In memory of Alain Ricard (1945-2016)

ricard_-_copieThe IFRA team is very sad to report that Alain Ricard died on August 27 in Bordeaux. A prominent specialist of African langages and literature, Alain was director of CREDU, IFRA’s ancestor from 1988 to 1991. He actively participated in consolidating the Institute by opening the research fellow position and contributed to disseminate it across the continent by supporting the creation of an office in Ibadan (today‘s IFRA Nigeria). First a specialist of West African langages and arts, he discovered kiswahili in Nairobi and studied it passionately every day, as recalled by his former colleagues. Since then, kiswahili was one of his area of study and he recently coordinated a 4 year research project gathering language specialists and geographers around kiswahili. Dozens of academic and artistic books were released from this project. Alain also left video prints of his work, like this collection of interviews with East African intellectuals, in kiswahili with subtitles in French. (You can see the video on )


Many obituaries have been published by colleagues :,





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