Henri-Michel Yéré, PhD


Henri-Michel Yéré is currently the Associate Director for Diversity and Inclusion at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR.)

He took his BA in Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and started the Master programme African Studies at the University of Basel in the winter term 2003/04. Yéré was supported by a scholarship from the Eidgenössische Stipendienkommission für ausländische Studienrede (ESKAS, Swiss Scholarship Committee for Foreign Students) and other scholarships.

Henri-Michel Yéré successfully took his Master in African Studies as the first graduate at the Centre fro African Studies Basel. He then continued as a doctoral student at the NCCR North-South.

MA Thesis

The Cultural Biography of a Generation: Zouglou Music and Youth in Côte d'Ivoire

His Master thesis looks at the dance and music known as "Zouglou" and at how adolescents in Côte d'Ivoire used this cultural practice  to deal with social and political events in the republic in the 1980s and 1990s.

PhD Thesis

Citizenship, Nationality and History in Côte d’Ivoire, 1929-1999

The PhD thesis sought to understand the different ways in which the notion of belonging to the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) has been articulated in the course of the country’s history. Starting at the time of the emergence of the first associations of originaires in the late 1920s, the thesis brings to the fore the fact that what had been thus far regarded as the earliest manifestations of an “Ivorian nationalism” must be read as the articulation of specific interests emanating from educated elite seeking to compete against Africans from outside the Ivory Coast Colony, Africans (notably Dahomeyans and Senegalese) whom they perceived as privileged by the colonial administration. My work also analyses the emergence of competing discourses on nationality and citizenship from the time of Independence in 1960 right up to the emergence of Ivoirité in the 1990s. This exploration ends in 1999, when a coup d’Etat ousted the Parti Démocratique de Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) from power, after having run the country for 42 years uninterrupted.

The PhD thesis was successfully defended on 26th August 2010.


Henri-Michel Yéré
Education, Diversity and Inclusion Office
Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
Novartis Pharma AG
CH-4002 Basel
+41 61 696 29 26 (office)