The International Consortium for Geopolitical Studies of the Sahel, Consortium International pour l’Etude de la Geopolitique du Sahel is a collaborative international research team of experts focusing on the security, socio-political and ecological complex of the Sahel.

The Sahel Consortium Members

Marcel Kitissou, Coordinator, holds a PhD in Political Science from Syracuse University and a doctorate in Contemporary History from the Université de Bordeaux, France. Other graduate and professional degrees include African Studies, Sociology of Politics and Collective Action, Modern Literature (Bordeaux), National Defense Policy (Nice), and Public Management (Institut International d’Administration Publique, Paris, France). He taught in the PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies Program at Union Institute & University; served as Faculty Director of the Global Humanitarian Action Program at George Mason University; Executive Director of the Africa Faith and Justice Network (Washington, DC); Director of the P.E.A.C.E. Institute at SUNY-Oswego; Director of the Institut Supérieur de Presse de l’Entente, and Associate Director at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration in Togo. He just completed a three-year term on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International-USA. Currently, he is Visiting Fellow with the Institute for African Development at Cornell University and Contributing Faculty in the PhD Program of the School of Public Policy and Administration at Walden University. His research and publications focus on international security, the politics of water, hunger and political stability, and China’s presence in Africa.

Muna Ndulo is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. He is also the Elizabeth and Arthur Reich Director, Leo and Arvilla Berger International Legal Studies Program, Cornell Law School, and Director of the Cornell University’s Institute for African Development. He is also Honorary Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town, Extra Ordinary Professor of Law, Free State University and he is Honorary Professor West Cape University. He was formerly Professor of Law and Dean of the School of Law, University of Zambia. Professor Ndulo served as Legal Officer in the International Trade Law Branch of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) from 1986 to 1995. He has carried out several UN assignments, including serving as Chief Political and Legal Adviser with the United Nations Mission Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA) and to the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to South Africa from 1992 to 1994, Legal Officer, Kosovo (2000), Afghanistan (2003) and East Timor (1999). More recently, he has been a consultant to the constitution-making processes in Kenya, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Professor Ndulo was appointed by the UN Secretary General to serve on the Civil Society Advisory Board on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.

The author of 21 books and over 120 articles in academic journals, he has served as Arbitrator on ICC and ICSID Cases. He is a recipient of several academic awards including; Distinguished  Africanist Award (New York African Studies Association, 2012); Award for Excellence in the Teaching , Advising and Mentoring of Graduate and Professional Students, (Cornell University, 2012) and The Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Global Excellence and Stature, (2018 University of Johannesburg). He is the founder of the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR) Professor Ndulo graduated in law at the University of Zambia with an LLB degree and subsequently earned an LL.M. at Harvard University and a D.Phil. at Trinity College, Oxford University.

Jideofor Adibe holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and a doctorate in International Development Studies from Roskilde University, Denmark.  He also holds an LLM degree in Media Law from City University, London and equally studied the New Economic Powers at Oxford University, UK. He has been a Guest Research Fellow in several research institutes across the world including the Centre for Development Research, Copenhagen, Denmark; the Nordic Institute for African Studies, Uppsala, Sweden; the Centre for Developing Area Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada and the Institute for Commonwealth Studies, University of London, UK. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in political science at Nasarawa State University, a columnist for the Daily Trust (Thursdays, back page) and a member of the paper’s Editorial Board. He has published several books and articles.

Mamoudou Gazibo is Professor of Political Science at the University of Montreal (Canada). He holds a doctorate in comparative politics from the Université Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV, France. His research relates to democratization and institutions building in Africa, China-Africa relations, and theoretical/methodological issues in comparative politics. His publications include La politique comparée : fondements, enjeux et approches théoriques (2004); Les paradoxes de la démocratisation en Afrique (2005); Introduction à la politique africaine (2010); Le politique en Afrique : état des débats et pistes de recherche, co-edited with C. Thiriot (2009) ; Un nouvel ordre mondial made in China ?co-authored with R. Chantal (2011) and Neopatrimonialism in Africa and Beyond, edited with D. Bach (2012). In 2010, Professor Gazibo chaired the Constitutional Reform Committee in Niger and served as senior adviser to the Prime Minister of Niger from 2010 to 2011.

Mechthild Nagel teaches social philosophy at the State University of New York at Cortland where she directs the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies. She is Senior Visiting Fellow with the Institute for African Development at Cornell University. During the 2012-13 academic year, she serves as DAAD Visiting Professor at Fulda University, Germany. Dr. Nagel has consulted for Quakers International on the rights of incarcerated mothers to keep their children in prisons in Africa. She has coedited seven books and authored dozens of articles on critical race theory, gender politics, human rights, and is working on a monograph on Ubuntu ethics of punishment. Professor Nagel is editor-in-chief of Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies online at wagadu.org.

Modibo Traoré is a Statistics Engineer. He joined the National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT, formerly DNSI) of the Republic of Mali in 2000 as a senior officer. Currently, he is the head of the division. Graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration of Mali and of the Centre Ouest Africain d’Etudes Bancaires et Financières in Dakar, Sénégal, he has extensive experience and knowledge of sub-Saharan African issues. He worked closely with research institutions in and outside Mali in particular in the fields of economic, social and financial research. Modibo is one of the managers of the socio-economic database of Mali “Malikunnafoni” in DevInfo application. This database aims to assess progress in the fight against poverty, the Millennium Development Goals, and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

Beniam Awash is Director of Seba Africa Group, LLC and Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at Binghamton University, where he is completing a dissertation entitled: Violent Climate: Political Ecology of Climate Change, Conflict and ‘Land Grabs’ in Darfur, Sudan and Abiyotawi (Revolutionary) Ethiopia.’ He holds an MA in International Relations from Binghamton University and a BA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He specializes in political sociology, environmental sociology, climate security, sustainable development, and the Horn of Africa. He served as a research associate at the Research Foundation, State University of New York from 2009-2011 and was the senior research aide at the Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas from 2006-2010. Amongst his forthcoming publications are: Political Ecology, Climate Change and Conflict Research: Methodological Pathways and Climate Variability and Violence in the Sahel: Darfur’s Civil War as a Conflict of ‘Bearers of Contradictory Rights.’ 

Ruddy M. Doom holds a doctorate in Political Science from Rijksuniversiteit of Gent, Belgium. He has been Full-Professor in the Department of Conflict Resolution and Development at the University of Gent since 1986. He served as Head of the Department’s Centre for Third World Studies (1992-2000) and as Dean of the Political & Social Sciences Faculty (2000-2004). Since 2004, he became Member of the Board of Management of the University of Ghent. He has published numerous books and articles in national and international journals on development, conflict and humanitarian issues in Africa in Flemish and in English. He is also fluent in French.

Koen Vlassenroot is Professor of Political Sciences and Director of the Conflict Research Group at the University of Ghent. He is also the Director of the Observatoire de l’Afrique and an associate senior researcher at the Egmont Institute. He is a member of the Congo Affinity Group. He specializes in conflict dynamics in Central Africa, with a particular interest in eastern DRC. He has written numerous book chapters and articles on militias, land access, rebel governance and state-building. He co-edited ‘The Lord’s Resistance Army’ published by Zed, London. His current research projects focus on artisanal mining and land conflicts in eastern DRC and on public authority, justice and security in DRC and CAR.

Nelson Obirih-Opareh earned his PhD in Behavioral Science (Economics) from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He did his post-doctoral training in Population Studies at Princeton University. He published numerous books and articles including in African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology; Ghana Journal of Science; Journal of Applied Science and Technology; Journal of Environmental Management; and Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie. Among others, he served as Member of the Examination Board for Postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Management of the Institute of Local Government Studies in Accra, Ghana. He is currently Principal Research Scientist and Head of Division of Agriculture, Medicine and Environment Division at the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute in Accra.

Kwadwo A. Sarfoh is Associate Professor of African Studies and an Adjunct faculty member in the Department of Geography and Planning both at the State University of New York at Albany. He is a graduate of the University of Legon, Ghana, and the University of Cincinnati, USA. He trained with professors Wolf Roder (mentor), Howard Stafford and Bruce Ryan at the University of Cincinnati. His research and writing in the area of developmental geography in Africa with specific reference to the south of the Sahara, have been supported by, among others, the West African Research Association, the African American Institute, New York State and the University at Albany. He is the author of Energy for Development in West Africa; and Hydropower Development in West Africa: A Study in Resource Development. He is currently completing a manuscript entitled The Future of Water in Africa to be published by Mellen Press.

Horace Campbell holds a joint Professorship in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Political Science, Maxwell School- Syracuse University. He has just published, Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya, Monthly Review Press, 2013. His previous book was Barack Obama and 21st Century Politics: A Revolutionary Moment in the USA, Pluto Press, 2010. He is also the author of Reclaiming Zimbabwe: the Exhaustion of the Patriarchal Model of Liberation, and Pan Africanism, Pan Africanists and African Liberation in the 21st Century. He has just published, Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya, Monthly Review Press, 2013. His most famous book, Rasta and Resistance: from Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney is going through its eight printing. He has published more than 40 journal articles and a dozen monographs as well as chapters in edited books.

Bert Lockwood is the Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.  Founded in 1979, the Morgan Institute is one of the oldest programs devoted to the study of international human rights.  Since 1982, Professor Lockwood has been Editor-in-Chief of Human Rights Quarterly, a multidisciplinary academic journal published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. Google ranked it the number 2 international law journal, and it ranked number 5 out of 536 academic journals on the electronic website Project Muse in terms of downloads of articles. Additionally Lockwood is Series Editor of Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights, a series of the University of Pennsylvania Press that has published over 100 books. The Morgan Institute places law students in externships with human rights organizations around the world. Prior to taking up his post in 1979 at Cincinnati, Lockwood was the Assistant Director of the Center for International Studies at NYU, and the Associate Dean at American University Law School.  He was a co-founder of the International Human Rights Law Group, now Global Rights.

Aniket Shah is a global investment strategist for Investec Asset Management, an international investment management firm based in South Africa. As such, he works with large institutional investors from the public and private sectors to develop long-term portfolio investment strategies focusing on emerging markets. As a leading member of the firm’s Investment Institute, he directs research initiatives dealing with macroeconomic developments. He has written white-papers on global economic trends, including the role of trade and investment flow on African growth and development. Formerly, Aniket served as Special Assistant to Professor Jeffrey Sachs at the Earth Institute, where he managed a team of researchers working on international development projects in Africa, Asia and North America. Prior to that, he was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs & Co, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions in the Financial Services Group. Aniket’s most recent book, Learning from the World: New Ideas to Redevelop America, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. He is a graduate of Yale University, where he collaborated closely with former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo and UN Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch Brown on research He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA.

Oliver C. Ruppel (LLB Hons, LLM, LLD) is the Director of the Development and Rule of Law Programme (DROP) and Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa). He is Professor Extraordinaire at several universities in Africa and around the world and a Fellow of the Ciucci Centre for Law and Social Development, an initiative of the Stonehage Charitable Trust. Until 2010 he held one of the worldwide 14 academic chairs of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Geneva, Switzerland, which he established at the University of Namibia, Windhoek, where he had previously also served as the Director of the national Human Rights and Documentation Centre. He currently serves as Coordinating Lead Author for “Africa” in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group II. He is an international arbitrator with the Association of Arbitrators of Southern Africa, member of the International Conservations Union (IUCN) Law Academy, Ottawa, Canada, member of the Board of the African Law Association, Germany, member of the Commission for Legal Pluralism, Zurich, Switzerland, member of the South African and Swiss Branches of the International Law Association, and member of various editorial boards, including the NIALS Journal of Environmental Law, Lagos, Nigeria, the legal series Legal Perspectives on Global Challenges, The Hague, Netherlands and the legal series Law and Constitution in Africa, Nomos Publishers, Germany.

Mestek Lamine is a PHD student in Political Science and International Relations at Algiers -3 University. His dissertation research is on “Security threats in the Sahel region and its relationship to the Algerian national security.” Mestek holds two Master’s degrees from Tizi-Ouzou and Blida universities, Algeria, in  Political Science and International Relations respectively. The first Master’s thesis was on “Darfur Crisis and its regional and international dimensions.” The second one was on “The Human security in the Sahel and the role of Algerian Law.” Three of his articles were published in the African Journal of Political Science. As a member of AIESEC (Association International des Etudiants en Science Economique et Commerciale), he chaired many national and international conferences. In 2012, after a devastating fire in the Chrea Mountains, located at Blida City in Algeria, he organized TEDxChrea (Technology Entertainment and Design), the first international conference about environment and sustainable development with numerous expert speakers. Mestek believes that the power of change lies within innovation and action. His career goal includes becoming Mayor for Chrea, and he is interested in honing his management and political campaign skills with expert organizations.

Ayele Bekerie is an Associate Professor of ancient African History at Mekelle University (MU). He earned his PhD at Temple University.  He also holds two masters degrees from Cornell University. Bekerie, who taught for 14 years at Cornell University, is the author of the award-winning book “Ethiopic, An African Writing System: Its History and Principles“. He has served as the Coordinator of Graduate Studies of the Department of History at MU.  He has also served as a major advisor to 25 MA graduate students since joining the Department in 2010.  Bekerie has led a research team in Hawzen and MaiMekden, Tigray, from 2011 to 2014 to successfully conserve ancient heritage sites. His papers have been published in scholarly journals such as ANKH: Journal of Egyptology and African Civilizations and the Journal of the Horn of Africa.  He is also the creator of the African Writing System web site. Bekerie’s published work includesThe 1896 Battle of Adwa and the Forging of Ethiopian Nation,” in Themes in African History and Culture (2014), and “The African Union and the Institutionalization of Pan-Africanism,” in Jubilee African Union, May 2013. He was also a co-convener of the December 2010 International Conference on Ancient African Manuscripts held at Africa Hall in Addis Ababa. Bekerie appears frequently on the Amharic Services of VOA. He is a regular contributor to Tadias Electronic Magazine of New York City. He has appeared on BBC/Discovery Channels Video Documentary entitled “Queen of Sheba: Behind the Myth.”

Jibrin Ibrahim is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abuja where he was Director until November 2013. He is an outstanding scholar-activist with an international reputation. Professor Ibrahim received degrees in Political Science from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and a doctorate in Politics from the University of Bordeaux in France. He taught political science at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for twenty years and has been a Professor at the Institute of Federalism in Fribourg, Switzerland among several other academic accomplishments. Dr. Ibrahim has lectured, published and consulted extensively on democratization, identity based conflicts and governance in Africa. He is a well-regarded leader in civil society with over thirty years experience of activism. He has been Chair of the Society for Monitoring and Evaluation of Nigeria, the Nigeria Chapter of Global Action Against Poverty and the West Africa Civil Society Forum. He was also a member of the Electoral Reform Committee established by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and has observed elections in Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Togo, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Guinea for the Centre for Democracy and Development, Economic Community of West African States, the Carter Centre and the Commonwealth.

Minna Salami is a Nigerian, Finnish and Swedish writer, and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, through which she is a frequently sought ideas journalist, keynote speaker, gender specialist, lecturer and consultant. She has been referred to as ‘one of the key feminist voices of our times’ and is listed alongside Angelina Jolie and Michelle Obama as one of ’12 women changing the world’ by ELLE Magazine. Her work advocates global feminist change while critically exploring the relationship between gender, ethnicity, politics, pop culture and social criticism from an Africa-centred perspective. Minna is a contributor to the UK Guardian and a monthly columnist for the Guardian Nigeria. She has spoken at hundreds of venues, including some of the world’s most prominent international institutions such as Yale University, the Oxford Union and the Singularity University at NASA. In 2016, she joined Friends of the Earth to work as a lead author on the BIG IDEAS project, which identified 30 big ideas to change the world. She has also served as a nominator for the Prince Claus Foundation and the Princess of Asturias Foundation.  A well-known public figure, she draws hundreds of thousands of readers through her platform. 

Andreas Herberg-Rothe, Dr. phil. habil, is a senior lecturer in the
Faculty of Social and Cultural Studies at the University of Applied
Sciences, Fulda University, Germany. He is teaching and doing research in the field
of “violence and peace in world society” and is an internationally
recognized Clausewitz scholar (www.herberg-rothe.com).

Cathy Majtenyi is currently Research Communications/Media Relations Specialist in the Office of Research Services at Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada. Prior to this, Ms Majtenyi spent 12 years based in Nairobi, Kenya as a freelance journalist in East Africa, nine years of which she was a contract radio and TV reporter for Voice of America. She has written a book, African Inspirations: From Trial into Triumph, which she is in the process of publishing. The book contains more than two-dozen vignettes highlighting individual and groups who have made a difference, to various degrees, in Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, and Somaliland. The vignettes are organized under the themes of poverty, environment, food security, and war. The book is meant to counteract negative images of Africa that media often perpetuate.

Francesco Strazzari is Research Professor at NUPI (Oslo) and Associate Professor of International Relations at the Pisa-based Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies. He specializes in conflict studies, with a focus on European and African security. He holds a PhD from the European University Institute, a Master in Conflict Analysis (NPSIA, Carleton U), a post-graduate diploma (SAIS) and a laureate from the University of Bologna. He has been guest fellow in various research institutes, as well as Adjunct Professor of International Relations at both the University of Bologna and SAIS Europe, and Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Amsterdam. He is currently affiliated with the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), the Oslo-based Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime and the ECPR Standing Group on Transnational Organized Crime (SGOC). His articles and essays address questions of extra-legal governance, insurgencies/terrorism, change and continuity in state and regional orders. More information can be accessed at http://www.francescostrazzari.eu/,

Pauline E. Ginsberg, PhD., Professor, Emerita of Psychology, Utica College, Utica, NY. During her academic career, Professor Ginsberg’s research included studies of mental health services in the U.S., Albania, and Kenya and adolescent development in the U.S. and in Kenya, where she held a Fulbright research/teaching award during 2002.  Since her retirement in 2005, Prof. Ginsberg has been employed as a consultant and researcher and has volunteered at refugee resettlement agencies and adult English as a Second Language classes.  She co-edited The Handbook of Social Research Ethics with Donna Mertens (Sage Publications, 2009) and The Sahel:  Focus of Hope, Focus of Fear with Marcel Kitissou (Adonis & Abbey, 2014). She currently volunteers at United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants-Albany.

Haruna Dlakwa is Professor of Public Administration, specialized in Public Policy Analysis. He has a B.Sc. in Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria-Nigeria in 1978; M.A in Political Science  (Public Administration) from Ohio University, Athens Oh. in 1981; and a PhD. in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh, Pa. in 1984. He has been teaching at the University of Maiduguri from 1979 to date, rising to the rank of Professor in 1998. Professor Dlakwa has been Head of Department of Political Science and Administration (1993-1998), Dean of Faculty of Management Sciences (1998-1999); Dean of Faculty of Management Sciences (2014-2016); Director of the Centre for Peace, Diplomatic and Development Studies (2005-2014 and 2016-date); and Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies (2015-date). His research interest is in Intergovernmental Relations, Peace and Conflict Resolution, and Development  in Africa.

Maurice OGBONNAYA is a Senior Research Fellow in Defence, Security and Strategic Studies at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria. He had previously worked as Security and Policy Analyst with the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), National Assembly, Abuja-Nigeria. A Laureate of the VII South-South Institute jointly organised in 2014 by the International Development Economic Associates (IDEAs), Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) & Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) in Bangkok, Thailand, Ogbonnaya holds PhD in Political Science from University of Uyo, Nigeria. At different times, Dr. Ogbonnaya has served as research consultant to several local and international governmental and non-governmental organisations; Partners West Africa, Nigeria (PWAN), Abuja; Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Abuja; the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF); Small Arms Survey (SAS), Geneva; Presidential Committee on Small Arms (PresCom), Abuja; and House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, National Assembly, Abuja, Nigeria, among others. His research interests include Security and Strategic Studies, Conflict Management, African Political Economy, Policy Analysis and Legislative Practice and has published widely in reputable local and international academic outlets in these areas. Ogbonnaya has also received capacity-building trainings in Public Policy Analysis, Peacekeeping and International Conflict Resolution, Legislative Practice, Election Observation, Scenario Planning and Developing Strategies for Countering Violent Extremism from some of the best training institutions within an and outside Africa; Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), Geneva; Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI), Arusha-Tanzania, and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra – Ghana, among other places.

Julius Agbor is associate professor of finance & economics at Vanguard University since August 2016. Holder of a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, he has published in scientific journals and contributed several book chapters on international political economy and development issues. His research has also featured in The New York Times. Prior to coming to Vanguard, he served as a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, a consultant for several organizations including The World Bank, The U.S. State Department and Treasury. Dr. Agbor has a rich and diverse professional background working for government, academia, think tank and the private sector in developing, emerging and advanced economy contexts. He’s also a minister of the Gospel with the Assemblies of God.

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  1. Pingback: the Sahel at the Crossroads | the Sahel Consortium

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