I’m pleased to share the news that I have joined the Editorial Board of the Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of the Sahel, which is an initiative of The International Consortium for Geopolitical Studies of the Sahel – a collaborative international research team of experts focusing on the security, socio-political and ecological complex of the Sahel, of which I also am a member.
Joining the Editorial Board of the Interdisciplinary Journal for the Studies of the Sahel is of great meaning to me as an advocate of decolonial feminism through the power of the written and spoken word. In order to secure a safer and more peaceful Africa, it is of high priority that we reframe the rhetoric about the Sahel from a Eurocentric to an Africa-centric one. To quote from the consortium’s pages:
“A research project on the Sahel is necessary and urgent. The region is getting more and more unstable, as is the risk of seeing the number of failed and failing states increase. The sources of instability are complex. They include poverty, the effects of climate change and political violence. There are growing terrorist activities in the region. Great powers’ interventions tend to put emphasis on military solutions and counterinsurgency as exemplified by the creation of the US Africa Command in 2008 and France’s military presence in the region. The Global War on Terror, pursued as Contingency Operation under the current US Administration, has lasted for a decade now. But peace is still elusive and development insufficient to mitigate the needs of a growing population. Counterinsurgency, by its very nature, distorts relationships among people, as it tends to create mistrust in social interactions. Thus, traditional values such as trust, negotiation and collaborative problem solving embedded local cultures are being challenged and replaced by a culture of violence. If we don’t want to see the Sahel look like today’s Somalia or Afghanistan, it is urgent to find a different approach to the problems of the region. This is the raison d’être of the International Consortium for Geopolitical Studies of the Sahel.”
I know that many of you share the above concerns and I urge you to either contribute to the journal if you are able to, and/or share our first call for papers. Hopefully in 10 years time the Sahel will be a region of great wealth, stability and inspiration in Africa, but to make that happen the narrative needs to be reframed. The journal is a specialised section of Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies (www.jpanafrican.org) and it will be an on-line, open access, and peer reviewed scholarly journal devoted to research and analysis of policy, economic, social and political experiences of the Sahel region. Submissions from all disciplinary fields of academic inquiry, including the arts, humanities, social sciences and STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are welcome. To read more, please click on the links below.