Robert Hazel’s interest in Africa grew in the late 1960s and the early 1970s while he was a volunteer in Rwanda. His PhD dissertation in anthropology (1984) dealt with East African age-set systems as institutions marking out successive and contrasting stages of virility. Having completed his training in anthropology, he resumed his career in international development, mostly with regard to Sub-Saharan Africa. In 1996, he reactivated his documentary study of East Africa and the Horn of Africa as a non-affiliated researcher. He has published several articles in both French and English, often with a focus on regional or comparative ethnology, in seven different periodicals between 1978 and 2006, as well as a book on infibulation in the Horn of Africa co-authored with a Somali scholar (2007). In 2008, he undertook research on ophidian symbolism in Eastern Africa, a theme that had been initially explored in his doctoral dissertation.