LAGOSTECH is a postdoctoral research fellowship project funded through the Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme (grant number 101104921). This project is hosted at KU Leuven University in Belgium and is led by Dr. Davide Casciano, with the supervision of Professor Katrien Pype of KU Leuven and Professor Jan English-Lueck of San José State University.

The overall goal of LAGOSTECH is to investigate the interactions between technology and society in “silicon places” in sub-Saharan Africa, with particular emphasis on Nigeria. Silicon places refer to hubs of technological innovation and entrepreneurship emerging in several African countries. Nigeria has been a dominant location for such hubs on the continent in recent years, making it an ideal site for this study.

The project will explore how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are incorporated into communities and societies from a local perspective, rather than a Western view. An ethnographic approach will be used to observe ICT use in its broader social contexts, across a variety of spaces and environments, which may differ from tech hubs. This project will demonstrate how African silicon places evolve or decline as a result of grassroots social processes and discussions regarding the role of technology in the future of each community.

Research findings from this study aim to contribute to academic understanding of the relationships between ICTs, entrepreneurship, local creativity, and communities in West Africa. This project will also provide insights useful to technology companies, foreign institutions, and African policymakers looking to collaborate with the African digital sector.

LAGOSTECH will produce the first ethnographic study of the interactions between people, cultures, and digital technologies in African silicon places. It will achieve this by combining anthropological studies of Silicon Valley conducted at San José State University (California) with the knowledge of African societies and technologies developed at KU Leuven University (Belgium). While the project is rooted in social and cultural anthropology, it also draws upon disciplines such as sociology, science and technology studies, and African studies.


Davide Casciano, PhD, is the lead researcher for the LAGOSTECH project. As an anthropologist, he has over a decade of experience in ethnographic fieldwork in Nigeria, primarily in Ibadan, Port Harcourt, and Lagos. As an MA student in medical anthropology, he conducted research in Ibadan in 2011, later completing his PhD at Sapienza University of Rome in 2018, examining the relationships between religion and oil conflicts in Port Harcourt. In 2021, he was appointed Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bologna’s Department of History, Culture, and Civilization, contributing to the Norwegian Research Council’s collaborative project ‘LUXCORE’, which examines corruption and luxury in Lagos. In 2023, Casciano worked as a Research Fellow at University College London’s Department of Social Anthropology on a project funded by the European Research Council entitled ‘EXTORT’, examining digital extortion in Nigeria. A Research Associate and Marie-Curie Postdoctoral fellow at the KU Leuven Department of Social Anthropology since 2024, he provides crucial ethnographic and theoretical knowledge for LAGOSTECH’s explorations of technology and society in African silicon places.

Professor Katrien Pype, a leading European social anthropologist at KU Leuven, oversees the LAGOSTECH project at KU Leuven. She serves as an Associate Professor and Research Coordinator in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. With a doctorate focused on TV fiction production for Christian evangelisation in Kinshasa, she brings extensive expertise on society and technology in Africa, especially in Congo. As a Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Anthropological Research in Africa (KU Leuven) and the MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society, she explored sociality, ICTs, and the lives of the elderly in Kinshasa. Prof Pype coordinates a team project on technology cultures in urban DR Congo, and conducts research on smart city development in Africa and beyond. Her invaluable expertise in technology and African society is crucial to LAGOSTECH’s success.

Professor June Anne English-Lueck oversees LAGOSTECH at San José State University and is among the pioneers studying silicon places’ daily life and development, particularly in China. As a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for the Future and a Professor in the SJSU Department of Anthropology, she brings extensive expertise in the study of culture and technology. Formerly serving as Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the College of Social Sciences, she also held the positions of President for both the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Southwestern Anthropological Association. Collaborating with Chuck Darrah, Prof English-Lueck developed SVCP, a comparative study of Silicon Valley culture since 1991. Her research on technologically saturated communities and theoretical insights into silicon places are invaluable assets to LAGOSTECH.


Several partners are involved in the implementation of LAGOSTECH.

LAGOSTECH is a project funded by Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (HORIZON-MSCA-2022-PF-01), the European Commission’s Research Executive Agency for doctoral education and postdoctoral training, under project number: 101104921.

KU Leuven University, Belgium, hosts LAGOSTECH through its Africa and Technology research group within the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Additionally, the project was co-funded by the KU Leuven 2023 CoF/23/001 Special Research Fund.

Through its Department of Anthropology, College of Social Science, San José State University (SJSU) hosts LAGOSTECH’s outgoing phase.

In addition to providing logistical support to LAGOSTECH in Nigeria, the Lagos Studies Association also helps to discuss the findings of the research in the contexts in which it is conducted.

Furthermore, a project such as LAGOSTECH would not have been possible without the collaboration of the many individuals involved during its development in different parts of the world; experts, entrepreneurs, users, innovators, scholars, students, and many others who willingly contributed their time to the production of its scientific outputs. Thank you!