Seminar: Constructing the territory and borders of Borno, Nigeria


Video duration: 
1 h 18 min.

Cover Borneo historyIn this seminar Vincent Hiribarren will analyse the history of the borders in the region of Borno (Nigeria). By focusing on borderlands known for harbouring Boko Haram terrorists, this seminar will bring a historical dimension to contemporary security issues in the Lake Chad region.

It will be argued that British imperialism did not always destroy nineteenth-century African polities but, as in the case of Borno, favoured the reconstruction of a nineteenth-century territory within the Nigerian colony. The quest for territorial legitimacy led the British to constantly adapt their colonial administration to the previous nineteenth-century space. Moreover, Borno a geographic cornerstone of colonial Nigeria, never ceased to count in the geopolitical balance of postcolonial Nigeria. Indeed, the post-1960 fragmentation of the federation led to the creation of Borno State in 1976 but also led to its division in 1991 between Yobe and Borno. If at first glance it would seem that the territory and borders of Borno were disappearing within Nigeria, a strong sense of belonging still exists. 

Portrait Vincent HiribarrenDr Vincent Hiribarren trained as a History and Geography teacher and taught in France, China, Guinea and England. From 2008 to 2012, he undertook a PhD on the history of Borno, Nigeria at the University of Leeds. The title of his thesis was “From a kingdom to a Nigerian state: the territory and boundaries of Borno 1810-2010”. He is now a lecturer in Modern African History at King's College London.

Date, time and location

03 November 2016
15.30 - 17.00
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 1A22 (first floor)


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