Table Ronde / Roundtable – A History of Ethio-French Research in Ethiopia


Regards sur l’histoire de la recherche scientifique éthio-française en Ethiopie (dans le cadre des 120 de présence diplomatique française en Ethiopie)

Insights on the History of Ethio-French Research on Human Evolution, Society and Culture in Ethiopia (for the 120 years of French diplomatic presence in Ethiopia)

Avec / with Ahmed Hassen, Wolbert Smidt, Yonas Beyene, Jean-Renaud Boisserie, Amélie Chekroun & Delphine Ayerbe

Dans le cadre des 120 ans de présence diplomatique française en Ethiopie, le Centre français des études éthiopiennes organise une rencontre (en anglais) sur l’histoire des relations scientifiques franco-éthiopiennes dans les domaines de l’évolution humaine, la société et la culture en Ethiopie.

In order to celebrate the 120 years of French diplomatic presence in Ethiopia,  the French Center for Ethiopian Studies proposes a roundtable (in English) on the longstanding history of Ethio-French Research on Human Evolution, Society and Culture in Ethiopia.


Vendredi 23 Juin 2017 (14h-17h) / Friday 23th of June 2017, 2:00-5:00 pm

Lieu : Bibliothèque Berhanou Abebe, dans les nouveaux locaux du CFEE

Venue: Berhanou Abebe library, in CFEE new office 

This roundtable will bring together Ethiopian, French and German researchers from different disciplines (Paleontology, Prehistory, History, Anthropology, Geography).

It will be introduced by Ahmed Hassen (Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University), who will particularly raise the influence of the Ethio-French academic relations on the emergence of the Ethiopian elite under the imperial rule.

Wolbert Smidt (Department of History and Heritage management, Mekelle University) will present Early Ethiopian savants and traditional scholars in the history of French research in northeastern Africa. He will notably develop the examples of Abba Gorgoryos and Johann Michael Vansleb in the 1650’s and of the debtera Tewelde-Medhin and the d’Abbadie brothers in the mid-nineteenth century.

Yonas Beyene (Association for research and conservation of Culture-Hawassa) and Jean-Renaud Boisserie (CFEE) will jointly present the French pioneered prehistorical and paleontological research in Ethiopia, from the first French paleontologists researches in the Lower Omo Valley in 1902, the major discoveries (including the famous Lucy), the French research on megalithism (notably Neuville, Chollet, de Chardin and de Monfreid’s works), to the partnership between the CFEE and the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) in curatorial efforts and organization of collections, as well as museum development.

Amélie Chekroun (CFEE) will present the role of the French Capuchin missionary Azaïs in the project of the first Ethiopian National Archaeological Museum and Institute in the 1930’s, a project that heralded the precursor of the current French Center for Ethiopian Studies, born in the 1950’s.

Delphine Ayerbe (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) will portray the role played by the French journalist Casimir Mondon-Vidailhet (1847-1910) as a special adviser of Menelik II who has been known by geographers as one of the promoters of  the introduction of eucalyptus trees in Ethiopia, in order to satisfy wood demand of the urban growing population.

Attention, nouvelle adresse!  Please note our new location!

Le Centre français des études éthiopiennes se situe à Addis-Abeba, Arada sub city, Kebele 11 /12, house n° 1907, dans le quartier de JanMeda, entre l’hôpital Ménélik et Sidist Kilo. Pour venir en taxi, passer l’hôpital Ménélik en direction de Sidist Kilo, parcourir quelques 200 mètres (en dépassant les deux poste de police sur la gauche), puis vous trouverez sur la droite une villa dont le portail, les barreaux et les barbelés sont de couleur jaune vif. Ce sont les locaux du CFEE.

The French Center for Ethiopian Studies is located in Addis Ababa, Arada sub city, Kebele 11 /12, house n° 1907, in theJanMeda neighbourhood, between Menelik Hospital and Sidist Kilo.
By taxi, from Menelik Hospital in the direction of Sidist Kilo, drive some 200 meters (pass the two police stations on your left), then you will find on your right a house whose door, fence and razor wires are painted in bright yellow. This is the place.

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