News

New NASA-USAID grant to study urbanization and deforestation in Ghana

Ghana has experienced significant deforestation over the last decades. Much of the tropical forest has been lost as a result of agricultural expansion, mining, logging, and rapid urbanization. Our new project funded by NASA and USAID aims at examining these changes in Eastern and Central Ghana. More specifically, our goal is to model the linkages … Continue reading New NASA-USAID grant to study urbanization and deforestation in Ghana

The Border Studies Co-authorship dataset (1986-2018)

Border studies have become increasingly global over the past two decades. Yet, in a new paper published in the Journal of Borderlands Studies (JBS), we show that border scholars have a strong preference for publishing within their own country. Our paper builds on a novel database who contains the year, issue, names, and country of residence … Continue reading The Border Studies Co-authorship dataset (1986-2018)

A new spatial indicator of political violence in Africa

While violence remains on the increase in North and West Africa, it remains unclear whether armed groups are intensifying their efforts in particular localities, spreading insecurity to a growing number of regions, or relocating under the pressure of government forces. In order to provide some evidence for these crucial questions, my colleagues Steve Radil, David … Continue reading A new spatial indicator of political violence in Africa

Can the French in Mali learn from Chad?

Photo by Constant Loubier on Unsplash. More than forty years separate the first French intervention in Chad from Opération Serval launched by France in northern Mali in 2013. Yet, the two military operations are similar enough to wonder if France could perhaps learn from its past experience in the region. The origins of the interventions … Continue reading Can the French in Mali learn from Chad?

Urbanism at the Margins – Centering African Border Towns and Cities

The African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) organizes an international conference on African border towns and cities at the University of Lomé this month. The two-day conference will consider the full spectrum of urbanism from border towns to full-blown cities, with a view to shedding light on how the border setting shapes urban forms, livelihoods and aesthetics … Continue reading Urbanism at the Margins – Centering African Border Towns and Cities

Trade networks and gender in West Africa

In West Africa, interpersonal networks between entrepreneurs make food systems both economically efficient and socially unequal In a new paper published with Michel Tenikue and Marie Trémolières in World Development today, we show that economic performance is statistically correlated with centrality in the network. The most prosperous actors in the rice network are those who have … Continue reading Trade networks and gender in West Africa

The diffusion of violence in the Sahel-Sahara

In the West African Sahel and Sahara, armed groups do not limit their attacks to a particular sanctuary, territory or “turf” as urban gangs might. Instead, they move relatively freely across the region, including across state boundaries, and strike at locations that are often far away from each other. The hostages liberated this month by … Continue reading The diffusion of violence in the Sahel-Sahara

CFP: Urbanism at the Margins – Centering African Border Towns and Cities

The African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) organizes its 2019 Annual Meeting on 'Urbanism at the Margins – Centering African Border Towns and Cities' at the University of Lomé, Togo from 16-18 September. The deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday 7th June 2019. Workshop theme Since 2007, ABORNE has hosted an annual workshop or conference … Continue reading CFP: Urbanism at the Margins – Centering African Border Towns and Cities

Towards a more regional approach to health in West Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa has made tremendous progress on health since the beginning of the 2000s. Mortality rates, for example, have decreased rapidly, and, as a consequence, the average life expectancy has increased from 50 to 60 years in the last 15 years. Yet, our new study on border cities found that health infrastructure are very unequally … Continue reading Towards a more regional approach to health in West Africa

Delays and checkpoints reduce accessibility in West Africa

Wait times at borders make cities far less accessible. Between Mali, Burkina and Côte d’Ivoire, or in the Futa Jalon, for example, the population that could be reached decreases by 25% because of wait times at borders. This is one of the main findings of our new study on border cities in West Africa, in … Continue reading Delays and checkpoints reduce accessibility in West Africa