GIGA Institute for African Affairs

The GIGA Institute for African Affairs analyses political and socio-economic developments in sub-Saharan Africa. Political institutions, violent conflicts, as well as a variety of socio-economic challenges form the thematic core. The aim of the research is to paint a nuanced picture of sub-Saharan Africa.


  • The GIGA Institute for African Affairs engages in a unique Social Science-based approach to African Studies. Aiming at painting a nuanced picture of sub-Saharan Africa, the regional institute analyses political and socio-economic developments and combines rigorous disciplinary approaches with in-depth contextual knowledge on the region as well as its subregions – such as the Sahel and key country cases. Political institutions, violent conflicts, as well as a variety of socio-economic challenges form the thematic core of the work of GIGA’s Africa institute. Specific topics include research on land, migration, sanctions, religion, regional organisations, and the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Within the frameworks of the GIGA’s Global Approach and of Comparative Area Studies, the GIGA Institute for African Affairs employs a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to test, modify, and develop theory. Extensive fieldwork ensures both context-sensitivity and the collection of original data. Research projects are regularly confined not just to Africa but include pronounced cross-regional perspectives too. The regional institute has a very strong record in attracting third-party funding and of publishing in top-notch academic outlets. Knowledge exchange is an integral part of these activities, often occurring with German and African partners and with decision makers as part of joint projects.

    Collaboration with African partners has been increasingly institutionalised, especially by participating in the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa, based at the University of Ghana. GIGA’s Africa Institute also acts as a focal point for the German and the international African Studies community. Its Social Sciences Citation Index-listed journal Africa Spectrum, published in close cooperation with the Association for African Studies in Germany (VAD), has more than doubled its Impact Factor, in recent years. The GIGA Institute for African Affairs also hosts the Secretariat of the VAD.

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

    Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs / Editor GIGA Focus Africa

    T. +49 (0)40 - 428 25-517matthias.basedau@giga-hamburg.de

    Secretariat

    Gabriele Tetzlaff

    Secretary

    Daniela Wald

    Secretary


    GIGA Forum | 29/09/2022

    Attacking the Vote: Election Fears in Brazil and Beyond

    Many people fear rigged elections, when, on 2 October 2022, more than 150 million Brazilians are called to vote. President Jair Bolsonaro, seeking re-election, has repeatedly impugned the voting system. At this GIGA Forum, experts explore flawed, corrupt, or failed elections in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

    Research | 21/08/2022

    ECPR General Conference 2022: GIGA Scientists Present Their Research

    This year, GIGA researchers will again present their research results at the main conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) in virtual lectures and on-site panels in Innsbruck, Austria. The annual congress serves as a networking event and drives the development of research in all Political Science subdisciplines.

    SRF Tagesschau | Quote | 10/08/2022

    USA auf Werbetour durch Afrika

    Nur wenige Wochen nach dem russischen Außenminister Lawrow reist sein amerikanischer Amtskollege Blinken nach Afrika. Er stellt dort die auch die neue Afrika-Strategie der US-Regierung vor. 

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    Research | 26/07/2022

    Call for Papers: Leibniz Environment and Development Symposium (LEADS) 2022

    Six German Leibniz research institutes have initiated the Leibniz Environment and Development Symposium (LEADS) to foster interdisciplinary exchange and stimulate collaboration on global societal challenges at the interface of environment and development. We invite submissions of papers by 30 August 2022.

    GIGA Journal Family | 20/07/2022

    New Africa Spectrum 2/2022

    The current issue of Africa Spectrum analyses four concepts of African futures, constitutional amendments in Africa, the quantification of child labour by Ghana’s mass media, heterogeneity among Ugandan youth agripreneurs, and more.

    Journal of Peace Research | 08/2022

    International Sanctions Termination, 1990–2018: Introducing the IST Dataset

    We introduce the International Sanctions Termination (IST) dataset that captures all EU, UN, US and regional sanctions between 1990 – 2018. We describe the data collection process, discuss IST’s compatibility with existing datasets, introduce new variables that focus on the design of sanctions and explore how they affect their termination.

    Hana Attia

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    GIGA Focus Global | 3/2022

    COVID-19 and Violent Actors in the Global South: A Complex Relationship

    A cross-regional comparative analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on violence shows high levels of variation between contexts and in terms of specific armed actors. While Latin America along with the Middle East and North Africa have experienced an overall reduction, violence in sub-Saharan Africa has increased.

    Chapter in Edited Volume | 08/2022

    The Limits of Diaspora:: Double Vulnerabilities among Eritreans in Saudi Arabia

    Prof. Abdulkader Saleh Mohammad

    Environment and Development Economics | 07/2022

    How Vulnerable are Small Firms to Energy Price Increases? Evidence from Mexico

    The vulnerability of small firms to price shocks may partly explain why fossil fuel subsidy removals in developing countries are so difficult to implement. This paper analyzes the effects of fuel and electricity price increases on profits of micro- and small-sized enterprises in Mexico.

    Research Project | 15/01/2022 - 14/12/2024

    COVID-19 and Executive Personalization in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the MENA Region

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, political leaders reacted by containment measures that, next to combating the spread of the pandemic, also presented a window of opportunity to bolster executives’ personal grasp on power. Personalization of power has been particularly worrying in the Global South where constraints on the chief executives were often already weak prior to the pandemic. This project assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the personalization of executive power in 36 countries of the Global South.
    DFG, 2021-2024

    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2022

    Land-Based Investments in Global Supply Chains and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups

    The second phase of the research project “Large-Scale Land Acquisitions, Rural Change, and Social Conflict” focuses on the socio-economic impact of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) on local populations, particularly in terms of communal land rights and indigenous groups. Furthermore, it investigates the relationship between LSLA and global (agricultural) supply chains. The project aims to synthesise existing research and generate new evidence at the intersection of rural development and sustainable production and consumption.
    BMZ, 2022

    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 30/06/2023

    Sanctions Termination in Times of Crises: Unpacking the Role of External Shocks

    In March 2020, the UN Secretary-General called for the easing of sanctions against Iran in response to COVID-19. Hence, external shocks are potentially related to sanctions termination. Yet, the effect of different types of external shocks such as pandemics, natural disasters, and economic crises on the (gradual) removal of sanctions has not been systematically studied. This project examines when and how external shocks affect sanctions termination through a nested research design combining new data collection, statistical analyses, and two case studies.
    DFG, 2022-2023

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Hana Attia

    Doctoral Researcher

    Research Project | 01/10/2021 - 15/04/2022

    Investigating Supply & Demand Side Factors of a Massive Covid-19 Vaccination Drive: Experimental Evidence from Indonesia

    Indonesia is fighting one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Asia. On January 13, 2021, the country started one of the world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination drives. The plan is to inoculate 181.5 million people – two third of the population – in 15 months using primarily the CoronaVac from China’s Sinovac Biotech. The vaccination campaign is ambitious and its success hinges on a number of supply and demand side factors which are subject to investigation in this project.
    DFG, 2021-2022

    Research Project | 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2022

    Rebellion, Elections and the Pandemic in the Central African Republic: COVID-19 and its Impact on Deep-seated Patterns of Governance

    The COVID-19 pandemic reaches the Central African Republic (CAR) just when citizens were passing milestones for ending the country's conflicts through a peace agreement and national elections. A new rebellion broke out in late 2020 that hindered medical access to some of the most impoverished areas. An interplay of rebellion, elections and containing the pandemic have become the critical triangle deciding whether CAR can overcome its deep-seated patterns of governance that are stifling political and economic progress.
    DFG, 2021-2022

    Dr. Tim Glawion

    Research Fellow

    Research Project | 01/04/2021 - 31/03/2025

    INFECTIONS in an Urbanizing World - Humans, Animals, Environments

    The Leibniz Research Alliance INFECTIONS promotes interdisciplinary research across several sections of the Leibniz Association. It focuses on the spread of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) microbes in an urbanizing society. This is a topical issue since a number of endemic infectious diseases are the leading cause of disease and mortality worldwide. In addition, humanity is increasingly challenged by emerging infectious agents that are often zoonotic in nature, such as the coronavirus outbreak.
    Leibniz Association, 2021-2025

    Research Project | 01/03/2021 - 30/09/2022

    Corona Conflicts? Analysing Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Violent Conflict in Africa

    At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, decision-makers warned that the pandemic might lead to more violent conflict in fragile states, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. This project engages in a mixed-methods approach to study related relationships.
    Volkswagen Foundation, 2021-2022

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

    Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs / Editor GIGA Focus Africa

    Mora Deitch

    Research Fellow

    Research Project | 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023

    Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft: Digital Transformation Lab (DigiTraL)

    The Digital Transformation Lab (DigiTraL) has a tripod structure. The lab currently focusses on Leg I – “Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft”, funded by the Federal Foreign Office. (Legs II “Digital Development and Sustainability” and III “Digital Warfare and Peace” are planned to complement the work at a later stage.) "DigiTraL Diplo" focuses on how digital transformation offers new opportunities, challenges, and instruments for foreign policy. It will identify the chances and (security) threats of digitalization to advance adequate responses of (digital) diplomacy.
    FFO, 2021-2023

    Team

    Martin Acheampong

    Research Fellow

    Christof Althoff

    Research Fellow

    Hana Attia

    Doctoral Researcher

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

    Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs / Editor GIGA Focus Africa

    Andrew Crawford

    Doctoral Researcher

    Mora Deitch

    Research Fellow

    Daniel Geissel

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Tim Glawion

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Hannes Greve

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Lisa Hoffmann

    Research Fellow

    Julia Köbrich

    Doctoral Researcher

    Tom Konzack

    Doctoral Researcher

    Niklas Krösche

    Doctoral Researcher

    Tabea Lakemann

    Doctoral Researcher / Research Team Spokesperson

    Prof. Dr. Jann Lay

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Globalisation and Development"

    Dr. Malte Lierl

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Lena Merkel

    Research Fellow

    Tevin Tafese

    Doctoral Researcher

    Juliana Tappe Ortiz

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"



    Visiting Fellows

    Prof. Dr. Malte Brosig

    Visiting Fellow


    President

    Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar is President of the GIGA. Her research focuses on international negotiations, economic statecraft, and multilateralism. She has a special interest in India, Asia, and the BRICS.

    Office of the President

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