Benedicte Carlsen, vice rector for research and international relations at UiB, Imadeldin Elamin Eltahir Aradaib, vice chancellor at the University of Khartoum and Espen Villanger, director at CMI, took part in the event.

Professor Abdel Ghaffar Ahmed has been a pillar in the Sudan-Norway academic collaboration. CMI and UiB have showed their appreciation by naming a new meeting room in his honour.


Colleagues and friends, collaborative partners and former and current scholars of Sudan studies were gathered on March 8 for the official opening of a new meeting room named after the renowned professor of social anthropology. Imadeldin Elamin Eltahir Aradaib, vice chancellor at the University of Khartoum, and Munzoul Assal, professor at the University of Khartoum and professor II at the University of Bergen, had joined from Khartoum to honour Abdel Ghaffar Ahmed and to plan the celebrations of 60th anniversary of the Bergen-Sudan cooperation.

The strong connections between the University of Bergen and the University of Khartoum were established already in the 1960’s, with CMI joining in 1975. Professor Abdel Ghaffar Ahmed has played a central role in this cooperation since the very start, and was the first person ever to be awarded a PhD from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Bergen.


Professor Abdel Ghaffar Ahmed has been a pillar of the Sudan-Bergen academic cooperation.


He is widely renowned for his research on nomadic people in Sudan. Firmly rooted in social anthropology himself, he has collaborated closely with Bergen-based academics from several disciplines throughout the years. Starting out with a handful of researchers in Khartoum and Bergen, of which Ahmed was one of the key actors, grew a vibrant and influential research milieu that has influenced both policy development in Sudan and Sudan-Norway relations.


Randi Haaland, Gunnar Haaland and Gunnar Sørbø shared stories about their close friendship and long-standing academic collaboration with Abdel Ghaffar Ahmed.



You can read more about Abdel Ghaffar Ahmed’s career and role in the Sudan-Bergen research cooperation in this portrait interview.