About the network

The African Farming (an interdisciplinary pan-African perspective) research network has been established to share knowledge and develop research capacity concerning the archaeology, history, development and current operation of farming systems across Africa. The network is funded by a three (2013-2015) year British Academy International Partnerships and Mobility Grant to Professor Henrietta Moore (University of Cambridge) and Professor Caleb Adebayo Folorunso (University of Ibadan Nigeria). The network is coordinated by Dr Matthew Davies (UCL) and involves a range of partners. Regular updates and posts can be found here. 

The network links researchers situated in the UK (University of Cambridge, UCL), Nigeria (University of Ibadan), Kenya (National Museums of Kenya and the British Institute in Eastern Africa) and South Africa (University of Witwatersrand). Network members stem from a variety of disciplines (landscape archaeology, geo-archaeology, bioarchaeology, social anthropology, environmental science) and each bring a range of expertise. However, a major aim of the network is to develop comparative research across Africa focusing on key questions and topics in African farming, rather than being driven by specific disciplinary agenda. We aim to move beyond simple ‘interdiciplinary’ conversations and instead unite researchers around core questions and ideas through practical field engagement. At the same time we aim to share knowledge and develop research capacity for Africa, within and across Africa. Instead of a dialogue between the global north and the global south, we see this as a pan-African dialogue facilitated by reciprocal knowledge sharing across the continent. 

As such, the network focuses on three sub-projects: Marakwet in Kenya, Tiv in Nigeria and Bokoni in South Africa. Further details on each of these projects can be found by clicking these links or exploring the tabs above.

Each year of the network will involve an extended field-workshop through which knowledge will be practically shared by network participants and new avenues and lines of research will be developed. The first field-workshop took place in Marakwet in December 2013, and will be followed by Tiv and Bokoni in 2014 and Cambridge (laboratory-based) in 2015. We will also hold a range of public seminars, culminating in a major conference in Cambridge in 2015. We hope that the network will result in further collaborative and comparative research across Africa and in the future training and capacity building of African researchers.

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