who we are

Larissa Fuhrmann

Larissa is an African Studies PhD candidate specialising on the connection between arts and conflict in East Africa, and Sudan in particular. She currently serves as the cultural program coordinator at the Goethe-Institut Khartoum and holds a Masters Degree from the University of Cologne. 

Dirk Gillebert

Dirk is an ICT4D project manager, keen on efficiency and cutting transaction cost. He has a humanitarian, development and mostly social entrepreneurship background. His experience is mainly in Central African countries and more specifically in innovating healthcare related projects. Dirk holds a Masters degree in Business Engineering and General Management. Follow him on twitter.

Joschka Havenith

Lino Hermes

Lino is a journalist and a human geographer with a special interest in economic and urban geography, migration and spatial disparities, and a regional focus on Greece and the Mediterranean. He holds a Masters Degree from the University of Cologne. Follow him on twitter.

Kasper Hoffmann

Kasper holds a PhD in development studies from Roskilde University, Denmark. He studies practices of security and justice in eastern Congo and is a recognized expert on non-state armed actors. He is a researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies and is affiliated with the Justice and Security Research Program via the Conflict Research Group at Ghent University. Follow him on twitter.

Rosebell Kagumire

Rosebell is a communications specialist, digital strategist, public speaker and award-winning blogger. She specialises in new media, humanitarian communications, rights in crisis campaigns, gender, peace and security issues in Africa. The World Economic Forum recognised her as one of the Young Global Leaders under the age of 40 in 2013 because of her advocacy on social justice issues in Africa. She has studied non-violent conflict at Tufts University and holds a Masters Degree in Media, Peace and Conflict studies. Follow her on twitter.

Padraic MacOireachtaigh

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Johanna Malm (previously Jansson)

Johanna is a recognised expert on the Chinese presence in the DRC, which she has been following closely since 2008. For her PhD at Roskilde University in Denmark, she conducted a total of five months of fieldwork in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi. This included 150 interviews with Chinese, Congolese and Western stakeholders, ranging from high-level representatives for companies and governments to civil society representatives and traders. Johanna will defend her PhD shortly. Prior to resuming her studies, Johanna worked at the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University.

Esther Marijnen

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Blaise Muhire

Blaise is an experienced consultant and a PhD candidate at the University of Bayreuth. His expertise spans across monitoring and evaluation of peace-building programmes, property rights and land tenure, violent conflict, and political order in Africa. In the past, he has worked with communities affected by violent conflicts using Participatory-Action Research (PAR) for conflict transformation. 

Navina Sanchez

Navina is a specialist on climate regime negotiations. She worked several years as Secretary to the Chair of the Group 77 and China at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as in policy advising and lobbying. She has also been engaged with IGOs and INGOs working with multiple stakeholders and advising governance processes in the SADC region. Navina also undertook field research in Peru, Egypt, Zimbabwe, and India and holds a Masters degree from the University of Cologne.

Marilena Stuewe-Thanassoula

Marilena studied German Language and Literature at the University of Athens, Greece, and African Languages and Cultures at the University of Cologne. She works as lecturer and research assistant at the Institute for African Studies and Egyptology in Cologne. Her teaching and research areas include areal typology, cognitive and anthropological linguistics, language policy and matters of education as well as intercultural communication.

Christoph Vogel

Christoph is a stray political scientist researching on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region of Africa. While his primary job is writing a PhD on the political geography of conflict and mining, his blog has been critically acclaimed as a key independent source of information on the area.  Christoph is affiliated with the University of Zurich, the University of Cologne and New York University. Follow him on twitter.

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