Holy water in Ethiopia

One of the holiest places in Ethiopia is the monastery Tana Kirkos in Lake Tana. Terje Oestigaard and a team of NAI researchers went there to see the footprints of Jesus and Virgin Mary. The team also visited the legendary source of the Blue Nile where pilgrims are purified and blessed by the holy water flowing from heaven.

Separatists or freedom fighters – the politics of labels

UN meeting
UN Head Quarters, New York, 28 May 1993. Eritrean ambassador Ahmed Haji Ali being directed to his seat in the General Assembly after Eritrea’s admittance as UN member. A symbolic image of Eritrea receiving recognition by the international community after 30 years of liberation struggle. UN Photo / Michos Tzovaras.

For a long time the Eritrean liberation struggle, unlike many similar movements in the Third World, was ignored and neglected. By African countries as well as the international community, the movement was to a great extent defined as separatist and narrow ethno-centered. In a new book, researcher Redie Bereketeab concludes that the use of pejorative labels was more due to political tactics than to lack of better knowledge

Boko Haram is being pushed back

Since President Buhari came to power in Nigeria, the Boko Haram insurgency, which has been spreading terror in the country in recent years, has been pushed back. There are two main explanations for this, argues NAI guest researcher Dr. Adebusuyi Adeniran. Sufficient resources have been provided to the military and Boko Haram insurgents are being offered an amnesty if they lay down their arms.

In search of political ideology

There are game-changing influences from the world’s new economic powers on one hand, and growing fundamentalism and terrorism on the other. New NAI researcher Sirkku Hellsten is seeking to identify the ideologies in play in a changing Africa.

There are popular uprisings and there are ”popular” uprisings

Asian Spring, Arab Spring and now African Spring. Many experts love to cry “spring” every time people gather to protest in countries lacking democracy. However, Jesper Bjarnesen, researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, warns that this willingness to discern positive patterns can be misleading.

Costs and benefits of mining

Mining in Africa is seen as creating jobs and increasing incomes for local people. However, there are also problems. NAI researcher George Adu explores how mining affects the environment, the economy and the health of those living nearby.

Tension in Tanzania after elections

The ruling party’s candidate, John Magufuli, has been declared winner of the elections in Tanzania. However, the situation is tense and the opposition cries foul play. It is particularly complicated at Zanzibar, where the elections were called off completely after serious irregularities. New NAI researcher Sirkku Hellsten, until recently professor at the University in Dar es Salam, analyzes the elections.

Investigating the wounds of young South Africans


South Africa has one of the highest rates of violent crimes in the world. South African psychology professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela leads a research project that investigates what she thinks might be a key to understand the violence in her country – the double “woundedness” of the post-apartheid generation.

Claude Ake Logo

The Claude Ake Visiting Chair 2016

The Claude Ake Visiting Chair was set up in 2003 to honour the memory of Professor Claude Ake, a distinguished scholar, philosopher, teacher and humanist. The Department of Peace and Conflict Research and the Nordic Africa Institute currently invite applications to the Claude Ake Visiting Chair for 2016. Applicants should be internationally recognised senior scholars with professorial competence in their respective fields of expertise. Deadline for applications is 20 January 2016.

Read more about applying, terms etc. here (pdf opens in new window).

Flyer - Claude Ake Chair, Call for Applications (pdf opens in new window).

Previous holders of the Claude Ake Chair (website opens in new window).

It takes more than guns

“Boko Haram won´t be beaten by military means alone. Poverty and regional marginalization are issues that have to be dealt with as well” NAI researcher Henrik Angerbrandt says to Swedish Radio (starts after 3:05 in program).

Sergio Santimano
Photo: Sérgio Santimano©

Mozambique 40 years

Wednesday 2 December at 18.30-20.00: Mozambique 40 years - literature and photography in a changing country. With Stefan Helgesson, Professor of English, Stockholm University and Sérgio Santimano, Swedish-Mozambiqan photographer. Venue:The Nordic Africa Institute, Villavägen 6, Uppsala. The event is open to all, please note that registration is required. Welcome!

Invitation and more information here (pdf opens in new window).

Papers on migration

NAI researcher Sirkku Hellsten is founding editor and current co-lead editor of Journal of Global Ethics. The Journal is now looking for contributions to a special section that will enlighten our understanding of the current refugee situation, advance the ongoing debate on the rights and responsibilities of the involved parties, and provide innovative approaches on how to deal with the situation.
See details here.

New Africa Yearbook

Interested in socio-economic development in Africa? Then you should read the Africa Yearbook. It covers domestic and foreign affairs of all African countries south of Sahara. Henning Melber, Senior Advisor of NAI, co-founded and co-edits the Yearbook in charge of the Southern African sub-region.
Order here

Jobs, education or farming – where does aid matter the most?

Sweden is reviewing its policy for international cooperation. Important input to this process comes from people in developing countries. The Nordic Africa Institute has asked African researchers which development issue they think should be addressed, and how Sweden can support and contribute.

NAI library - guided tour

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