Royal Museum
for Central Africa
  Université Libre
de Bruxelles
de Liège
  Vrije Universiteit


Specific research areas: 

  • The dynamics of geological processes in Africa, especially the deformation mechanisms of the earth's crust.
  • Study of the relief changes at the surface of the soil in Africa, more particularly in Central Africa
  • Volcanic activity monitoring using remote sensing (geological) and the use of digital sources of information.
  • Socio-political analysis of DRC (notably political change, decentralisation, public Administration, State-society relations, elections, elites…).
  • Research on environmental governance - or how power over nature is structured (notably forestry sector, participatory management, industrial logging, protected area management and mining sector).
  • Documentation centre maintenance: RMCA possesses the world’s largest documentation centre devoted to political sociology in post-colonial Congo/Zaire – over 24,000 titles in catalogue.
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles


    Analyse Géospatiale (ANAGEO):
    Eléonore Wolf:

    Caroline Michellier:

    The main expertise of ANAGEO lies in the mapping and analysis of the land use/cover and the monitoring of its evolution. In response to various pressures and constraints, the land use/cover changes. By analysing it and monitoring its evolution, it is possible to diagnose the region under study and alert decision-makers in various fields such as land planning, natural resources management, environment and humanitarian action. ANAGEO has developed experience in European contexts but also in developing countries, and particularly in Africa, where the field of application of remote sensing and GIS is wide because of the outdated topographic coverage. From a technical viewpoint, the land use/cover is mapped on the basis of satellite images, aerial photographs and topographic maps, and analyses are performed using GIS tools. The improvement in the techniques is a continuous issue. Since 1999, very-high-resolution satellite images have been widely used in rural as well as urban contexts for the digital interpretation of the land use/cover. This dramatic progress in terms of spatial resolution has generated new challenges as far as image processing and digital interpretation is concerned.

  • Université de Liège

    Géorisques et Environnement:

    Hans-Balder Havenith:
    Salah Draidia:

    The research activities of the “Georisks and Environment” group are focused on analysing surface effects of major earthquakes in terms of events contributing to the local and regional seismogenic multi-hazards. Our activity is located in remote regions in Asia and Africa characterized by a lack of reliable assessment studies. This work mainly consists of assessing the singular and coupled hazards related to surface effects of earthquakes, in particular landslides since most of our work is focused on mountainous areas.  Within this project, one particular target is the generation of seismic ground failure in a volcanic environment. A new integrative methodology regarding data acquisition, processing, and interpretation will be developed. First, various ground-based, remote sensing and lab studies will be combined. Second, reliable interpretation of the acquired data and modelling results will be supported by advanced visualisation techniques (in a virtual environment) based on 3D geo-modelling.

  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel

    Geography department:

    Matthieu Kervyn:
    Sam Poppe:

    A new research group in the unit of Physical Geography focuses on the study of hazardous geomorphological and volcanological processes in developing countries, with a specific attention to volcano geomorphology, volcano-tectonic processes and landslides.  Current projects are dedicated to the study of morpho-structural processes in active volcanic regions, including the modelling of volcano growth through eruptive and intrusive processes, lava flow emplacement, flank collapse, interactions with tectonic structures and erosion processes. The applications concentrate in volcanic regions of Africa (North and South Tanzania; Kivu Province in D.R. Congo; Mt Cameroon; Mt Karthala, Comores). A recent research effort is orientated towards landslides in developing countries, modelling the spatial distribution of hazards, and studying the impact and remediation strategies for local populations. A growing attention is also paid to the perception and adaptation of population to geohazards.  Research approaches involve combining remote sensing and field observations with scaled quantitative analogue models and application of existing numerical models.

  • European Center for Geodynamics and Seismology (ECGS)

    Nicolas d’Oreye:
    Benoît Smets:

    The ECGS was created in 1988, following an Open Partial Agreement (OPA) signed in 1987 by the Council of Europe. The OPA concernes the prevention, protection and assistance organisation against technological and major natural hazards. Motivated by the presence of the renowned Walferdange Underground Laboratory for Geodynamics (WULG), Luxembourg was naturally assigned the “Geodynamics and Seismology” matters. In 1994, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg signed a convention with ECGS defining the tasks for which the Government will ensure an additional annual funding, that is in short 1) promoting research in geodynamics, 2) organizing regular scientific meetings and 3) providing the WULG with the necessary scientific and technical equipment.

ECGS closely collaborates with National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and other national and international research institutes for the management of the WULG, scientific projects, meetings organisation etc. In 2005, NMNH started developing a pole of research in satellite radar interferometry (InSAR) for volcano monitoring. That space-borne geodetic technique was a natural complement to the conventional ground-based techniques used for decades at NMNH and ECGS (seismic, tilt, GPS, stainmeters, gravimeters etc...). For more information about the ECGS activities, visit