IOWC Research Associate: Facil Tesfaye

Dr. Tesfaye, who holds an undergraduate diploma in African Studies and Political Science from Humboldt University, Berlin and an MA in Political Science from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), undertook a doctorate at the Indian Ocean World Centre in McGill's Department of History on late 19th century German colonial medical history in Africa.

He has considerable experience as an organizer, teacher and researcher. His work experience includes attachments as a documentalist to the European Community delegation to Addis Abeba (1993-7). While studying in Berlin, he served on the administrative councils of the African Students Union (1999) and Ecumenical Centre for Foreign Students (2001-02), as well as helping to organize a conference on Religious Plurality in Ethiopia ("Religiöse Pluralität in Afrika ausgehend vom Beispiel Äthiopiens") at Humboldt University. He has served as a Research Assistant to Professor Rainer Mackensen of the Department of Social Sciences, at the Technische Universität, Berlin (2003-4), and as a Tutor at the Centre Paolo Freire, Department of Political Science, UQAM (2007). In addition to the courses he taught in 2011 and 2013, he has served as a Teaching Assistant to various Professors of the Department of History at McGill University (2007-2012), as well as to Professor Jean-Pierre Beaud of the Department of Political Science, UQAM (2005-2006).

Dr. Tesfaye has presented papers at a number of international conferences and published on various Africa related issues. He has gained a number of scholarly awards during his years as a graduate student and speaks fluent Amharic, English, French and German.

He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor and director of the African Studies Programme at the University of Hong Kong's School of Modern Languages and Cultures.


2012 "Review of Christoph Gradmann's Laboratory Disease: Robert Koch's Medical Bacteriology." Canadian Journal of African Studies 45.2.

2009 "Sur la question de la population du Rwanda. De l'occupation allemande au lendemain du genocide." Note de recherche du CIRST 1: 1-25.

2007 "Statistik und Genozid in Ruanda: Wechselbeziehungen." In Herausforderung Bevoelkerung: Zu Entwicklungen des modernen Denkens ueber die Bevoelkerung vor, im und nach dem "Dritten Reich", edited by Josef Ehmer, Ursula Ferdinand and Jürgen Reulecke, 341-352. Wiesbaden: Verlag fuer Sozialwissenschaften.

2007 "The Rwandan Peacekeeping Experience: The 'Prostitution' of a concept?" In Les operations de paix: de Suez à Kandahar. Note de Recherche, by Kévin Dufault, Facil Tesfaye Badada and Issaka Souaré. Montréal: Centre d’études des politiques étrangères et de sécurité (CEPES) 33: 25-80.

2005 (with Rainer Mackensen, Ursula Ferdinand, Michael Engberding and Katrin Hunsicker) "Methoden und Theoreme sozialwissenschaftlicher Bevölkerungsforschung in Deutschland um 1930." In Das Konstrukt "Bevölkerung" vor, im und nach dem "Dritten Reich," edited by Rainer Mackensen & Jürgen Reulecke, 108-110. Wiesbaden: Verlag fuer Sozialwissenschaften.

2004 (with Constance Frey) "Weisser Mann, dunkles Herz." Der Tagesspiegel, 16 Februar.

2004 "Die EU-Osterweiterung und die Zukunft der europäischen Entwicklungszusammen­ arbeit." Ansaetze 2: 12-13.

2000 Editor. EU Bulletin of the Delegation of the European Commission to Ethiopia 36. Addis Abeba: Delegation of the EU to Ethiopia.

Conference Papers

2011 "Robert Koch’s medical expeditions in Africa 1883-1910: Some research questions." Paper presented at the Fourth Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa, IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 1 May.

2011 "Robert Koch, Superstar? A reassessment of the second half of Robert Koch's career and his Africa expeditions, 1883-1910." Paper presented at the IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 14 April.

2011 "German Colonial Medicine in Africa: A Blessing or a Curse?" Paper presented at the Werkstatt der Kulturen, Berlin, Germany, 11 February.

2010 "'The dark side of counting': Wechselwirkungen kolonialer Bevölkerungzählungen in Afrika." Paper presented at the Afrikakolloquium, Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 24 November.

2010 "Geschichtschreibung und Geschichte Äthiopiens." Paper presented at the Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 10 November.

2010 "L'usage public et politique des statistiques des populations en Afrique: des projets de domination aux violations des droits humains." Paper presented at the Société Québécoise de Science Politique Congrès 2010, Université Laval, Quebec, QC, 20 May.

2010 "Recensement et inégalité catégorielles en Afrique du Sud.” Paper presented at the Colloque du GREPPS sur Charles Tilly, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, 12 February.

2009 "The Dark Side of 'Counting': Statistical Practices and Human Rights Abuses in Rwanda and Zanzibar." Paper presented at the STANDD Talk Series, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 25 September.

2009 "'Wonders of the African World' or African-American Afrocentrism: Re-framing East African Societies and East African History in a Wider Historiographic Debate." Paper presented at the AEGIS Conference, Leipzig, Germany, 4-7 June.

2009 "Debt and Slavery: The Indian Credit System in Zanzibar and the East African Slave Export Trade in the 19th century." Paper presented at the IOWC International Conference, "Debt and Slavery: The History of a Process of Enslavement," IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 7-9 May.

2009 "Identitées meutrières? Les conséquences des politiques identitaires Africaines Post-coloniales." Paper presented at the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) Annual Conference, Queens University, Kingston, ON, 1-4 May.

2009 "Mapping the Rwandan Population 1991-2002: GIS, Census, Genocide." Paper presented at the Second Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa, IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 27 April.

2008 "Ethiopian Historiography in the 1990s: The emergence of contesting narratives." Paper presented at the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) Annual Conference, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, 1-4 May.

2008 "The discovery of the indigenous population in Rwanda-Urundi: A glimpse into the early 20th-century Belgian colonial reports." Paper presented at the First Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa, IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 28 April.

2007 "Tout ce qui se mesure s’améliore…?" Paper presented at the 75th Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) International Congress, Université du Quebec à Trois Rivière, Trois-Rivières, QC, 7-11 May.

2006 "Les opérations de maintien de paix au Rwanda: La 'prostitution' d’un concept?" Paper presented at the Conférence étudiante, "Les Opérations de paix: De Suez à Kandahar," Centre d’études des politiques étrangères et de sécurité Centre d’études des politiques étrangères et de sécurité (CEPES), Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, 10 November.

2006 "Statistiques et génocides au Rwanda: Des liens?" Paper presented at the 10e Colloque des Études Avancées, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST), Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, May.

2004 "The EU Enlargement and the Future of European Development Aid." Paper presented at the Kirchlicher Entwicklungsdienst (KED), Brussels, Belgium, February.

1999 "La Situation des étrangers à Berlin.", Paper presented at the Interculturalité et Migrations dans l’Union Européenne, INALCO, Paris, France, April.