Collaborative Research Group Africa in the Indian Ocean

Welcome to the CRG Africa in the Indian Ocean homepage The aim of the AEGIS Collaborative Research Group on 'Africa in the Indian Ocean' is to promote and facilitate discussion, exchange of information, and collaboration between scholars in Europe, Africa and Asia who are working on Africa in the Indian Ocean.

Click here for a list of members


Members will participate in our research and outreach activities, organise and attend conferences and workshops, and be listed as experts in our database. Members will be kept informed through the crgafrica-io mailing list, to which they will be subscribed upon joining.

Join us

To join CRG Africa in the Indian Ocean, please send an e-mail to preben[at] stating your name, title, institutional affiliation, and domains of expertise.

Upcoming events

The next thematic conference of the CRG Africa in the Indian is planned to be held in Nice in 2022 - further details will be forthcoming.

The CRG plans also to be hosting two panels at the ECAS 10 conference to be held in Cologne in June 2023.



NEW PUBLICATION: Iain Walker and Marie-Aude Fouéré (eds), 'Across the Waves: Strategies of Belonging in Indian Ocean Island Societies', Leiden: Brill (African Social Studies Series, vol. 44), 2022 -

A collection of articles on Africa in the Indian Ocean by CRG members was published in June 2016 as a special issue of the Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 42, no. 3,  on 'Durban and Cape Town as Port Cities: Reconsidering Southern African Studies from the Indian Ocean', edited by Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie, Isabel Hofmeyr, Preben Kaarsholm and Dennis Walder - see

A selection of papers from the thematic conference and follow-up workshop held by the CRG at Roskilde in 2013 and 2014 on 'Pirates, preachers and politics: Security, religion and networks along the African Indian Ocean coast' were published as a 'Special collection', edited by Preben Kaarsholm, Jeremy Prestholdt and Jatin Dua, in the Journal of Eastern African Studies, vol. 9. no. 3, August 2015 - see


Free E-book

The e-book 'Fluid Networks and Hegemonic Powers in the Western Indian Ocean' can be downloaded here (PDF, 11Mb)

Past events

New Gulf Streams - Middle East and Eastern Africa intersected

The Fourth  AEGIS Thematic Conference of the Collaborative Research Group Africa in the Indian Ocean "New Gulf Streams – Middle East and Eastern Africa intersected" was held at ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon (at Lisbon, Portugal) on September 1-2, 2021. The conference was convened by Aleksi Ylönen, Giulia Danele and Manuel João Ramos, supported by a scientific committee including Alexandra Magnólia Diaz, Iain Walker, Marie-Pierre Ballarin and Preben Kaarsholm

The programme and further details about the conference can be found at


Panel at the ECAS 9 conference in Edinburgh, 11-14 June 2019

From global history to globalization: Connections and disruptions in the African Indian Ocean [CRG Africa in the Indian Ocean]

Convener: Preben Kaarsholm (Roskilde)

Discussant: Marie-Pierre Ballarin (Paris and Nice)


Saada Wahab (Göttingen), 'The Historical Factors for the Development of a Gujarati Population in Zaznibar, c.1870-1963'

Francesco Genovese (Dar-es-Salaam), 'The Disruption of Myth, the Connection of History: First Portuguese Accounts from the African Indian Ocean'

James Kirby (Durham), 'An Ombudsman for Africa? Mauritius and the Spread of Human Rights Institutions in 1990s Africa'



“History and Politics of Belonging in African Indian Ocean Island Societies”

Third thematic conference of the CRG Africa in the IO

Martin-Luther University, Halle (Saale), Germany

25-26 June 2018

This two-day Conference had contributions that addressed the various
expressions of historical memories of the past and their impacts upon social relationships, literary production, cultural practices, heritage issues and political policies. Participants discussed
how memories of the past are both produced by and frame relationships
between different groups in Madagascar, between people of free and slave
ancestry in Mauritius, between islanders in the Comoros and between
“Arabs” and “Africans” in Zanzibar. Participants were encouraged to address the dynamics of
contemporary productions of history and of memories of these migrant
pasts, and how the narratives thus produced shape contemporary modes of

For further information, if required, please contact Iain Walker at


Preben Kaarsholm, Roskilde University
Didier Nativel, Université Paris Diderot
Manuel Ramos, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
Iain Walker, Martin-Luther-Universität



Panel on 'Collective mobilisations in Africa and the Indian Ocean'

ECAS 5, 6th European conference on African Studies, Paris, 8-10 July 2015

2nd International thematic conference on 'Fluid Networks and Hegemonic Powers in the Western Indian Ocean', ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, 9-10 April 2015

Organizers: Ian Walker, Oxford University Manuel João Ramos, ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon Preben Kaarsholm, Roskilde University

Date and place: The 2nd Thematic Conference of the CRG-AIO took place at ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, in 9th-10th April 2015. It brought together the CRG members and non-CRG researchers working on Africa in the Indian Ocean and interested in bridging disciplinary and regional borders in this field of study. Description and outcomes As with the 2013 1st International Conference on Africa and the Indian Ocean, we intend to publish the results in a Conference book. Thematic outline Fluid Networks and Hegemonic Powers in the Western Indian Ocean 2nd International Thematic Conference on Africa and the Indian Ocean ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, 9-10 April 2015



International thematic conference on  'Pirates, preachers and politics: Security, religion and networks along the African Indian Ocean coast' Roskilde University, auditorium 25.1, 13-14 November 2013.

Organised in collaboration with the Centre for African Studies at Lisbon University Institute and the AEGIS collaborative research group on 'Africa in the Indian Ocean'.

For further information, please see contact the conference convener, professor Preben Kaarsholm, at preben[at] or phone no. +45 4674 2703