Cristiano Lanzano

Institute: The Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden
Other affiliation: IfSRA (Institute for Social Research in Africa), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; IARA (Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa), KULeuven, Belgium
Research area: Agriculture rural development & food security, Culture, Migration, Natural resource management, Youth
Research region: Africa, Global
Open to collaboration with: All


I am a social anthropologist, with an interdisciplinary background including political science and development studies. I have conducted fieldwork in different countries of West Africa (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Ghana). While my doctoral research revolved around globalization, youth culture, gendered and generational identities in urban Africa (particularly in the capital of Senegal, Dakar), I later turned toward rural contexts and an interest in the environment-development nexus (participatory conservation, traditional environmental knowledge, natural resources management, access to/ownership of land). In the last ten years, I have conducted research on the extractive sector, and particularly on artisanal and small-scale gold mining, in West Africa. I am interested in the social and geographical mobility patterns of artisanal miners, in the informal and hybrid governance of the sector, in the role of technology and of socio-technical innovation, and in local views of (un)sustainability, temporality and inter-generational justice in relation to resource extraction. 

I am currently working as Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, in Uppsala. I have secondary (and temporary) affiliations at IfSRA (Institute for Social Research in Africa), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso); and at IARA (Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa), KULeuven (Belgium). I am active as PI for the Swedish component in the research project "Gold Matters - Exploring transformations to sustainability in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining" (, funded by VR and the European Union through the Belmont Forum and NORFACE consortia. I also participate to the research project "Soft Infrastructures: Labour mobilities across and between secondary cities in West Africa" (, funded by VR.

I am also involved in teaching activities, at Uppsala University (sharing the coordination of the course "Anthropology and Intercultural Aspects of Humanitarian Action" in the NOHA master program on international humanitarian action), and at the University of Torino, Italy (participating to the organization of, and teaching in, the TO-Africa 2021 summer school program on "Environment, conflicts and society"). I have also been working as consultant for Altromercato (on assessing the respect of fair trade criteria among agricultural and craft producers based in the global South, 2011-15) and for the consulting company INSUCO (on the technical and social organization of artisanal gold mining in eastern Guinea Conakry, 2014).

Professional experience

Supervision of Master’s students
Supervision of Bachelor’s students

Other experience

Collaboration with civil society organisations
Consultancy contracts
Lecturing and workshops

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