News archive

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2017

Controlling the Nile – a struggle with colonial roots

Egypt. Dams and other water projects in Egypt during the 19th century are what interests Jakub Mazanec. He usually studies history at the Charles University in Prague, but has come to the Nordic African Institute to spend time among mong the NAI library...

A deep quest for gold

Mining. Artisanal goldmining is a dirty and heavy job, and often dangerous too. Yet rewarding for those who find a gold vein down in the pit. NAI researcher Cristiano Lanzano explains small-scale mining in Burkina Faso and Guinea.

Evolution from an African perspective

Evolution. We are all Africans, according to author Lasse Berg who discussed evolutionary science from an African perspective with NAI Director Iina Soiri in the NAI Library on Tuesday.

A distress call about water access

Water resources. Gaps in sub-Saharan Africa’s water infrastructure could be filled by adopting financial models inspired by the transport sector, says NAI guest researcher Dr Cush Ngonzo Luwesi.

Portuguese migration continues to Angola

Reversed migration. It is not very common for Europeans to move to African countries. However, in the wake of the economic crisis of 2008 many Portuguese have sought a better future in former Portuguese colony Angola.

Vodun provides identity and self-esteem

Benin. For a long time, the vodun religion was banned in Benin and its followers persecuted. Now it is allowed again, but some fear vodun will simply become a tourist attraction. NAI scholarship-holder Liisa Nokso-Koivisto looks at the cultural heritage of...

Trafficking or just child-raising?

Guinea-Bissau. A current controversy involves talibés from Guinea-Bissau begging in Senegalese cities and giving part of their money to Koranic teachers. International organisations have called it trafficking and a clear abuse of child rights conventions.

Diplomats and researchers discussed global goals

Development. The first session of a two-day symposium on the Sustainable Development Goals revolved around the purpose and expectations of the goals. Raymondo Wilson from the Mozambican embassy raised the question of how a country’s economic performance can be...

Schoolteachers under attack

Burkina Faso. Islamist terrorists have been targeting schools and forcing teachers to give lessons on the Koran and teach in Arabic. People are terrified, according to former NAI guest researcher Lassane Yameogo, but at the same time they are determined not to let...

Windows in the Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca. Photo by Christopher Rose, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0.

Who put the ‘Post’ in the Post-Arab Spring?

North Africa. In a new policy note, researcher Mikael Eriksson recommends a shift in policies towards a fresh narrative for North Africa. "When will we see a regional UN headquarter for migration in Rabat, or an international center of excellence for ocean studies...

Cartoons and comics evoke joy and sadness

Library exhibition. NAI's library has much more to offer than just research and statistics. Right now, an exhibition of comics and cartoons from or about Africa is on display. Many of the volumes are chronicles of actual events and may in fact be of relevance for...

Former NAI guest to lead Codesria

Research community. Godwin Murunga, who was guest researcher at NAI in 2009, has been appointed new executive secretary of the social science research-council Codesria, based in Dakar, Senegal.

Looking into the invisibility of refugees

Migration. NAI researcher Jesper Bjarnesen aims to deepen our understanding of forced migration. For eight years he has studied the experiences of Burkinabe cititizens who were forced to leave Côte d'Ivoire after an armed conflict broke out.

Money first, then ideology

Conflicts. Mexican exchange student Elda Berdeja focuses on terrorist movements in Africa. As well as her ordinary studies at Uppsala University, Berdeja is doing an internship at the Nordic Africa Institute.

Women militants often go unnoticed

Terrorism. Women fighters may play a central role when al-Shabaab recruits young Kenyans to join the militant Islamist group in Somalia, according to NAI guest researcher Linnet Hamasi.

Sex education hampered by taboos

South Africa. Although South Africa has the world’s highest rate of people living with HIV, general knowledge about it is low and young people do not know how to protect themselves. Religious and cultural taboos hamper prevention work according to NAI guest...

Finnish 15-year-olds to get We Should All Be Feminists

International Women's Day. Every 9th-grader in Finland will be given a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist call We Should All Be Feminists. “It is a wonderful booklet that every young person should read,” says NAI Director Iina Soiri.

New farming techniques due to climate change

Agriculture. NAI researcher Atakilte Beyene explains his work on how to build agricultural systems that are more resilient to climate change, with case studies in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Coping with climate change

Agriculture. How to make farmers more resilient to the effects of climate change, is what occupies NAI researcher Atakilte Beyene. FILM: MATTIAS SKÖLD

Violent attacks target Nigerians

South Africa. Mobs in Pretoria have looted and set on fire houses belonging to immigrants, particularly Nigerians, in a new wave of xenophobic attacks.

Changing the past to make a better tomorrow

Futures studies. By creating alternative scenarios from and for the past, research may find ways to articulate future possibilities. NAI guest researcher Martins Kwazema combines the disciplines of history and futures studies in his work.

Exchanging village life for prostitution in town

Tanzania. Girls and young women from the rural Nyiramba region often move to the nearest city Mwanza. Many end up as sex workers in bars. NAI guest researcher Ludovick Myumbo explores how the girls perceive their own situation and what choices they have made.

The crisis around Lake Chad

Analysis. The world's most extensive humanitarian crises is currently playing out in northeastern Nigeria and around Lake Chad. About three million people have been displaced, seven million are dependent on food aid, half a million children are malnourished and...

Small steps towards school for all

Education. In Zanzibar teachers use problem-based action-research to make schools more accessible for all children, including those with disabilities or learning difficulties. Traditionally, children who were deemed “uneducable” were simply left at home, NAI...

More consumers won’t rescue democracy

New book. Many view the rapidly growing middle class in Africa as the solution to the continent’s political and economic problems. NAI researcher Sirkku Hellsten questions the very concept of the middle class and instead points to an absence of political...

Resolution of the Gambian crisis deserves more recognition

Gambia. The political crisis in the Gambia was resolved with the help of neighbouring countries under the auspices of West African sub-regional body Ecowas in collaboration with the African Union. In the end, this turned out to be a case of ‘African solutions...

Failed system won’t change overnight

Nigeria. Protests against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government have taken place in some Nigerian cities. Victor Adetula, head of research at NAI, views these developments as a sign of a rising citizens’ consciousness. However, he cautions against the...

Warlords turn politicians

Peace-building. “Research shows that former warlords need to be included when building peace. However, in some cases they keep playing of fear when running for office”, NAI peace and conflict researcher Anders Themnér says.

Why people are moving to the city

Migration. Why are people moving from the country to the city in Angola and Mozambique? NAI senior researcher Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues talks about her work on urban-rural migration. Film: Mattias Sköld

Morocco reappearing in AU

African Union. On Tuesday this week the AU, during the summit in Addis Ababa, decided to admit Morocco’s request to regain its membership. Coinciding with the AU summit was a high-level meeting at the Nordic Africa Institute involving the ambassadors of North...

High level seminar at NAI

African unity. To face challenges such as terrorism, climate change and migration, heads of state in the African Union (AU) have frequently emphasised that Africa’s countries must act as one. But just how unified is Africa today? Ambassadors to Sweden from the five...

Gold and cyanide

Burkina Faso. The use of cyanide for gold extraction has changed the entire production chain of artisanal mining in Burkina Faso. And more importantly, it has rocked the power structure.

Neglected reconciliation takes its toll

Ivory Coast. Former rebel soldiers are dissatisfied with how they have been integrated into the regular army since the end of the civil war. In January, a group of armed soldiers took to the streets demanding improvements. According to NAI researcher Jesper...

Neoliberal visions vs urban realities

Tanzania. A new study explores the visions behind a large-scale urban redevelopment plan for Dar es Salaam, a plan that involved the resettlement of a large number of residents. Sociologist Jennifer Norström argues that the realities and desires of the...

North Africa and the Sub-Sahara

Seminar. To face challenges such as terrorism, climate change and migration, heads of state in the African Union (AU) have frequently emphasised that Africa’s countries must act as one. But just how unified is Africa today?

Nationalism and violence in Egyptian football culture

Egypt. The Arab Spring somewhat cooled the football fever in Africa’s most successful footballing nation of all time. For many, the sport became synonymous with Mubarak's nationalistic propaganda machine. Today interest is again on the rise.

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