Dr. Kai Gehring
University of Zurich


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The "Minister Project" and its aim

Studies suggest that development in many African countries is impeded by difficulties to form stable governments and sometimes by repeated episodes of conflict. Prior scientific contributions attribute these challenges to historical factors like the slave trade and colonialism, but also to the challenges of improving state capacity and tax administration. Based on historically often arbitrary borders, many states are composed of a variety of regional and linguistic groups, sometimes with historical tensions between them.
Our project aims to better understand the challenges of government formation and compromises between different regional and linguistic (as per Ethnologue) groups. For that matter, we are gathering a new and comprehensive data set on all African governments after they became independent. We hope to help researchers, governments, as well as local and international private and public organizations to draft better policies and create institutions that are conducive to development. In addition to birth regions of government members, we are interested in their linguistic origin. Language is often an obstacle for the communication and can be linked to cultural differences.

Your contribution

To achieve this aim, we want to kindly ask everyone who possesses knowledge about particular countries and current or past government members to contribute to the project. The aim of such a “citizen science” approach is to make use of the important knowledge and information that individuals possess, instead of solely relying on few experts and their assessments. Any piece of information is important and helpful, even about a few presidents or ministers. We have created very simple participation forms that do not require any technical expertise, and can be filled out very easily and quickly.

The benefit of participating

The final project website will list all “citizen experts” who have contributed to the database to acknowledge your contribution, if you wish to be mentioned. Moreover, we will hold a lottery for all contributors with the chance to win 10 Amazon vouchers (each worth $US 50) or 1 brand-new iPad 2018, 128 GB.


  (DE)   (FR)     (EN)   Download: The project in a nutshell (A5)  



You can choose the country on which you would like to contribute by clicking on the respective link below. Please consult the how-to guide to fill out the forms correctly or click here for information about Ethnologue.


Algeria 1960s-1970s
Algeria 1980s-1990s
Algeria 2000s-2010s
Angola 1970s
Angola 1980s-1990s
Angola 2000s-2010s
Benin 1960s-1970s
Benin 1980s-1990s
Benin 2000s-2010s
Botswana 1960s-1970s
Botswana 1980s-1990s
Botswana 2000s-2010s
Burkina Faso 1960s-1970s
Burkina Faso 1980s-1990s
Burkina Faso 2000s-2010s
Cameroon 1960s-1970s
Cameroon 1980s-1990s
Cameroon 2000s-2010s
CAR 1960s-1970s
CAR 1980s-1990s
CAR 2000s-2010s
Chad 1960s-1970s
Chad 1980s-1990s
Chad 2000s-2010s
DR Congo 1960s-1970s
DR Congo 1980s-1990s
DR Congo 2000s-2010s
Rep. Congo 1960s-1970s
Rep. Congo 1980s-1990s
Rep. Congo 2000s-2010s
Cote d'Ivoire 1960s-1970s
Cote d'Ivoire 1980s-1990s
Cote d'Ivoire 2000s-2010s
Djibouti 1970s
Djibouti 1980s-1990s
Djibouti 2000s-2010s
Egypt 1960s-1970s
Egypt 1980s-1990s
Egypt 2000s-2010s
Equa. Guinea 1960s-1970s
Equa. Guinea 1980s-1990s
Equa. Guinea 2000s-2010s
Eritrea 1990s
Eritrea 2000s-2010s
Ethiopia 1960s-1970s
Ethiopia 1980s-1990s
Ethiopia 2000s-2010s
Gabon 1960s-1970s
Gabon 1980s-1990s
Gabon 2000s-2010s
The Gambia 1960s-1970s
The Gambia 1980s-1990s
The Gambia 2000s-2010s
Ghana 1960s-1970s
Ghana 1980s-1990s
Ghana 2000s-2010s
Guinea 1960s-1970s
Guinea 1980s-1990s
Guinea 2000s-2010s
Guinea Bissau 1970s
Guinea Bissau 1980s-1990s
Guinea Bissau 2000s-2010s
Kenya 1960s-1970s
Kenya 1980s-1990s
Kenya 2000s-2010s
Lesotho 1960s-1970s
Lesotho 1980s-1990s
Lesotho 2000s-2010s
Liberia 1960s-1970s
Liberia 1980s-1990s
Liberia 2000s-2010s
Madagascar 1960s-1970s
Madagascar 1980s-1990s
Madagascar 2000s-2010s
Malawi 1960s-1970s
Malawi 1980s-1990s
Malawi 2000s-2010s
Mali 1960s-1970s
Mali 1980s-1990s
Mali 2000s-2010s
Mauritania 1960s-1970s
Mauritania 1980s-1990s
Mauritania 2000s-2010s
Morocco 1960s-1970s
Morocco 1980s-1990s
Morocco 2000s-2010s
Mozambique 1970s
Mozambique 1980s-1990s
Mozambique 2000s-2010s
Namibia 1990s
Namibia 2000s-2010s
Niger 1960s-1970s
Niger 1980s-1990s
Niger 2000s-2010s
Nigeria 1960s-1970s
Nigeria 1980s-1990s
Nigeria 2000s-2010s
Senegal 1960s-1970s
Senegal 1980s-1990s
Senegal 2000s-2010s
Sierra Leone 1960s-1970s
Sierra Leone 1980s-1990s
Sierra Leone 2000s-2010s
Somalia 1960s-1970s
Somalia 1980s-1990s
Somalia 2000s-2010s
South Africa 1960s-1970s
South Africa 1980s-1990s
South Africa 2000s-2010s
South Sudan 2000s-2010s
Sudan 1960s-1970s
Sudan 1980s-1990s
Sudan 2000s-2010s
Swaziland 1960s-1970s
Swaziland 1980s-1990s
Swaziland 2000s-2010s
Tanzania 1960s-1970s
Tanzania 1980s-1990s
Tanzania 2000s-2010s
Togo 1960s-1970s
Togo 1980s-1990s
Togo 2000s-2010s
Tunisia 1960s-1970s
Tunisia 1980s-1990s
Tunisia 2000s-2010s
Uganda 1960s-1970s
Uganda 1980s-1990s
Uganda 2000s-2010s
Zambia 1960s-1970s
Zambia 1980s-1990s
Zambia 2000s-2010s
Zimbabwe 1980s-1990s
Zimbabwe 2000s-2010s