News archive

To see a list of all news during a specific year: please see the right hand column

2014

Boko Haram admits kidnapping

– It took long time for Boko Haram to admit the kidnapping of the school girls. This could mean that another organization was responsible for the kidnapping but in need for a political actor like Boko Haram to negotiate the ransom, says NAI researcher...

Ethnicity not politicised

Most political scientists treat politicised ethnicity in Africa as a given, especially in the rural areas. Many also assume that state institutions barely penetrate the countryside. Research carried out in the Manyara region of Tanzania by Catherine...

Sida supports investment in large scale agriculture

The Swedish aid agency, Sida, has decided to give SEK 120 million to EcoEnergy as a guarantee for commercial loans to invest in sugarcane production in Tanzania. NAI researcher Linda Engström questions the decision.  

Uncertainty calls for mutuality

Various voluntary associations offer alternative ways of distribution. They are particularly relevant in Africa today considering the past decades of neoliberal reforms. Read article by NAI researcher Daivi Rodima-Taylor in Cambridge Journal Online.

Jay Naidoo about South Africa post-apartheid

Jay Naidoo, a prominent political commentator in South Africa, gave a lecture on the theme of progress and challenges after the apartheid era in South Africa at NAI on Tuesday afternoon. The lecture was about how the situation in South Africa is...

More protests in Africa

Protests against various anomalies are increasing in Africa. Arab Spring is a clear example of this, the "Occupy" movement in Nigeria is another. Do the protests lead to any political change in Africa? A breakfast seminar ...

Dusty blue dreams

The blue gemstone Tanzanite is only found in Tanzania. Not far from Mount Kilimanjaro lies Mererani, where more than 70 mining companies operate within an area controlled by the government. Most of Mererani’s habitants live off the mines, and they all...

Immigration control as entrepreneurship

The tug-of-war between the South African government and African migrants in Johannesburg over immigration control benefits none of the parties. To break the vicious cycle, NAI researcher Christal Spel proposes a “business-like” approach, where the SA...

Academics contribute to peace operations in Africa

The African Union needs fresh ideas and recommendations for its peace operations. Researcher, diplomats, military staff and policymakers gathered for a two-day workshop in Cape Town to single out strategic options for the future. "Policy advice really...

Report from the blue zone

In his first visit to South Africa, NAI researcher Mats Utas reflects on how everything centres on race and security. Read his blog post.

Namibia’s one-party democracy

President-elect Geingob achieved a greater majority than his predecessors Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba against eight other contenders from the minority parties. More than ever, Namibia’s political arena is characterised by one-party dominance...

Cellphone data into research

Every time a person uses a cellphone, information is registered and stored digitally. This can be valuable for research into Africa, according to NAI researcher Johan Kiessling. The challenge is to know what you are looking for.

Finding love through Facebook

Young Egyptians increasingly find love through Facebook. However, most profiles and status updates are clearly shaped by traditional values. NAI scholarship-holder and PhD student Senni Jyrkiäinen is researching young expectations of love in Egypt.

Inverted economic roles

Angola’s booming economy is reshaping colonial power structures. Now, there is a steady flow of labour migrants arriving from the former colonial power Portugal. Angola’s economy is one of the fastest growing in Africa. However, the growth is largely...

Children living in poverty see benefits of education

“Farmers that have gone to school are doing better than those who never went to school. Kids in rural Zambia know this”, says Douglas Phiri researcher at the Norwegian Centre for Child Research. Watch him explain children’s understanding of poverty...

The real cost of land investments

Professor Kjell Havnevik, with researchers Linda Engström and Jumanne Abdallah, has recently commenced a study that examines the effects of large-scale land investments by foreign investors in Tanzania on smallholders’ livelihoods. Observers state...

Elections as do-or-die-affairs

NAI researcher Eldridge Adolfo answers two questions on new NAI Policy Note “Electoral Violence in Africa” (öppnas i nytt fönster).   Why are we talking about “election violence” in Africa when democratic elections are supposed to be peaceful? The...

Hard to refuse bio-companies

– It is not true that biofuel doesn’t compete with food production. Even if sugar-cane and jatropha is cultivated on other spots than food crops, the farmers have to re-prioritize their labor. This will affect food security, says Jumanne Abdallah...

Informal waste sector in Nigeria

They live on waste dumps and they do the job no-one wants to do. Picking, then sorting and reusing waste makes a living for thousands of people in Abuja, capital of Nigeria. NAI researcher Onyanta Adama led a workshop on 21 August in Abuja on informal...

Survival in the margins

Informal solid waste management is a vital survival strategy in many African cities. Thousands of urban dwellers make a living from the recovery, sorting and sale of recyclable materials. − The rise of informal solid waste management is largely...

Playing the game in gangland

Street gangs around the world share similar traits. This is the starting point of a new book, where NAI researcher Mats Utas has written a chapter on former rebel soldiers in Sierra Leone.

Bribing is part of the system in Nigeria

“If you need a document from the authorities, you must bribe the officials. Otherwise they will keep your file for decades”, says Omololu Fagdebo, researcher at University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Watch the interview from the Nordic Africa Days...

Bad statistics

Numbers describing growth, income or poverty in Africa are generally not to be trusted. Morten Jerven’s research looks into how statistics are produced in African countries. Watch him explain why we keep using statistics even though we know they are...

Migrants with potential to contribute

“Immigration policy should not be a tool of coercion and exclusion, but instead see migrants’ potential to contribute to the host society. The African Union needs to step up and be the frontrunner for an immigration reform in the whole of Africa”...

Navigating between donor demands and local expectations

Henri Myrttinen, researcher at International Alert, works in a project that seeks to develop context-specific tools to ‘measure gender’ in peacebuilding. His talk at the Institute describes how the project must navigate among donor demands and local...

Remembering 10 December

This day in 1959 marked a turning point in the anti-colonial struggle. Eleven unarmed people were killed when police shot at demonstrators protesting against the relocation of the Windhoek Old Location, the biggest urban settlement for black...

They support libraries in Rwanda

The bookshelves were empty when the Swedish librarians first visited the Rwandan university library. That was in 2002, eight years after the genocide when 800.000 Rwandans were killed. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida...

HIV no longer a death sentence

Wider access to antiretroviral treatment has decreased the number of AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections. Still, improved access to medical treatment is not enough, as NAI researcher Maylin Meincke points out. Safer sex, food security and early...

Commanders for good and bad

Ten years after the end of the civil war in Liberia, former commanders and soldiers are still tied together in various informal networks. Most often, this situation is considered to be problematic and as a potential threat to peace and stability.

Water not only for energy

There is an urgent need for a increased water use in many Southern African countries, so the question is not whether dams should be built but how best to design and operate them. Dams should be able to meet various needs, including hydro energy and...

Private company neglects to train soldiers in human rights

Soldiers recruited to the new national army in Liberia don’t get any training in human rights. This means that the misbehaviour that was widespread during the civil war may continue, according to NAI guest researcher Abraham Fofana.

Glimmers of hope in Liberia

From Ebola-gripped Liberia some positive signs emerge. In the cocoa-producing county of Lofa the spread of the disease appears to decrease sharply and smallholder farmers look forward to a good harvest, explains NAI researcher Gun Eriksson Skoog.

Diaspora important in peacebuilding

Although diverse, scattered and at times conflict-prone, the diaspora originating from the Horn of Africa plays an important role in building peace an stability. Liisa Laakso and Petri Hautaniemi, editors of a new book in the Africa Now series...

Female leaders are still disregarded

"All women want to be respected for their contributions", Grace Chirenje of the Zimbabwe Young Women’s Network for Peace Building says. Interviews with Grace Chirenje, Gertrude Fester and Ramola Ramtohul who participated in the panel on Governance and...

Bibliotekarie - vikariat

Nordiska Afrikainstitutet söker en bibliotekarie (halvtid). Vikariat under tiden februari – november 2015. Som bibliotekarie arbetar du med flertalet av de arbetsuppgifter som ingår på ett specialbibliotek men med tyngdpunkt på praktiskt förvärv och...

Distrust lingers in wake of Ebola

Misuse of power further decreases the trust in the Sierra Leonean and Liberian governments in the midst of the Ebola outbreak, NAI researcher Mats Utas says. He was interviewed by Swedish Radio in the Ebola special where the audience asked about the...

Seminar: Promoting development in trade policies

The value of exports from Sub-Saharan Africa is many times larger than the aid they receive. EU’s trade policy affects low-income countries in many ways. The Union has the power to improve the situation of millions of people living in poverty by...

Vacancy: Senior Researcher

Senior Researcher - with focus on the study of African economies. The Nordic Africa Institute’s new African Scholar Program aims to provide time to conduct research for scholars at African higher education and research institutions. The program...

Pressure on Burkina Faso

Strong external pressure increases the chance for a democratic transition in Burkina Faso, NAI researcher Jesper Bjarnesen said at an internal seminar at the Nordic Africa Institute. The country’s president Blaise Compaoré resigned on Friday following...

Burkina Faso – uprising or military coup?

NAI has experts on Burkina Faso. The situation in the country is uncertain after the President was forced from power following popular protests. Journalists can contact researchers Jesper Bjarnesen and Cristiano Lanzano.

Photo exhibition

Photo exhibition opening 'Street life and survival in Freetown, Sierra Leone' by and with NAI researcher Mats Utas. Tuesday November 11th at 16:00. Venue: Fredens hus, Uppsala castle, in Uppsala. Facebook-event (opens in new window).

Civil society educates leaders to accept defeat

A workshop at the Nordic Africa Institute deals with regional civil society organizations in Africa. What are the opportunities and constraints for organizations working across national borders?

Tradition key to better water use

Keys to securing Africa’s future need for water and food are hidden in its past. Local traditions provide sustainable systems for water use, researchers say at a NAI workshop.

A frank account of free Namibia

'Understanding Namibia', by NAI senior advisor Henning Melber, has been called the most substantial report ever on independent Namibia. It provides a frank account of a state that shook off colonial rule but has yet to see the fruits of independence...

Bamboo capitalism in Africa?

Economic activities in Africa are still dominated by the production of and trade in agricultural and mineral commodities.   A new book 'African Industrial Development and European Union Co-operation', edited by NAI researcher Francis Matambalya...

Inequality heightens violence in Nigeria, researcher says

Extreme inequality, corruption and a dysfunctional state have raised the temperature in Nigeria to boiling point. Religious differences, however, are not the main reason for the ascent of the extremist group Boko Haram, NAI researcher Henrik...

Ethiopian education troubled by double standards

Despite competition from private universities, public universities in Ethiopia are still considered to be the best. In theory, private colleges and universities should be able to compete on equal terms with public universities. However, according to...

Ebola from a political view

Mary Moran, Professor of Anthropology, takes a closer look at the ebola epidemic  in Liberia from a political perspective and also makes comparisons with Liberia's neighbors. "Although most press coverage continues to homogenize, universalize, and...

More than medicine against Ebola

Fighting Ebola is about fighting distrust. Information on disease prevention must be disseminated in the right way to the people of West Africa. Aid workers need to be responsive and culturally sensitive, social anthropologist Mats Utas stresses.

Plagued smallholder agriculture

Almost 900 million people around the world suffer from food insecurity.  The 2014 World Food Day theme ‘Family Farming: feeding the world, caring for the earth’ aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers. – Widespread poverty...

Ebola response lacks leadership

There is still no clear leadership for the international response to the Ebola epidemic. We need better coordination and more experienced staff to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, a panel of experts concluded at a seminar in Stockholm. Click...

President prosecution closed?

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is accused of having fueled ethnic violence that cost over a thousand lives. The meetings of the International Criminal Court during Wednesday can lead to that the charges against him will be...

Football in migration context

Christal Spel, researcher at NAI, makes a connection between football and migration, wanted and unwanted immigrants. Read her guest blog post at Annika Teppo's blog (opens in new window). "The list of World Cup teams with migrant players is long...

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

Four candidates from the African continent are listed: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Kenya, Assia Djebar, Algeria, Nawal El Saadawi, Egypt and Nuruddin Farah, Somalia. Who do you think deserves the Nobel Prize? Vote here!

Champion of human security

Ever since South Africa’s break with apartheid, Professor Maxi Schoeman has explored the challenges facing the country in its efforts to address the inequities of its past. She is the holder of this year’s Claude Ake visiting chair in Uppsala.

The Nordic Africa days

A total of 250 researchers from more than 30 countries took part in the Nordic Africa Days in Uppsala on September 26–27. On Friday, honorary guest Dr Mo Ibrahim held a keynote speech on the importance of good leaders and governance in Africa. On...

Long-distance politics

Diaspora communities have a strong stake in the fate of their countries of origin. They can also be a force for good in bringing peace to those countries. A recent Africa Now book edited by Liisa Laakso and Petri Hautaniemi challenges the conventional...

Africa’s rich visionary

Good leaders are necessary for Africa to rise from poverty. With this insight mobile phone entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim instituted a prize for African leadership.

Lies, damned lies and statistics

Numbers describing growth, income or poverty in Africa are generally not to be trusted. These are the findings of Dr Morten Jerven’s research who for several years has looked into how statistics are produced in African countries.

Self-determination and secession

Have attempts for self-determination in various African countries led to peace, development and democracy? This deals new book ‘Self-Determination and Secession in Africa’ with.

Hooked on race

"One of the critiques against the still current admission policy is that it compels students to classify themselves according to apartheid race categories. Since there are no laws to assist universities to determine someone’s race, students are asked...

Acceptable to lie for good cause?

Humanitarian organizations may easily succumb to the temptation to misuse numbers and statistics in order to promote their own causes. Does the end justify the means? This is the quesiton Henrik Urdal asks in a gues blog post at Mats Utas' blog (opens...

Politics - how does it feel?

By observing all five senses, researchers hope to find another angle to understanding politics in North Africa. NAI researcher Maria Malmström and Deborah Kapchan from New York University are bringing together several experts from North Africa for a...

Addicted to corruption

What are the reasons for growing corruption in Tanzania? PhD student Modestus Lukonge has traced a shift in mentality as well as practice compared to 20 years ago. The establishment of the WTO and the introduction of neoliberal policies in...

The bust that shaped Nigeria

The years after Nigeria’s independence in 1960 and later the oil boom in the 1970s marked the peak of the population’s confidence in the nation. Massive investments were made in infrastructure, linking people all over the country. The railway...

Ebola centers lack capacity

Despite the government's inability to handle the situation in the affected countries, people's attitudes to Ebola centers have changed. At first , no one wanted to go there, because many inmates died and even ...

Why governance matters

Despite impressive economic figures in recent years most people in Africa are still poor. The only way for Africa to move forward is to ensure good governance – the way the economy, legal structures and institutions are managed.  Dr Ibrahim is the...

Ebola exhausts health care

The Ebola epidemic exhausts an already weak health care in the affected West African countries. More resources are needed to halt the epidemic and also for taking care of patients with other serious diseases. Health care resources are exhausted when...

Ebola exhausts health systems

– Many people have volunteered, but the sheer volume of work has overwhelmed them. In general, more people are needed to trace contacts, manage clinical cases and bury dead bodies, says Adia Benton, medical anthropologist at Brown University, USA.

Claude Ake Professor 2014

Professor Maxi Schoeman is Head of Department of Political Sciences and Professor of International Relations at University of Pretoria, South Africa. Her main research focus is on South African foreign policy and African peace and security.  This...

More resources to stop Ebola

– More health workers and more equipment are needed. Also the authorities’ communication to the people must improve, says NAI researcher Mats Utas. Watch interview with Mats Utas (starts at 21.40 in programe).  – Early intensive treatment actually...

Call for Papers

Workshop on African Government Forces: New theoretical and methodological approaches, Uppsala, Sweden, 1-2 December, 2014. This workshop addresses questions in relation to government forces, their role as an economic actor, if  they strengthen or...

Mistrust in the time of Ebola

As the death toll exceeds 1,000 in West Africa governments and aid organizations struggle to treat those infected and prevent further transmission of the virus. Deep-rooted mistrust of authorities fuel the spread of rumors and conspiracy theories...

Growing panic over Ebola

Liberia and Sierra Leone have declared national emergency to fight the deadly Ebola virus. Meanwhile panic is growing among the population where distrust for government and health authorities is deep.

NAI scholarships for 2015

Study Scholarships and Scholarships for PhD Candidates 2015 at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden. Deadline for applications: 1 October 2014 The Study Scholarship is intended for a one month visit at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) and...

Growing fear of Ebola

After hundreds of deaths the fear of Ebola is growing in Sierra Leone and Liberia. One of the precautions is not to shake hands. I find that very difficult, writes researcher Susan Shepler who recently visited the two countries. Read more on Mats...

Improvements at high cost

People with disabilities, all over the world, but especially if they live in poor third world countries, are often regarded as powerless victims of society. According to former NAI guest researcher Diana Szanto, the example of Sierra Leone shows that...

Who can really be mobile?

During the autumn NAI is co-organizing a series of seminars that explores the concept of mobility in a broad sense. Increased mobility for individuals is considered good for the quality of life as well as for countries'...

Unpacking the win-win discourse

NAI researcher Linda Engström is on field work in Tanzania for her research on large-scale agricultural investments. She will also present at a conference in Dodoma on ‘Green Economy in the Global South’, 8 – 10 July. Her research investigates the...

ECAS 2015

The Sixth European Conference on African Studies (ECAS6) will take place in Paris 8-10 July 2015 at the Sorbonne. The principal theme of ECAS 6, is 'Collective Mobilisations in Africa:Contestation,Resistance, Revolt'. This theme, however, is not...

Youth and Labour

Current African Issues by NAI researcher Emy Lindberg finds that historical structures of informality and patrimonalism continue to dominate the labour market in Liberia today. The study also examines the idea of unemployed youths as particularly...

Water and urbanization

Most of the world’s population growth over the next 25 years will happen in urban populations, particularly those of Africa and Asia. One of the most important issues this growth in urbanization must handle is the water issue. What can history teach...

Modern colonialism

Oil companies involved in Somaliland and Puntland make deals with corrupt individuals in the governments and thereby buy natural resources extremely cheap. – This is just like how things were carried out during the colonial times, says NAI researcher...

From one crisis to another

As the recent terrorist attack in Mpeketoni on the Kenyan coast illustrates, fifteen months after the March 2013 elections Kenya is in a very fragile state. The Jubilee coalition’s first year in power has been a difficult one for the government...

Refugees or migrants?

Migrant or refugee? What should we call someone who has crossed the sea in a fishing boat and arrives in Lampedusa without any identification papers or other legal documents? In press coverage and political debates, these two words are often used...

Not just business as usual

With another overwhelming ANC victory, little seems to have changed in South Africa. But the results reveal some shifts that make these elections more than just business as usual. With a stronger opposition to the ANC in urban areas and prospects for...

People need to be involved

– The more people who participate in the economic development, the better the prospects for poverty reduction in African countries. It can also help to reduce social inequality and conflict, and ultimately strengthen democracy...

Mind your own goal Africa

The performances in the FIFA World Cup of three African countries – Ghana, Nigeria and Algeria – are really impressive. But why the Eurocentric view from football commentators? And why can’t African football talent be taken seriously and without being...

Urban poor claim the city

In a new publication by the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development, activists, policy makers, development practitioners and researchers reflect on how the urban poor across the globe are mobilizing in different ways to claim their right to the...

Revenge behind attack

The presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia has been the main reason for previous al-Shaabab violence in Kenya. Last week’s attack is, according to al-Shaabab, also revenge for oppression of the Muslim population in Kenya. – The government’s security...

Improving trade in Africa

In the aftermath of the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia, from 2 to 6 December 2013, Policy-makers and researchers from 20 African Least Developed Countries (LDCs) met in Mwanza, Tanzania, 14-16 May to discuss...

CODESRIA 40th anniversary conference

CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa) is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary with a conference in Dakar. At the conference Professor Sam Moyo and Professor Thandika Mkandawire received lifetime achivement...

Seminar on academic mobility

What happens when women and racialized minorities take up privileged positions which have not been reserved for them? NAI researcher Paula Mählck will present her research with the title 'Academic mobility at the intersection of development aid and...

Lecture by Elaine Salo at NAI

Who is a moral person in South African township communities? This was one of the questions addressed by Associate Professor Elaine Rosa Salo in a lecture at NAI on 4 June. In the lecture she drew on her ethnographic study of gender, race and...

Communications officer needed

JOB VACANCY. As communications officer at NAI one of your main tasks will be to disseminate the research that is conducted at the institute. As part of the communications unit you will make complex research results accessible and easily understandable...

Growing intolerance in Ethiopia

The establishment of federal states in Ethiopia based on ethnicity has increased conflict in the country. The objective was quite the opposite – to let each ethnic group handle its own problems. However, there are 56 ethnic groups in Ethiopia, but...

Egypt’s uncertain future

Egyptians are going to the polls again. Less than a year has passed since the last president Mohamed Mursi was toppled by general Abdel Fatah al Sisi. Now Sisi is running for election.   But many Egyptians are disillusioned and refuse to vote. How do...

Name our library search tool! (26/5 2014) We're preparing the launch of our new search tool, but we still lack a name.

Brutal conflict, but not genocide

Several myths are spread through Western media covering the crisis in the Central African Republic. The consequence can be that the international community takes wrong decisions. This argue NAI researcher Mats Utas and Ilmari Käihkö from Uppsala...

Åland as good example

30 representatives from African regional organisations participate in a course on peace and security in Africa arranged by NAI and Uppsala University. A field trip to Åland is part of the course. – Many conflicts in Africa have roots in a certain...

Army in Nigeria is not united

– Some groups within the military support the government while others have interest in showing how weak the president is before the elections next year. However, it must be stressed that nor Boko Haram is a united force, says NAI researcher Mats...

Rural exodus

The young rural generation, especially young men, do not consider farming as a good future. If given an opportunity they tend to sell off land and move to urban areas to seek jobs, set up small shops or engaging in taxi services. NAI researcher Opira...

Clash of religions in Africa?

The rise of extremist movements has tightened the relations between Muslims and Christians in Africa. Mats Utas, researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, has observed that tensions have increased during the last 15-20 years.

Climate issues not proritized

Can Swedish policticians handle climate issues? This question is asked by Kjell Havnevik, researcher at NAI, together with 22 other researchers and debaters in an opinion article in Swedish daily DN (opens in new window, in Swedish). "A word of advice...

Positive outcome for ANC opponents

Even if the ANC won the South Africa elections the opposition is becoming stronger. At the same time the number of people who choose not to vote is 40 percent. "Despite the relief over the remarkably smooth elections and the largely uncontroversial...

Movie nomination in Zanzibar

Vicensia Shule, currently guest researcher at NAI, has co-produced the movie 'The Letter of Nang’inyi to Namayani'. The movie will be screened at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in June. It is also nominated in two competing categories, short...

No surprises in the rainbow nation

The Tshwane area (Pretoria and surroundings) was during Election Day as calm as on any other public holiday or Sunday. Nothing would have signaled the relevance of this day for the immediate political future of South Africa if it would not had been...

Mobility and inequality in academia

NAI researcher Paula Mählck studies academic mobility and what happens when women and minorities take up privileged positions. Read more about her lecture at Umeå University 9 May.

To vote - or not to vote?

"Policy makers would be well advised to register the degree of passivity and withdrawal that the elections might document. An article in the ‘City Press’ on 4 May predicted that the voter turn out might be with 46% the lowest since democratic...

If mayors ruled Somalia

NAI Policy Note, by Ken Menkhaus, proposes more support to municipalities as the source of the most practical, legitimate and effective formal governance in Somalia. – Supporting city administrations is not a substitute for state-building at the...

Sudan’s farming challenges

Urbanisation, conflict and long-lasting civil wars have dramatically changed the demographic pattern in Sudan. Nevertheless, agriculture employs the majority of the labour force and serves as potential vehicle for diversifying the economy. Read more...

Strong belief in healers

– Traditional medicine has always been popular in South Africa, now it has also become more accepted, says NAI researcher Annika Teppo.

Report on illicit flows

A new report from NAI is dedicated to the illicit flows of capital, humans and drugs in Africa (pdf opens in new window). It captures the highlights of a joint conference on the matter organized by NAI and the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) in...

Tunisia's transition to democracy

The organization ILAC, International Legal Assistance Consortium, is working with rebuilding justice systems. Within the MENA Rule of Law programme a seminar is held on April 25th 14.00-17.00 in Tunis. It is titled 'From Ben Ali to democracy and rule...

Young aspiring elite

In Rundu, a town of 60,000 inhabitants in Namibia, social anthropologist Mattia Fumanti has conducted research on the formation of local elites. In looking at the town’s history, from the colonial to the postcolonial time, Fumanti has explored the...

Social impact of HIV

What social impact is HIV/AIDS having in Ghana? This is a topic of interest to new NAI researcher Perpetual Crentsil. During the course of her research, she discovered that one region in Ghana has a much lower HIV/AIDS prevalence rate than others. She...

New NAI Associate

Pekka Peltola is a new NAI Associate. In this role, he will be a resource for the Nordic Africa Institute by participating in seminars and moderating panels, among other roles. His background is in journalism, but he also worked for many years with...

Film making in Tanzania

Along with being a researcher and teaching film and theatre at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, NAI guest researcher Vicensia Shule also runs her own film production company. Most of the contracts she gets are from national or international NGOs or...

What is a moral community?

In the spring of 2014, The Nordic Africa Institute places particular emphasis on ongoing political, social and moral upheavals in African cities. In this film clip NAI researchers Annika Teppo and Marianne Millstein talk about the theme 'Moral...

How to study Africa

The NAI library has revised and updated 'Studying Africa: A Guide to the Sources'. The guide provides practical advice on handbooks, databases, statistics and offers other support for literature and fact searches. It is available online without cost –...

The role of NAI

NAI researcher Onyanta Adama participated in a conference 19 March at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. She gave a presentation on ‘Researching Urban Africa: the role of the Nordic Africa Institute’. The presentation highlighted the aim...

Crop – a documentary

NAI researcher Mats Utas reviews the Egyptian documentary Crop that won an honorary mentioning in CinemAfrica, the annual Stockholm film festival devoted to African film. Read review at Mats Utas’ blog (opens in new window)

Sex as a war weapon

An article in the Guardian that comments Angelina Jolie’s speech about sex as a war weapon refers to NAI book “Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War?” by Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern. Read article in the Guardian (opens in new window).

Anti-gay laws supported by the West

One of the reasons behind the recent signing of anti-homosexuality bills in Nigeria and Uganda can be traced to African leaders being fed up with Europe and USA dictating how to think and act, according to NAI director Iina Soiri. – In addition, over...

Mobile phones for development

NAI researcher Perpetual Crentsil attends the international conference on mobile phones for development  (M4D2014) that is held at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal 8-9 April. – Mobile phones by themselves will not be able to...

Weak police force in DR Congo

New NAI publication by former guest researcher Thierry Nlandy Mayamba discusses the weak police force in DR Congo. Inappropriate equipment and lacking self-confidence have negatively affected the relationship between police and population. Download...

Counterfeits threat to African films

– Governments in Africa have surrendered the fight against the counterfeit market and don’t protect the interest of the film industry. This is a big threat for African film productions, says NAI guest researcher Vicensia Shule. Read interview in...

Unhealthy growth

Africa’s economy is growing rapidly, however, few of the people benefit from the growth. – The economy is definitely growing fast, but that is the end of the good news. Every economist knows that this kind of growth is not healthy. It neither creates...

Importance of return migrants

NAI researcher Lisa Åkesson will give a lecture in Maputo, Mozambique, at the Eduardo Mondlane University on migration and its importance for those who stay behind. Naturally, money sent home from migrants abroad are important for many families...

Hurting or helping?

NAI guest researcher Kassa Alemu and Kjell Havnevik will discuss large-scale agricultural investment in Ethiopia and if international agreements on responsible investments are put in practice.

Nordic Africa Days 2014

The Nordic Africa Days (NAD) is the biannual conference of the Nordic Africa Institute organised for the past 15 years in the Nordic Countries, with participants representing the state of the art in African Studies and Africa related knowledge...

World Water Day

Water and energy is the theme of World Water Day 2014 (opens in new window). Energy is not only about hydroelectric power but also farming since agricultural land is growingly used to produce energy-crops as various kinds of biofuels. When water and...

Truly responsible investments?

How can agricultural investments in developing countries be carried out in a responsible manner? This is what NAI researcher Kjell Havnevik has analysed and written about in a report for the Swedish FAO committee to be launched at a seminar 25 March...

Being a researcher

What is it like being a researcher? Listen to NAI researcher Marianne Millstein in Swedish radio.

Reclaiming public land

Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, has been the site of dramatic shifts in urban property relations over the past two decades. The Hargeisa municipality is currently in the process of reclaiming land. – As a result of war...

Democracy or Peace?

Democracy should lead to peace, security and development - and not the other way round, as we have seen in many new democracies in Africa where things are moving in the opposite direction. Elections in Africa - rather than producing a better life for...

Chinese engagement in Africa

China’s increased presence in several African countries over the past twenty years has led to debates and discussions in the West. Sometimes even the word “colonisation” is mentioned.   NAI guest researcher Daouda Cissé thinks that this is ridiculous...

Resurrected apartheid in South Africa

Twenty years after apartheid was abolished, South African cities remain highly segregated. South Africans with enough money often choose to live within gated communities and shield themselves from the rest of society. – Today, few in the public arena...

Book launch: Africa Turning

Two decades ago the image of Africa was characterized by war, famine and alarming reports about aids. Today the situation is different. Analysts talk about rapid economic growth, a growing middle class and increased political stability. What is behind...

NAI is investing in new Sida co-operation

NAIs research will get closer to the aid trough involving practitioners and policy-makers in an early phase of the research process. – We hope that we can have a systematic dialogue with networks and groups at Sida, where we think that we are...

Violence continues in CAR

NAI researcher Mats Utas and Ilmari Käihkö comments on the current situation in the Central African Republic in Norwegian Bistandsaktuelt.

Working tourists an increasing trend

Combining tourism with voluntarily work is the latest trend in travel. According to NAI researcher Maria Eriksson Baaz it is problematic because the voluntaries believe they will contribute and make a difference even though they don’t have any...

Book on gender and conflict

NAI researcher Maria Malmström contributes with a chapter about masculinity among male Hamas youth in the book Gender and Conflict: Embodiments, Discourses and Symbolic Practices (opens in new window).

Christianity and witchcraft in Tanzania

Terje Oestigaard’s new book deals with religions put in practice and draws from case studies along the southern shores of Lake Victoria in Tanzania. Read more about Terje Oestigaard’s research project Rainmaking and Climate Change in Tanzania in...

Swedish peacekeepers to Mali

Swedish parliament will decide on Swedish participation in peace keeping mission in Mali. NAI researcher Mats Utas would prefer a Swedish involvement in Central African Republic.

Universities need resources

Many African universities cannot meet the growing demand of higher education. – Economic growth, a growing middleclass and the demographic situation are some of the reasons to overcrowded universities. However, many universities lack the necessary...

The Lord’s Children: Once kidnapped, twice traumatized

Annika Teppo, NAI researcher and cluster leader writes about a less than pleasant movie experience at her blog (opens in new window). "Suffering was what the movie provided – in buckets. The plight of the young Africans came up close and personal...

Article on Sahel in French

Article published in Strategic review for Southern Africa on situation in the Sahel after Kaddafi by Mats Utas and Mårten Böås is now available in French.

Youth and labour in Liberia

It is still difficult for young people in Liberia to find a steady job. The perception of the civil wars as a youth revolution, where the youth turned established hierarchies and traditional structures upside down and were thereby able to change their...

Central African Republic: new hope?

Chaos, religious violence, cannibalism and genocide – these are likely to be some of the thoughts that spring to mind when you hear ‘Central African Republic’. These are, anyway, some of the most common expressions the news media have used to describe...

Agro-investments in Ethiopia

In recent years many large-scale agro-investments in Ethiopia have come from Saudi-Arabia and India. NAI guest researcher Kassa Teshager Alemu is looking into how these investments affect rural people in Ethiopia. Investments have led to certain...

Coping with failures

In the Nigerian city of Jos it is necessary to predict the infrastructure in order to cope with everyday life. NAI researchers Erik and Ulrika Trovalla are there to learn more about how the imperfect infrastructure shapes people’s lives. Click here to...

First NAI publication in Arabic

The Nordic Africa Institute provides for the first time a report translated to Arabic, with NAI researcher Maria Frederika Malmström as editor. The text reproduces the discussions from a workshop for researchers in Alexandria, Egypt, in May 2013...

Large-scale agriculture in Tanzania

NAI researcher Linda Engström is now engaged in fieldwork in Tanzania, where she is spending time in the villages of Kigoma and Bagamoyo interviewing locals. She is also visiting business managers and policymakers in various departments and...

Researcher mobility in Mozambique

Paula Mählck and Måns Fellesson, two NAI researchers, have recently released a report on professional mobility among researchers in Mozambique. In their systematic survey, they track where researchers from Mozambique have moved after completing their...

Waste pickers in Nigeria

– The public perception of waste pickers is very negative. But without their hard work the city would drown in garbage, says Chidi Nzeadibe, guest researcher at NAI in 2013.  

People need to be involved

– Investment in architecture that does not involve people will not generate the necessary outcome, says Peter Makachia, former guest researcher at NAI.

Expensive housing

Who will make the “new Africa” happen if not even the middleclass can afford living in the cities? “Many have said that poor can’t eat economic statistics, and the poor are many in Africa and might also be on the increase, if growing inequality is not...

The South Sudan conflict

NAI researcher Redie Bereketeab explains the conflict in South Sudan. “The outbreak of the conflict could be explained stemming from two interlinked factors of failures. The SPLM government’s failure to transform itself from a liberation movement to a...

Assumptions of governance

With a theme that goes beyond the common reading of governance, the Nordic Africa Days aims to connect the formal state with other non-state forms of governance. – The state is often discussed as an evil entity preying on its citizens, and the...

In memoriam Patrick Chabal (1951-2014)

Members of the current and former staff of The Nordic Africa Institute join the many scholars in African Studies as well as the AEGIS Board and Advisory Council in mourning the loss of Patrick Chabal, who finally lost his long battle against his...

Poetry from Botswana

In October last year, four poets from Botswana visited Uppsala and participated in Ordsprak Uppsala International Poetry Festival. They also came to NAI for a performance. Participating poets: Moroka Moreri, TJ Dema, Barolong Seboni, Drea Chuma.

African solutions

The new image of Africa, focusing on strong economic growth, ignores other good tendencies in many African countries. NAI researchers Marianne Millstein and Terje Oestigaard bring forward three examples where African people themselves are resolving...

Violent conflicts in Jos

Jos, a city in central Nigeria, has the last decade witnessed several outbursts of violence. The conflicts have many dimensions which include ethnical and religious belongings, the question of land ownership and economic opportunities.

Is the best security private?

Private Security companies have over the last two decades grown into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. At a NAI workshop in Nairobi in December issues such as security companies’ connections to local economies and how international actors relate to...

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