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About the network 


Africa Network Norway was established in 2005, as the result of an agreement between NTNU, NORAD, and the Norwegian Research Council. The network aims to facilitate and enhance communication and cooperation between different research and teaching institutions. We will also provide information and encourage dialogue with a wider public, including governmental and non-governmental organisations with an interest in Africa, the business community, and the media.


  • Make for increased exchange between individuals and institutions working with research and education on Africa
  • Provide information on international trends and developments in research on social, cultural, political, environmental, medical and technological issues in Africa
  • Promote contacts and facilitate cooperation between researchers in Europe and Africa
  • Monitor international development initiatives in Africa
  • Disseminate research results and highlight questions that deserve special attention outside academia


In addition to running this website, Africa Network Norway organizes and co-organizes interdisciplinary workshops, seminars and conferences on African issues. Associates are also encouraged to get in touch and use our apparatus actively to establish cooperative links and disseminate research results. Some of our past activities:

2009: The Nordic Africa Days: Africa - in Search of Alternatives. The conference took place in Trondheim 1-3 October. This was the first time ever that the Nordic Africa Days were held in Norway, and it was organised by Africa Network Norway, in cooperation with NAI. There were 162 participants, and an unusually high proportion of these were from Africa. In total, 106 papers were presented.


The conference was opened with the launching of the book "Writers, Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa", by Okey Ndibe and Chenjerai Hove. Keynote speakers were Patrick Chabal, Henning Mankell and Jos Maseland, key author of “The State of African Cities 2008”, and we also had a plenary session consisting of Frode Storaas’s recent film: “If the vagina had teeth”, on an increasingly rare but densely significant rainmaking rituals among Shonas in Mozambique.

The feedback during and after the conference was overwhelmingly positive, and shows that Africa Network Norway can and will play an important role in facilitating research communication not only within Norway, but also in relation to the Nordic countries and most importantly; Africa.

The Nordic Africa Days 2010 will take place in Åbo, Finland.

To see the full programme with abstracts from NAD 2009, click NAD 2009

To read Patrick Chabal's keynote address, click here

To read Henning Mankell's keynote address, click here

To read Jos Maseland's keynote address, click here

2008: International conference: Lived Realities: Politics, Law and Economy in Africa. Organised with Todd Sanders, University of Toronto, and Knut Myhre, NAI. There were 65 participants, mainly from Norway, but also from Africa, America and other parts of Europe, as well as from New Zealand. Keynote speakers David Anderson and Harri Englund addressed topics of current interest within as well as outside academia. The lecture by David Anderson was titled Sons of the Soil: ethno-nationalist claim-making and the politics of land in Kenya's Rift Valley, and gave a rich historical background to the election violence in February. Englund talked over the question The Anthropologist and his Poor: From Populism to Collaboration? and made some critical reflections on the relations of knoweldge production on development in Africa today. A summary of the conference theme, panels and abstracts for the presented papers can be found here. 

2008: Oil for Development in Africa - how are Norwegian experiences applied? A seminar discussing how the Norwegian Oil for Development Initiative has been working in Africa so far, with contributions from the research community, civil society, and relevant industry, as well as from key actors working with implementation, administration and other aspects of OfD.

2007: Gendered Violence and Human Rights in Africa. A seminar throwing light on practical and theoretical challenges pertaining to one of the most pressing development changes in the world today. About 40 participants got to hear and discuss presentations from African advocates for women's and children's rights, as well as from Norwegian scholars and NGO representatives.

2007: 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES). For the first time in Norway, this tri-annual event gathered 250 scholars from different disciplines. The Africa network was one of the sponsors to the conference, which was hosted by NTNU. Organizers Harald Aspen and Svein Ege presented an arrangement well in line with the long-established tradition that has made ICES a leading forum for research on Ethiopia. This time, the conference was also framed within a colourful festival that drew attention to Ethiopia?s rich cultural heritage. Norwegian researchers were strongly present in many workshops, and the conference as a whole clearly added to our visibility in international Africa research.

2006: Civil society and African Regional Integration. International workshop with NAI's NGO and Civil Society research network (and others). The meeting also hosted a CODESRIA roundtable on the prospects and challenges of research linkages between Nordic and African research institutions.


Africa Network Norway links all major research and teaching institutions in Norway that concern themselves with Africa. The network is coordinated from NTNU, where it is linked to the Programme of African Studies. Our activities are managed by a National Steering Committee, with the following members:
  • Professor Bjorn Erring (Network Leader), Dept. of Social Anthropology, NTNU.
  • Professor Brita Stedje, Botanical Museum, University of Oslo.
  • Professor Gry Synnevåg, Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  • Research Fellow Arnfinn Helleve, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.
  • Researcher Knut Christian Myhre, The Nordic African Institute (NAI), Uppsala, Sweden.
  • Senior Researcher Arne Tostensen, CMI.
  • Professor Sidsel Saugestad, Dept. for Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Tromsø.