Erik Kennes

Senior Research Fellow

History, politics and security in Central Africa


Erik Kennes is Senior Research Fellow in the Africa Programme at the Egmont Institute and an Associate Researcher at the Institute of Development Policy (IOB) of the University of Antwerp. He previously held teaching and/or research positions at the Grand Seminary in Kolwezi (DRC) (1986-88), the IDPM of the University of Antwerp (1992-1999), and the Africa Institute/Section for Contemporary History of the Africa Museum (1999-2008).

Erik worked as Political Affairs Officer for MONUSCO in Kisangani and Kinshasa (2009-2017), as Office Director and Program Manager of the Extractive Industries Governance Program (EIGP) in Lubumbashi (DRC) (2017-2019), coordinator of the consortium “Le Congo n’est pas à Vendre” (2019-2021) and finally as Senior Advocacy Advisor of the International Alert/Madini kwa Amani na Maendeleo project in Bukavu (DRC) (2021-2022). He is Associate Professor at the ISES (Higher Institute for Social Studies) in Lubumbashi (DRC).

He has a PhD in political science from the University of Paris I – Sorbonne / PhD Ethnology of Université Laval, Québec, Canada. He studied law, philosophy and political science at the University of Leuven and comparative politics at the University of Bergen, Norway.

His research interests include history, politics and security in Central Africa (DRCongo), the Central African and international mining sector, African political thought and philosophy. He is specialized in issues related to Katanga.