List currently being updated

Board of Advisors 

The Institute's Board of Advisors, derived primarily from an academic background, is a distinguished group of people with a shared commitment to the future prosperity of Guinea-Bissau and the research capacity of the Institute.

The Institute's Board of Advisors comprises:


José Lingna Nafafe  -  University of Birmingham   (Chair)

José da Silva Horta - University of Lisbon

David Stephen - Former UN Representative to Guinea-Bissau, former Head of United Nations Peace-Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS)

Toby Green - King's College, London

Reginald Cline-Cole - University of Birmingham

Mamadú Jao - Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisa (INEP), Bissau

Walter Hawthorne - Michigan State University

Peter Mendy - Rhode Island College

Biographies of each Board member can be found below:


José Lingna Nafafe   (Chair)

José Nafafe is considered to be the most distinguished Guinean intellectual at work in the United Kingdom. He currently lectures in the Department of Sociology (School of Government and Society) at the University of Birmingham.

José, who is from Catio, Guinea-Bissau, did his BD degree in London University, an MPhil and PhD at Birmingham. He previously lectured in the School of Education and taught in the Theology Department at Birmingham University. He lectures in cultural studies for the European Research Institute at Birmingham.

José’s academic interests centre around five main areas: ‘Europe in Africa’ and ‘Africa in Europe’ – Europe and Africa relations, asylum-seekers and refugees in a postcolonial, postcolonial theories and representation, and slavery and labour, the relations between postcolonial theory and sociology. He has published on power relations between the colonisers and the colonised, social justice, identity and creolisation, slavery in the modern world, and power and language. His book, Colonial Encounters: Issues of Culture, Hybridity and Creolisation, Portuguese Mercantile Settlers in West Africa, raises searching questions on the nature of identity, space and representation.


José da Silva Horta

José da Silva Horta is Assistant Professor of African History at Lisbon University, where he is also a researcher at the Center of History.  He serves as director of the Faculty of Letters Doctoral Program in African History and of the African Studies Undergraduate Program.

He is author of  “A ‘Guiné do Cabo Verde’: produção textual e representações (1578-1684)”, PhD dissertation, 2002 (revised and delivered for the press). His publications include "A representação do Africano na Literatura de Viagens, do Senegal à Serra Leoa (1453-1508)" (Lisbon, 1991), "The Forgotten Diaspora: Jewish Communities in West Africa and the Making of the Atlantic World" (Cambridge University Press, in press: March 2011), with Peter Mark, and articles in international journals, such as History in Africa and Mande Studies. He is the co-author, with Eduardo Costa Dias, of the article “História da Guiné-Bissau: Dicionário Temático da Lusofonia" (Lisbon, 2005).

David Stephen

David Stephen is the former head of the United Nations Peace-Building Support Office in Guinea Bissau (UNOGBIS), and former United Nations Special Representative to Guinea-Bissau, Somalia and Guatemala. During his tenure in Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Stephen represented the United Nations during a challenging and sensitive time, following the country’s civil conflict, promoting and upholding democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

Mr. Stephen, a former director of the Runnymede Trust and Special Advisor to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was also Director of the European Movement between 2004 and 2006. Currently he is on the Board of two non-governmental organisations: one, Action for a Global Climate Community, which promotes dialogue on climate change, and another, IANSA, which works to co-ordinate action against small arms proliferation.  


Toby Green

After taking a double-first in Philosophy from Cambridge University in 1996, Toby Green worked for many years as a writer, writing three successful books published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. In 2001, he developed his interest in Guinea-Bissau and the surrounding region, with the publication of Meeting the Invisible Man: Secrets and Magic in West Africa (2001), which was widely reviewed and praised by writers including the late Ryszard Kapuscinski.

In 2007, Green completed his academic training as an Africanist when awarded his PhD programme at the Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham. After obtaining his doctorate in 2007, he was awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Birmingham, and in October 2010 became a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at King’s College London. He has a strong reputation as a scholar of precolonial African History specialising in the region of Guinea-Bissau and Casamance, publishing articles in journals including History in Africa, the Journal of Atlantic Studies, Journal of Mande Studies, and Slavery and Abolition, and giving seminars and lectures at various institutions in France, Portugal, the UK and the USA, including the Universities of Cambridge, Duke, Lisbon, Michigan, Oxford, Paris-Sorbonne, and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Green's books have been reviewed by all the UK broadsheets, and have been the subject of major reviews and interviews in newspapers in Argentina, Holland, Portugal, Norway and Uruguay. He has also written widely for the British press. His books have been translated into 10 languages, and he has given public lectures at venues including the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, and the Chelsea Physic Garden.

Reginald Cline-Cole

Reginald Cline-Cole head the Centre for West African Studies (CWAS), part of the School of History and Cultures at the University of Birmingham. A geographer by training and multi-disciplinary researcher by choice, Reginald Cline-Cole was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The acquisition of an undergraduate degree at Fourah Bay College (University of Sierra Leone) was followed by postgraduate studies at the University of Bordeaux, France. Since then, and in addition to lecturing at Birmingham, he has also taught in Nigeria (Bayero University, Kano) and Kenya (Moi University). 

He is a member of the Editorial Working Group of the Review of African Political Economy, for which he is Handling Editor and is a member of the Editorial Board of Geography Compass.

Although Reginald Cline-Cole is undoubtedly best-known for his pioneering work on rural energy in Africa, his research interests extend into cognate areas such as indigenous ecological knowledges, with particular reference to vegetation resources; the implications of environmental policy for access and rights to, and utilisation of soil, water and vegetation resources; woody biomass assessment and mapping; and the construction and deployment of landscape imaginaries. Reginald Cline-Cole’s other main research interest is forestry history and practice in West Africa, as his publication efforts attest. He is currently researching forestry as transnational environment-development policy and practice, with reference to colonial Northern Nigeria.


Mamadú Jao

Mamadu Jao is the director of Guinea-Bissau's national research institute, the Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisa (INEP).


Walter Hawthorne

Walter Hawthorne is a Professor of African History and Chair of the History Department at Michigan State University. His areas of research specialization are Upper Guinea, the Atlantic, and Brazil. He is particularly interested in the history of slavery and the slave trade. Much of his research has focused on African agricultural practices, religious beliefs, and family structures in the Old and New Worlds.

Hawthorne's first book, Planting Rice and Harvesting Slaves: Transformations along the Guinea-Bissau Coast, 1400–1900 (Heinemann: 2003), explores the impact of the impact of interactions with the Atlantic, and particularly slave trading, on small-scale, decentralized societies. His most recent book, From Africa to Brazil: Culture, Identity, and an Atlantic Slave Trade 1600-1830 (Cambridge: 2010), examines the slave trade from Upper Guinea to Amazonia Brazil.  Generous funding for the project was provided by Fulbright Hays and National Endowment for the Humanities.  Dr. Hawthorne has published in a range of scholarly journals such as Journal of African HistoryLuso-Brazilian ReviewSlavery and AbolitionAfricaJournal of Global History, and American Historical Review.  He is presently writing a biography of a slave sailor and working on a British-Library funded archival digitization project in The Gambia.

Peter Mendy

Peter Karibe Mendy is Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at Rhode Island College, with a doctorate in Political Science and West African Studies from the University of Birmingham, England. He has numerous publications on the colonial and post-colonial history and politics of Guinea-Bissau, including Colonialismo Português em Africa: A Tradiçăo da Resistência na Guiné-Bissau, 1879-1959 (Bissau: Ediçöes INEP, 1994); “The Emergence of Political Pluralism in Guinea-Bissau,” in F. Koudawo and Peter Karibe Mendy (eds.), Pluralisme Politique en Guinée-Bissau (Bissau: Ediçoes INEP, 1997); “Portugal’s ‘Civilizing Mission’ in Colonial Guinea-Bissau: Rhetoric and Reality,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies (36, 1: 35-58); “Amilcar Cabral and the Liberation of Guinea-Bissau: context, challenges and lessons for effective African leadership,” in Carlos Lopes (ed.), Africa’s Contemporary Challenges: The Legacies of Amilcar Cabral (London and New York: Routledge, 2010); and “The 2005 Presidential Elections in Guinea-Bissau: Challenged Democratization in a Precarious State,” in Abdoulaye Saine, Matt Houngnikpo & Boubacar N’Diaye (eds.), Elections and Democratization in West Africa, 1990-2009 (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2011).

Mendy was Director of Guinea-Bissau’s leading social science research institute, INEP (Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisa), from 1994 to 1998, having served as Deputy Director from 1991 to 1994. He also worked in Senegal as Consultant for the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), and in Angola as Policy Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Dr Mendy is currently a Co-Director of the International Non-Governmental Organizations Studies Program at Rhode Island College, as well as a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies at the College.