Die jährlichen ZIAF-Lectures bringen hochkarätige Vertreter(innen) aus Kunst, Kultur, Politik und Wissenschaft an die Goethe-Universität, die zu aktuellen Grundfragen der African Studies sprechen und sich an ein Fachpublikum ebenso wie an die afrikainteressierte Öffentlichkeit in Frankfurt wenden. Im Anschluss findet jeweils ein Empfang statt, zu dem die Mitglieder des ZIAF ebenso wie die afrikainteressierte universitäre und außeruniversitäre Öffentlichkeit herzlich eingeladen sind.

ZIAF Lecture 2023 zum 20-jährigen Bestehen des ZIAF am 29.11.2023

New infrastructure projects in Africa: environmental dynamics and the role of Asian actors. The example of the Kribi port development project in Cameroon.


Mesmin TCHINDJANG is a permanent professor at the University of Yaoundé 1 and a scientific consultant. He obtained a PhD in Paris 7 in France in 1996 on geomorphology, surface dynamics and natural hazards. His areas of investigation are tropical geomorphology, natural hazards and vulnerability, environmental studies, climate change and land use. He has worked with organizations such as the UNDP, GIZ, WWF and the World Bank in Cameroon in various fields of natural hazards, protected areas and landscape resilience.

Abstract: The African continent holds considerable economic potential. Inspired by the exemplary economic dynamism of the newly industrialized countries of Asia and Latin America, many African countries aspire to become emerging economies in the near future. Cameroon is no exception in this regard. Industrialization occupies a central place in the new long-term plans in Cameroon through projects for the construction of physical infrastructure, institutional reforms and the financing of business development. The development of the Kribian coast plays a central part in the development strategy of Cameroun.  Since 2008 many planned infrastructures have been gradually built. This new dynamic has completely changed the face of Kribi and has only been made possible thanks to Asian funding, particularly Chinese, which has become Cameroon's leading creditor and economic partner. Whether it is the Kribi Port Authority, the Kribi-Lolabe highway, the Mamelles massive iron project, the Mbalam railway, or the Memve'ele dam...all of these projects have been entrusted to Chinese companies. Overall, Asian actors are those who have made the most achievements and as such, China is at the top of the companies operating on more than 80% of infrastructure projects in Cameroon.

The environmental dynamics linked to these constructions are numerous and range from the expected socio-economic development to population growth, as well as deforestation and a certain level of indebtedness of the country. Unfortunately, the socio-environmental impacts of this strategy on the rights of the poorest rural and indigenous populations, who very often depend on natural resources for their survival, are not always sufficiently considered, and it is likely that rural communities will end up paying a very high price for infrastructure development.  The example of Kribi through the autonomous port and dedicated infrastructure will allow us to illustrate this infrastructural, environmental and social dynamic.

ZIAF Lecture 13.06.2022

Understanding violent extremism in the Sahel and West Africa

Addressing regional instability requires empirical data that helps explain and respond to local dynamics that fuel insecurity. This lecture will present the current state of insecurity, share life stories of people involved in violent extremism networks and discuss policy implications.

Lori-Anne Théroux-Bénoni, Dakar 

Dr Lori-Anne Théroux-Bénoni is Director of the ISS Regional Office for West Africa, the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. She leads a team of researchers based in Dakar, Bamako, Abidjan, Abuja and N’Djamena. The Office works on key policy issues in the region such as violent extremism and terrorism, political instability, local conflicts, peace operations and political processes. Prior to joining the ISS in 2012, she worked as a researcher with the Network on Peace Operations at the University of Montreal, Canada, Radio-Canada and the Carter Center in Côte d’Ivoire. Lori-Anne has a PhD in anthropology from the University of Toronto, Canada. She conducts research and analyses conflicts, insecurity and violence from an anthropological perspective to inform current policy discussions and processes at national, regional and global levels.

ZIAF-Lecture 22.01.2021 - Coronabedingt ausgefallen

ZIAF-Lecture 22.01.2020

Slowing down the Impact of Climate Change: the Dilemma of Mining Activities, Population Explosion and Deforestation in Nigeria


Professor Dr. Ayobami T. Salami

Vice Chancellor, First Technical University, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Prof. Ayobami Salami served as the Director of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria between 2006 and 2010. He worked as a Senior Research Advisor on Impact Assessment, in the Corporate Environment Department, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Nigeria from 2010-2011, and was appointed as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of OAU in 2011. Since 2016 he works at the First Technical University in Ibadan, Oyo State. He has been working on environmental management approach for Nigeria that is economically viable, ecologically sustainable, and socially desirable.

ZIAF Lecture: 04.02.2019


Excavating a difficult Past: Atlantic Slavery at a UNESCO World heritage Site (Gorée Island, Senegal)

Ibrahima Thiaw
Laboratoire d’Archéologie, IFAN-UCAD, Dakar, Senegal  

 Ibrahima Thiaw is a senior Senegalese archaeologist. He directs the Archaeology Laboratory at Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN) /University Cheikh Anta Anta Diop. His current research interests include the Atlantic slave trade, colonial archaeology, culture heritage management, the politics of identity and memory. He was involved in several archaeology research programs and heritage management programs in Senegal and in western and central Africa. He has written extensively on the Atlantic impact, colonial archaeology and on culture heritage management challenges in Senegal and Africa.

ZIAF-Lecture 30.01.2018


ZIAF-Lecture Januar 2017


ZIAF-Lecture Januar 2016

The Return Flight: writing migrancy

Prof Abdulrazak Gurnah
University of Kent




ZIAF-Lecture Januar 2015

Dr. Victor Mamonekene
Lecturer in Hydrobiology and Ichthyology
Université Marien Ngouabi
Republic of the Congo

on the history, geography and biodiversity

of Africa's deepest river





ZIAF-Lecture Januar 2014


ZIAF-Lecture Januar 2013

Helon Habila 

How to Mix Oil and Water with Literature

22. Januar 2013

Goethe-Universität, Campus Westend