The Nordic Africa Institute


Centring the Voices of the African Diaspora in Europe

Time • 7 May 2021 14:00 - 15:40
Place • Zoom

The Nordic Africa Institute and The University of Johannesburg’s Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversationexternal link, opens in new window second co-hosted webinar, in the two-part series, under the theme “Centring the Voices of African Migrants in Africa/EU migration Debates” will focus on the perspectives and experiences of representatives of the African diaspora in Europe.

The meeting will feature three invited panellists: Stella Opoku-Owusu, Deputy Director of the UK-based diaspora organisation, The African Foundation for Developmentexternal link, opens in new window (AFFORD); Kitimbwa Sabuni, Spokesperson for the Swedish Association of Afro-Swedesexternal link, opens in new window; and Dr. Tekalign Mengiste, Senior Researcher at the College of Social Sciences, Addis Ababa Universityexternal link and Affiliated Researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm Universityexternal link, opens in new window

The webinar will explore diaspora perspectives on the European migration debate in the aftermath of the 2015 European refugee crisis, and reflect on avenues for exchange and collaboration between actors on the two continents that can contribute to a more productive policy climate in Africa/EU relations around migration governance.

The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Jesper Bjarnesenopens in new window, Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, and followed by a Q&A session.

Concept NotePDF to guide discussions at the webinar.

  • Introduction to the webinar with brief summary from the previous session
  • Centring voices of the African diaspora
  • Q&A
  • Closing remarks
  • Kitimbwa Sabuni, Spokesperson for the National Association of Afro-Swedes

Kitimbwa Sabuni, is a Swedish organizational developer and public debater of Burundian origin, known as a spokesperson for the National Association of Afro - Swedes and the Muslim Human Rights Committee in Sweden. 


  • Dr. Tekalign Ayalew Mengiste, Senior Researcher, Addis Ababa University

Dr. Tekalign Ayalew Mengiste is senior researcher in the College of Social Sciences at Addis Ababa University and affiliated researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University. His research interests include refugee mobility, diaspora, the migration industry, transnationalism, human smuggling, youth, health and wellbeing. He has fieldwork experiences in the Horn of Africa, the Sudan, Italy, Sweden and the UK.

  • Stella Opoku Owusu, Deputy Director of The African Foundation for Development (AFFORD)

Deputy Director Stella Opoku Owusu is responsible for overseeing AFFORD’s work on Investment, Enterprise and Employment as well as Engagement, Network Building Services and Training. Her main specialities are Diaspora, migration and development; diaspora policy; diaspora finance; grants management; fundraising capacity-building.


  • Dr. Jesper Bjarnesen, Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute.

Jesper Bjarnesen is an anthropologist working mainly on migration and mobility through wartime and peace in West Africa. Other interests include wartime displacement, intergenerational relations, rural-urban connections, informal labour recruitment, transnational migration and urban land rights. Jesper is Co-founder of the AMMODI network.

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