Italiano English Français


Thematic areas





Finding the African Voice

Creative Commons License
MEBAO Website by MEBAO is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Italy License.

MEBAO is an inter-university project financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs — Main Office for the Cultural Promotion and Cooperation (DGPCC)and by the Department of Human Sciences for Education “Riccardo Massa” of the University of Milano-Bicocca (Milan).

MEBAO coordinates Italian specialists of West Africa around issues of research and preservation of cultural heritage, whether of tangible, intangible and of archival/documentary nature. Furthermore, it provides educational opportunities to prepare young Italian and African researchers within ethnological and anthropological disciplines through PhD, MA and BA programs.

It was established in 2000 and it is hosted by the University of Milan-Bicocca where it participates in the activities of CREAM (Centre of Ethno-Anthropological Research in Milan).

Countries involved: Benin and comparative overviews of Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo.

Scientific Director: Prof. Alice Bellagamba, University of Milan-Bicocca.

MEBAO collaborates with the following African, Italian and European institutions:
Bénin: Ecole du Patrimoine Africain-EPA;
Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences Humaines de l''Université d''Abomey-Calavi
France: EHESS, Paris
Gambia: National Council for Arts and Culture.
Germany: Ethnologie Afrikas, Bayreuth.
Ghana : University of Ghana-Legon.
Italy: CREAM-Centre of Ethno-Anthropological Research in Milan;
CSAA-Centre of African Archaeology;
Ethnological Laboratory, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
Senegal: IFAN, Dakar.

Mebao partecipates in the African Bordeland Research Network - ABORNE (

In collaboration with the Centre of African Archeological Studies of Milan (CSAA), MEBAO is currently preparing the exhibit "Seeing without recognizing. The representations of Africa in the European imaginary between the 15th and the 18th century". With a critical approach, the exhibition shows images and extracts from ancient travel books. This travelling exhibition has also an innovative online version.