Border Regions in Sub-Saharan Africa

International Symposium

University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu Campus

7 - 9 September 2016

See Programme

Venue: Futura-Building, Yliopistokatu 7, Joensuu.  See maps.

This meeting is a follow up of the successful Katima Mulilo meeting on Border Regions in Southern Africa held in September 2015. There we touched upon many fascinating issues, related to African border issues. 

The symposium aims to bring together scientists who share a common interest in the study of border regions in Sub-Saharan Africa, issues like cross-border economies, border issues, shaping of borders amongst others can be mentioned as topics of interest. The aim is to create an inter-disciplinary forum where researchers from the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences can discuss a broad range of topics. A special focus area will be migration and cross-border mobility, as this has become one of the major issues in recent years. The ultimate goal of the meeting will be to publish a book dedicated to border issues in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa is presently an area of fast economic development, tourism, industry and mining are expanding and changing the region in many ways. The border regions are also the home of indigenous communities, whose traditional ways of life are increasingly under pressure.

The University of Eastern Finland has a long tradition in research in Namibia and southern Africa. The meeting will be organized as part of the project “Oral Histories and Places of Memories” funded by the Finnish Kone Foundation. See:

The symposium will have two days of plenary working sessions, a social event and a one day excursion to the Finnish-Russian border area.

This is a joint event of the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies of the University of Eastern Finland (, the University of Namibia and the VERA institute (


Book of abstracts

Group photo

Video from the border


Alfred Colpaert, professor, geography
Department of Geography and Historical Studies
University of Eastern Finland