News archive

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"A recognition of Africa’s capacity to solve its own problems"

The Nobel Peace Prize. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate. NAI head of research Victor Adetula thinks it has great symbolic value for how the rest of the world now sees Africa – an Africa that is capable of providing solutions to...

Isolationist legacy echoes in xenophobic attacks

South Africa violence. The latest wave of violence against foreigners in South Africa has provoked tension across the continent. According to Nordic Africa Institute visiting professor Eghosa Osaghae, the fear of outsiders is a legacy of the nation’s long isolation during...

Low voter turnout predicted in Mozambique

Mozambique elections. Natural disasters, corruption scandals and terrorist attacks — Mozambique has had its share of calamities over the past few years. According to political scientist Salvador Forquilha, they may affect voter turnout at the elections on 15 October, but...

Weak government presence in slum areas

Urban development. Almost half of the urban population in sub-Saharan Africa live in informal settlements. For the some 85 000 people living in Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria, government intervention is almost nil.

Obstacles for disability-inclusive development in African cities

Urban planning. Early introduction of disability studies into schools could play a role in foregrounding disability in mainstream debates. This is one of the recommendations in a new policy note on how urban design can be made more inclusive for people with...

Protecting a research archive from being lost

Library. Old paper glue is destroying thousands of documents in a large research archive. In order to preserve the collection, the Nordic Africa Institute’s library is now scanning each and every document.

Creative knowledge – Life in the zongo

Cultural identity. In Ghana, stereotypes flourish about people who live in zongo settlements. However, according to guest researcher Ann Cassiman, as West Africans with the ambivalent status of ‘strangers’ they have developed specialist knowledge and skills to survive.

Archiving – for today and for the future

Administration. As a public authority, most documents at NAI must be archived in order to meet demands of the public, for the sake of research in the future, and to secure the institute´s daily work, according to the Archives Act.

"The world is constantly changing – and us with it"

Directorship. Increased policy relevance in research and in-depth dialogue with ambassadors and other decision-makers – these are two of the steps in the strategic journey made by the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) under Iina Soiri's six-year leadership.

Researcher: EU needs coherent Africa policy

Elections. The results of the elections to the European Parliament in May point to two current trends in Europe. Both may lead to changes in EU policy towards Africa, according to NAI researcher Liisa Laakso.

Farmers need to learn the practice of irrigation

Food security. Ethiopia has a lot of water, but so far, very little is used to irrigate farmland. However, it is not enough to build dams and infrastructure. Farmers also need more skills and knowledge of water management. This is one of the points in a Policy Note...

Free trade area to launch without Nigeria

Trade. When Africa’s free trade area launches on 7 July, a key player will be missing. However, Victor Adetula, head of research at NAI, predicts that Africa’s largest economy Nigeria will gradually open up and join the project.

Yesterday warlord, today presidential candidate

Democratisation and security. In many African countries where civil war raged not so long ago, former warlords are today running for office in elections. A new policy note assesses what effect these warlord democrats have on post-civil war security.

Migrant footballers far from the glitz

Migration. The Africa Cup of Nations is one of the few occasions when soccer fans can watch the continent’s stars playing on African soil. However, the majority of Africa’s footballing expatriates are far from the limelight of big clubs, playing in the lower...

Extreme parties gain ground

South Africa. A surge for racially or ethnically based parties in May’s elections worries those who believe in Mandela’s rainbow nation. NAI researcher Henning Melber says that domestic failures of the ruling ANC party coincided with a global trend of identity...

Carlos Lopes: Free trade area can break old Europe dependency

Economic integration. 56 years after the creation of the Organisation of African Unity, which later became the African Union, African nations are about to take a huge step towards economic integration. The creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area will give...

Finding links between Africa and the Americas

Cultural heritage. During the transatlantic slave trade of the 17th-19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of people were deported from the ports of Calabar region to the Americas. Despite their enslavement, they tried to preserve their African heritage. One example is...

Women victims when Karamojong abandon pastoralism

Uganda. After a change in livelihood from livestock pastoralism to farming, the situation for Karamojong women in northeast Uganda has drastically deteriorated. According to anthropologist and NAI guest researcher Tabitha Naisiko, projects to help have shown...

Change in Sudan: What’s in it for the women?

Protests. Women’s role in the protests, as well as external pressure will be among factors determining what happens next in Sudan. Redie Bereketeab, senior researcher in political and development sociology, gives his analysis.

Corruption-plagued ANC expected to win

South Africa elections. Despite claims of unrestrained corruption among its senior officials the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party is expected to maintain an absolute majority in the 8 May national elections. NAI Senior Research Associate Henning Melber says that...

DR Congo: Observers toned down criticism

Election. Despite suspected vote tampering in January’s presidential election international criticism soon fell silent. However, a lenient international approach may benefit development in war-torn DR Congo, according to NAI researcher Liisa Laakso.

Agriculture in Ethiopia needs to perform better

Food security. In Ethiopia, the agricultural sector is crucial. It supports employment, income and food security for the majority of the people. However, with pressures from climate change and a rapidly growing population, farming needs not only perform better, but...

Clear and secure land titles increase agricultural production

Farming in Ethiopia. Farmers must be sure the land they cultivate belongs to them, otherwise they are reluctant to invest time and money in developing farming techniques. This was one point raised when researchers and policymakers discussed agricultural transformation at...

“ACP system makes Africa punch below its weight”

Africa-EU relations. As Finland prepares for its third EU presidency on 1 July, a roundtable talk in Helsinki discussed Europe’s future partnership with Africa as the existing Cotonou Agreement comes to an end in 2020. Main speaker Prof. Carlos Lopes, the African Union...

Research can help authorities rebuild society

Natural disaster. Tropical cyclone Idai is the latest dreadful example of how extreme weather conditions are becoming more common in Mozambique. Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) research shows that people are already taking steps to adapt to climate change. But the most...

Sustainable development requires affordable green energy

SDG:s. For many African governments facing numerous challenges, green energy solutions may not be at the top of their priority list. However, without a focus on clean energy the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will be difficult to achieve in African...

Liberia, April 2012. Female construction workers at the Gbarnga Peace Hub, one of five facilities being built with help from the UN Peacebuilding Support Office to increase access access to justice in Liberia. Photo: Emmanuel Tobey, UN Photo.

Ensuring women's access to justice

Gender and law. About half of the people of Sub-Saharan Africa live below the poverty line, and 80 per cent of them are women. Their access to justice is guaranteed by international and domestic laws. But these laws mean little or nothing without government support...

Gender quotas - fast track to equality?

International Women´s Day. We asked three gender researchers, working on three different countries, about whether quotas are an effective way to achieve gender equality in Africa's political assemblies.

Folklore gives new perspectives to peace and gender research

Peacebuilding. What has Nigerian author Amos Tutuola to do with gender and peacebuilding? Quite a lot, according to NAI guest Professor Heidi Hudson. “Tutuola can make a huge contribution because he tells us to look at something that we cannot see, and to consider...

Same institute – new look!

Communication. The Nordic Africa Institute is introducing a new graphic profile. The new logo – featuring the African continent visualised as semi-circle shapes – reflects the image of a modern, diverse and ever-changing Africa, says NAI Director Iina Soiri.

Violence in African elections

Open access. One of last year's bestselling books examines the causes of violent electoral clashes – now available online in full text.

Quotas – a step forward but not enough

Gender and politics. Affirmative action could help Ghana on the fast track to gender-balanced political representation. But according to researcher Diana Højlund Madsen, it has to be combined with other measures.

'People won't stop using charcoal'

Climate change. In poor areas of Zambian capital Lusaka people are stuck with energy solutions that harm the environment, because clean alternatives are unaffordable.

Personality before issues in Nigeria

Elections. “Political power is very much centralised in Nigeria. That´s why everyone strives to be close to the winning candidate in the presidential election. This survivalist strategy has gained prominence. In addition, recent electioneering has focused less...

African countries run the risk of a debt crisis

Economy. Within four to five years, several African countries risk ending up in a new debt trap, warns development economist Jörgen Levin. Unlike the debt crisis in the 1980s and 1990s, debts are now mainly owed to private investors.

Growing interest in environmental issues in North Africa

Activism. Popular environmental movements, often based online, are also raising economic and social justice issues. According to NAI guest researcher Aziza Moneer, opinion in North Africa is hardening against a one-sided focus on economic growth.

Crisis could strengthen Mnangagwa’s hold on power

Zimbabwe protests. The current crisis in Zimbabwe may play into the hands of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and strengthen his position within the ruling Zanu-PF party, according to Obert Hodzi, Zimbabwean scholar and former guest researcher at The Nordic Africa...

Top 3 views of 2018

NAI films. Did you miss our most popular video clips from last year? Well, here they are again.

Top 3 reads of 2018

NAI articles. If you missed last year´s most read NAI-stories, here is another chance.

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