure

Habitat Norway is hosting a seminar series throughout 2013 on infrastructure. The series will address how infrastructural systems relate to planning, economy, informality, livelihoods and environmental degradation. On August 28, Onyanta Adama...

Filmed events Almedalsveckan 2013

Can we only have ONE picture of Africa? -  webcast (in Swedish, opens in new window). In his exhibition, 'Africa is a Great Country', photographer Jens Assur shows a new image of a modern, urban and vivid Africa. Participants: Mats Utas, researcher at...

Continued unrest in Egypt

Maria Malmström is researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute and is right now in Egypt. She has done research in Egypt since 2002 and is a social anthropologist. If there is the issue of a civil war in the developing Maria...

Building a country – challenges and success stories

About fifty participants met in Hargeisa, Somaliland to discuss state building and state reconstitution. One of the major issues discussed was how countries like Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan and South Sudan has built and reconstructed their states...

Uncertainty and tension in Egypt

The celebration of the family feast of Eid al Fitr is just over and in Egypt there is a tense wait. NAI researcher Maria Malmström is in Cairo and her experience is that many from the outside make secure analysis...

Scholarships

Scholarships for PhD candidates - enables PhD candidates who wish to cooperate with the research clusters at NAI to spend one or two months at the institute. Read more about the scholarships and how to apply. The Study Scholarship Programme permits...

New Africa – almost there?

Under the name 'Puzzled Boss Lady' NAI Director Iina Soiri has started a blog. The subtitle is 'Nordic attempts to understand a changing Africa'. She starts off by sharing her reflections on a journey to Tanzania. What has changed and what is still...

Former NAI researcher running for WTO top post

Dr Yenkong Ngandjoh Hodu, formerly a researcher at NAI, has been nominated to the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation. “We are happy and proud that Dr Ngandjoh is considered for this very important position within legal system for world...

What is the way forward for Zimbabwe?

‘Pamberi ne Zanu!’ (forward Zanu) is the chant of the Zanu PF supporters as they celebrate their victory over the MDC. The freeness and fairness of this election has been disputed by the MDC who are most certain to contest the elections through the...

Simplified on DR Congo

International Crisis Group has analysed the conflict in Eastern DR Congo in a new report. But ICG simplify the underlying causes, according to researcher Judith Verweijen. Read more on Mats Utas' blog.

Mugabe's last election

It is clear that Robert Mugabe has won the presidential election in Zimbabwe and that his Zanu PF has secured an overwhelming majority in the parliament. However, the legitimacy of the elections is being questioned by the country's opposition and...

Contested election in Mali

On Sunday thousands of Malians went to the polls in the country's first election since the military coup last year.

Resource recovery by default

– In the absence of formal initiatives by the government, the informal waste sector in many Nigerian cities has become a major driving force in resource recovery. However, the role of the informal sector is by default since the aim of entering the...

Aid to Swedish universities

– Previously, students from developing countries could come to Sweden and get an education without cost. It doesn’t work like that any longer, now aid money finances the scholarships. That is, Swedish aid goes to Swedish universities, says NAI...

Mandela Day celebrated

Global celebrations and charity events will mark Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday Thursday, but the critically ill anti-apartheid hero himself may still be confined to his Pretoria hospital bed on life-support.

Strong emotions in Cairo

Following the announcement on Wednesday night that Mursi resigns filled the streets of Cairo of cheering people. Maria Malmström, researcher at NAI and the University of Gothenburg, landed in Cairo just as cheers erupted. - It is absolutely...

Gridlock with multiple effects

NAI-researcher Andrew Byerley reflects on the turmoil of traffic in Kampala, Uganda.  “Kampala’s boda boda’s, which can be numbered in their thousands, offer the only reasonably quick means of moving along the city’s otherwise choked and antiquated...

Africa optimism a false picture

The prevailing optimism gives no true picture of Africa. Short-term exploitation and large-scale agriculture is neither socially or environmentally sustainable. The gap is growing , writes Kjell Havnevik , cluster leader...

Rural teaching across borders

Schools play a vital role in the quality of life of rural communities in South Africa and Sweden alike. What is similar? And what is different? NAI guest researcher Dipane Hlalele, who is himself from South Africa, recently visited a primary school in...

Vote likely on hold

Many sources within and outside the country say that elections will not take place on 31 July as stipulated by a recent court ruling. More time will be needed to implement the reforms to the electoral system that have been provided for in the new...

The many faces of change

The wave of popular uprisings that swept through the Arab world in 2011 has taken societies in the region in very different directions. The many faces of “affective politics” – a term describing the force of emotions and feelings in relation to...

New face at International Links cluster

Ann-Sofie Isaksson is a new researcher with NAI’s International Links cluster. She is a development economist with a research background at the University of Gothenburg. In 2011, she defended her PhD thesis, ”Essays on institutions, inequality and...

New book on the Blue Nile

The mysteries surrounding the source of the the Blue Nile in Ethiopia have attracted philosophers, emperors and explorers since the dawn of civilisation. Yet very little research has been done on this vital part of Ethiopia’s cultural and religious...

Endless scramble for cattle

In the Adamaoua Region of Cameroon, local authorities have a long tradition of dispossessing the Mbororo Fulani pastoralists of their cattle. NAI researcher Tea Virtanen has followed the situation in Adamaoua since the 1990s. – The Mbororo people are...

Learning and education in rural areas

NAI guest researcher Dipane Hlalele participates in the 6th International Academic Conference in Bergen, Norway, June 23 - 26. He chairs the session 'Teaching and Education' and also contributes with a paper and poster. '"Current educational and other...

Experts meet in Tanzania

During18-20 June an expert group meeting is taking place in Arusha, Tanzania. The meeting is on economic emancipation and development in the Lake Victoria basin region in East Africa. It is arranged by NAI and the organization East African Community...

Africa chooses its own path

The African Union is a good example of how Africa takes responsibility and leads the way towards a better future. But it is still important that the Nordic countries provide the strategic aid that Africa needs to shape ...

South African politics after Mandela

South Africa and the world are about to see the symbolic end of an era. The debate about what will happen when Nelson Mandela dies has again resurfaced. 'The enormous importance that Mandela has had is indisputable. Like for so many others, Mandela...

Uprising of the Tuaregs

“There still exist armed groups of Salafists in northern Mali. However, this doesn’t mean that Mali is a new Afghanistan, which often is said, since the causes of conflicts are different. Therefore, methods and rhetoric used against the war on terror...

Oil game between Sudan and South Sudan

The conflict between Sudan and South Sudan has escalated and now all the oil supply in the pipeline from South Sudan stopped. NAI researcher Linnéa Gelot have just come back from Abyei-region in the middle of the conflict between the two countries...

Strategy for control

European donors often criticize China and its focus on business instead of development when it comes to investments in Africa. NAI researcher Mats Hårsmar commented this in Swedish Radio. – It is a good thing if more actors are getting involved in...

Erik Trovalla – new researcher

When infrastructure works you don’t think much about it. When it doesn’t, that’s when it stirs up emotions and sparks creativity. The result is not only new technical solutions. Along the alternative systems for water, electricity and fuel provision...

Catch 22 in African cities

– The question of informality cannot be avoided when talking about African cities. Provision of services – housing, water, garbage – has to be organized by the people themselves. Not many people in the informal sector work which means income to the...

Music censorship in Kenya

Historically, musicians in Africa had a complex role of being the people’s conscience. Sweet tones of music made the rough tones of censure acceptable as only the musician could tell the chief off and get away with it. NAI guest researcher Emily Akuno...

Concept Africa workshop

NAI’s researcher Terje Oestigaard is organising a Concept Africa workshop at NAI, 3-4 June. This is part of a larger and longer initiative during which  scholars working with and in Africa discuss approaches to a new world history not based on...

Land-people imbalances

In the Lake Victoria Basin region, the majority of the population is rural and farming is the dominant way of making a living. In recent decades, however, the region has experienced a dramatic rise in population, increased urbanisation and growing...

Wild West without a sheriff

Many internal actors and observers agree that the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo remains unpredictable and volatile. If it is not given the attention it deserves, this vast and rich territory will continue to be transformed into a “Wild...

Sexual violence as a weapon of war?

'Sexual violence as a weapon of war?' – a book by Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern. NAI researcher Maria Eriksson Baaz answers three questions about the book. By addressing sexual violence in conflicts, is there a risk that too much emphasis is...

The golden jubilee

This year’s Africa Day, 25 May, marks the 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU) and the former Organisation of African Unity (OAU). NAI researcher Linnéa Gelot comments on AU’s achievements and remaining challenges.

Imagining the future in North Africa

NAI's researcher Maria Malmström participates in a workshop in Alexandria, Egypt May 27-28 with the title 'Affective politics in transitional North Africa: imagining the future'. The conference is a collaboration between NAI and Swedish Institute...

What will happen with the Nordic Africa Institute?

Last year, the State Treasury was given the task to investigate the Nordic Africa Institute's role and function by the Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson. The result of the review was presented in...

Trying to learn, but not understanding

Millions of pupils in Africa don’t speak the language used in the classroom. – Research points out that those who study in a language other than their own will have trouble in passing exams, says Lotta Aunio, linguistic researcher at Helsinki...

Development contradictions

NAI researcher Francis Matambalya will give a lecture at Linköping university Wednesday 15 May, arranged by the Student Association of foreign Affairs, on the theme “Economic growth, socio-economic exclusion, urbanization, and slumisation: an inquiry...

Valuable knowledge is lost

– Discrimination against people with a different ethnic background is something that exists in society in general and also in the humanitarian and development aid organizations, says NAI researcher Maria Eriksson Baaz in an...

Growth and inequality at the same time

Inequality in Africa is increasing despite a growing economic growth. The growth mainly derives from export of raw material which is manufactured elsewhere. Inequality increases because foreign investments seldom lead to job opportunities in Africa...

Building their own future

NAI-Director Iina Soiru wishes African people will have bigger say in their continent’s future. See interview with Iina Soiri in Swedish television programe Uutiset (in Finnish, opens in new window).

Youssou N´Dour awarded Polar Music Prize

Musician Youssou N'Dour from Senegal and composer Kaija Saariaho from Finland will share the Polar Music Prize 2013. Youssou N'Dour broke through with the group Super Etoile de Dakar at the end of the 70th century. His global breakthrough was in the...

Student exchange and collaboration increasingly important

International students coming to Swedish universities and Swedish students studying abroad has always been an important part in the development of the Swedish higher education system. Now that fees have been introduced for...

President of Finland visits NAI

Former Finnish president Tarja Halonen is in Uppsala because of the The Dag Hammarsköld Lecture. A few free hours in her calendar permitted a visit to the Nordic Africa Institute. NAI researchers Maria Eriksson Baaz and Mats Utas gave a briefing on...

Mats Utas on piracy off the coast of Somalia

Mats Utas, Senior researcher and Cluster leader at NAI comments the Swedish involvment in fighting the piracy off the coast of Somalia. Read article in Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish daily, opens in new window).

'A scary end for Democrazy in Mali'

In the Western world Mali is considered a good example of democratization on the African continent. But despite small steps in the right direction this couldn't be further away from the truth. Voter participation is as low 36 percent (in 2007)...

Central African Republic: revolution or rebellion?

"When I learned about the breakdown of the latest Libreville peace agreement and the rebel takeover in the Central African Republic on March 24, my first thought was Henrik Vigh’s differentiation between rebellions and revolutions: which path would...

Where are the PhDs?

Economic growth and development in Africa have increased the need for educated and qualified labour. Consequently, the number of students in universities is growing significantly, which in turn gives rise to the concern that there will be less...

Social change through music

By interviewing artists in Nairobi, NAI guest researcher Emily Akuno seeks to understand how young Kenyans perceive their reality and if music is influenced by this. − l am also interested in how music helps people to cope with the everyday troubles...

Contradictory biofuel investments

NAI researcher Linda Engström is in Tanzania to investigate biofuel investments. Many farmers and pastoralists have lost access to land, but not one of the biofuel companies is operational. "Information on large-scale biofuel investments in African...

Learning in rural areas

How can rural areas develop learning capacities? This is the theme NAI guest researcher Dipane Hlalele from South Africa will study.  One way is by preparing teachers for living and working in the countryside. It is difficult to recruit teachers for...

Modern nomad - and Director

Suomen Kuvalehti, the Finnish equivalent to ‘ Newsweek’, has published a story about Iina Soiri. She is described as a modern nomad and Africa expert who during two decades trekked from one cost to the other on the African continent. Read the article...

Claiming the city

Half of the world’s population lives in cities, and a growing proportion – today one billion – lives in “slums” and informal settlements. Many of the urban poor engage in collective strategies to secure their housing, earn a living, and defend their...

Africa is NOT a great country!

Africa is a big continent. It happens to be a pretty big continent with more than 50 countries. In fact, it is the second biggest continent after Asia. Read intervention by NAI researcher Francis Matambalya and Henning Melber from Dag Hammarsköld...

Engines of growth

− Urbanisation and population growth is always desirable, throughout the economic history these are the engines of economic growth. The problem is when foreign companies negotiate with weak local authorities, and then corruption is likely to happen...

China: sweet or sour for Africa

China and other emerging economies are eager to invest in the resource rich African countries. However, the presence of China in Africa has led to a growing popular discontent. Read article by NAI director Iina Soiri and Henning Melber from the Dag...

Myths on refugees

NAI researcher Ilmari Käihkö discusses myths about refugees and how these relate to reality in refugee camps in eastern Liberia.   Read article in Pakolainen, a journal by the Finnish Refugee Council (page 15-16, in Finnish, pdf opens in new window)...

Cape Town’s housing crises

NAI researcher Marianne Millstein investigates the government’s temporary solutions to the housing crisis in Cape Town. However, for the majority, the temporary camp will be their permanent home for the foreseeable future.

Police reform is a must

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the police force is still organised as it was during the colonial era, as an instrument of social control. The only purpose of the police was to serve the regime and those in power. Those structures have...

Rigged elections in Kenya?

Five days after the general election, Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Alliance was declared the winner and president. According to official figures, Kenyatta got 50.07 per cent of the votes and thereby avoided a second round of voting. However, his...

Diversity of research

Iina Soiri is the new director of NAI with effect from 1 March. Prior to her appointment, she worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland as a senior advisor on development policy. − To know how development can take place in Africa, one...

New conditions for NAI?

NAI Director Iina Soiri interviewed in Swedish development magazine Omvärlden regarding The Swedish Agency for Public Management's (Statskontoret) report on the institute. Read the article at Omvärlden's site (in Swedish, opens in new window). The...

Development dilemmas

Where is Egypt heading and how does this correspond with popular expectations? It seems that political parties and the people of Zimbabwe are unwilling to go to the polls. There is lots of talk about Africa’s rapid economic growth, but is it trickling...

Nordic film festivals with Africa in focus

With two Nordic film festivals focusing on Africa during  the spring of 2013 — in Stockholm and Helsinki — NAI library staff has compiled a web dossier for those interested in the subject. The web dossier contains a list of web resources, films and...

Uncertain outcome of Kenyan election

Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Alliance has been declared the winner and President elect in Kenya. His opponent, Raila Odinga of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD), rejects the election results and will now make a complaint to the Supreme...

Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War?

'Perceptions, Prescriptions, Problems in the Congo and Beyond' by Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern, the book is available in May 2013: All too often in conflict situations, rape is referred to as a 'weapon of war' - a term presented as...

Informal networks - meeting report from Liberia

On March 6th a meeting organized by the Swedish Embassy and UNMIL (United Nations Mission in Liberia) in Monrovia, Liberia took place. Gun Eriksson Skoog and Mats Utas, both NAI-researchers, participated in the meeting where the implications of...

Presidential candidates accused of crimes against humanity

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, two of the candidates in the Kenyan elections have been charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in The Hague ( ICC) for their involvement in the violence during the elections 2007.

Presidential candidates accused of crimes against humanity

Today, 4 March Kenya is having elections. The last election in 2007 ended in violent conflict. Two of the candidates, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto , have been charged with crimes against humanity by the International...

Agreement not signed by rebels

Leaders of eight African states have signed a peace agreement in eastern DRC. But many questions still remain. − This is not a peace agreement between the Congolese government and rebel groups in the area. As it has been reported in media the...

"Africa does not need our pity"

- We must stop harboring sympathy for Africa. We must face the Africans as equal human beings, says Iina Soiri who has worked with development cooperation in Africa for over two decades. 1st of March she starts her new job as Director of the Nordic...

Ramphele's political agenda

Guest blog post by Marianne Millstein: 'After a period of speculation, Mamphela Ramphele has launched her political platform in South Africa. She is highly respected as an anti-apartheid activist, intellectual, and academic in South Africa and ...

Social security systems

NAI acting director Mats Hårsmar participated in a seminar on 23 January on social security systems. The seminar was arranged by the Swedish Church, Swedish Development Forum (FUF) and Concord Sweden. Armando Barrientos, professor and research...

New perspectives on poverty

Gunnel Axelsson Nycander has been awarded the 2012 Swedish Development Forum (FUF) prize for her work highlighting new perspectives on poverty in developing countries.

Child support grants fight poverty

Tessa Hochfeld was a guest researcher at NAI in late 2012. Her research focuses on the social impact of cash transfers in South Africa, particularly the Child Support Grant (CSG).

Many possible scenarios

In less than a month Kenya is having elections. Hopefully, without any of the violence that marked the elections 2007, but there are no guarantees. Two of the presidential candidates stand indicted of war crimes, and trials are planned after the...

Further radicalisation in Sahel?

Mats Utas writes on the French intervention in Mali and the fact that troops from Niger and Chad are also involved. This intervention has enabled the quick recapture of strategic territory. However, as Utas points out, the involvement of Nigerien...

AU Summit: Money, Mali and Madame Zuma

Peace and conflict issues dominated the African Union summit in Addis Ababa. The situation in Mali drew attention away from enhancement of regional integration, the reform of AU institutions and development issues.

Criticism of Swedish mission in Somalia

The Swedish government has decided to place armed Swedish forces at disposal of the EU's naval operation, Operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia.

Reversed migration

Because of the economic recession many Portuguese have moved to Portugal´s former colonies in Africa. Lisa Åkesson’s research at NAI is focusing on migration on Cape Verde which normally means moving from the islands.

Democracy still far away in Uganda

NAI researcher Anders Sjögren has recently published his book `Between Militarism and Technocratic Governance. State Formation in Contemporary Uganda’. He hopes that the book will stimulate intellectual debate about where Uganda is coming from, where...

AU debates the situation in Mali

The AU-summit in Addis Ababa was supposed to discuss Africa as an economic power, but instead the sessions came to deal with issues regarding the conflict in Mali. NAI researcher Linnéa Gelot was interviewed by Swedish Television about the AU-summit...

NAI library: new opening hours

After the move to new premises the NAI library is located in a student-dense area with Blåsenhus on one side and the English Park on the other side. - Uppsala University Library is one of our sponsors, and we extend our...

Water rituals in Uganda

NAI researcher Terje Oestigaard is going on fieldwork to document water rituals, beliefs and traditions at the source of the White Nile in Uganda. "...the introduction of irrigation may have deep cultural and religious impact. The advantages...

Conflict in Mali may escalate

France fears that unrest in Mali can spread to other former French colonies in the area. - That's way an air campaign against rebels in northern Mali has been initiated. The situation is very problematic and the chances...

Peace agreement but still unclear situation

Few had heard about Seleka, a coalition of rebels, when it suddenly appeared 10 December in the Central African Republic. Fewer still expected the rebels to reach the ports of the capital Banguis in just three weeks. If Seleka had decided to continue...

Timely military efforts in Mali?

Is the the French bombing in northern Mali too late or too soon? Have all means for other peace solutions been used? NAI-researcher Mats Utas writes about the complicated situation in Mali on his blog. "Although the sudden attacks must have been...

Interview with Mats Hårsmar

Mats Hårsmar is acting director at NAI during the period 1st of January - 28th of February, 2013. In this interview he talks a bit about what is happening at the institute during 2013 and why one of the research clusters is changing its name.

Apply for NAI-scholarships

Guest Researcher at NAI – Africa: the African Guest Researchers' Scholarship Programme is directed at scholars in Africa, engaged in research on the African continent. Female researchers are especially encouraged to apply for these scholarships...

Vacancy: Senior Researcher and Cluster leader

The Nordic Africa Institute is seeking an experienced researcher of a professorial rank or its equivalent, with administrative/management, mentoring, and publishing experience for the position of a Senior researcher and leader of the research cluster...

Fragmented but strong rebels

The rebels in the Central African Republic has snatched up another stretch towards the capital Bangui, despite the promise of peace talks. The rebels are divided, but their position is now very strong , says NAI ...

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