Tor Sellström 1946-2022


Our dear friend and highly appreciated colleague, Tor Sellström, has passed away. Tor, Dr. Sellström, was well-known for his profound knowledge of Southern Africa and most notably Sweden’s support for the different liberation movements.

Tor Sellström had a variety of assignments in Southern Africa since the early 1970s, working in Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa. His deep insights were the result of his many years of working in the region, as well as his longstanding engagement with the liberation struggles that gave him many highly informed friends in the different movements, and his training as an economist and political scientist from universities at Stockholm, Barcelona and Paris.

His work with the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Uppsala and ACCORD (the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes) in Durban, South Africa, brought him in close contact with the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, particularly our late colleague, Professor Thomas Ohlson, and of course Angela Muvumba Sellström, who earned her Ph.D. from our Department in 2015 and remains an associate.

Tor Sellström successfully bridged academia, policy and practice. In 2000, he was awarded the gold medal Illis Quorum by the Swedish government, and in 2002 the FUF Prize by the Swedish NGO Development Forum. It was Tor’s monumental work at NAI on Sweden and National Liberation in Southern Africa (two volumes, based on archival research) and Liberation in Southern Africa: Regional and Swedish Voices (interviews with relevant actors) that made Uppsala University honor him with the degree of Doctor honoris causa (D.h.c.) in 2011.

Tor is deeply missed and we extend our warm condolences to his widow Angela, his son Erik with family and his two sisters and their families.

On behalf of friends and colleagues at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University

Kristine Höglund, Desirée Nilsson, Ashok Swain and Peter Wallensteen

Last modified: 2022-11-09