Dr. Joseph Sany joins USIP as the vice president of the newly established Africa Center. Dr. Sany has been working at the forefront of peacebuilding with civil society, governments, businesses, and international organizations in Africa for over 20 years.

In his most recent role at FHI 360, Dr. Sany provided technical leadership in the design and implementation of multi-year, multi-million-dollar peacebuilding and civil society development programs in several countries in Africa and Asia. He led the organizational and institutional capacity development strategy of many civil society organizations in Africa. He also advised the design, implementation, and dissemination of the annual USAID Civil Society Sustainability Index that assesses the civil society sector and operating environment in 75 countries, including 32 in Africa.

Prior to his work at FHI 360, Dr. Sany advised international organizations and development agencies including the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, USAID missions, and the Economic Community of Central African States on peacebuilding and development strategies. He led several peacebuilding and civil society program assessment and evaluation missions in more than 20 countries in Africa. In addition, he has worked with USIP staff to expand and establish the U.S. State Department-funded USIP/ African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program as a gold standard of civilian-led pre-deployment curriculum training on the continent. Sany has a rich experience moderating high-level, multi-stakeholder policy dialogues and collaborative actions at the national level in several countries in Africa, including Djibouti, Mali, and Senegal, among others.

Dr. Sany has researched, taught peacebuilding courses, and published scholarly articles on peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and civil society, including the book, “Reintegration of Ex-Combatants: A Balancing Act.” He currently writes about African development and politics in the blog African Praxis. He is fluent in English, French, and West African Pidgin English and holds a doctorate in public policy and a master's in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.

Publications By Joseph

Joseph Sany on the International Day of Peace

Joseph Sany on the International Day of Peace

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

By: Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

Ahead of the International Day of Peace on September 21, USIP’s Joseph Sany says the occasion is “an opportunity to celebrate, reflect and demonstrate our commitment” to building peace in our communities — as well as a chance to connect with millions of others through the Peace Day Challenge.

Type: Podcast

The New U.S. Africa Strategy Is a Moment We Must Seize

The New U.S. Africa Strategy Is a Moment We Must Seize

Thursday, August 11, 2022

By: Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

America’s new strategy toward Africa, released this week amid Secretary of State Blinken’s visit to the continent, offers promise for a newly productive relationship, and not a moment too soon. Global crises such as food insecurity, pandemic diseases and climate change—and Africa’s inevitable move in this generation to the world’s center stage—make a first real U.S.-Africa partnership vital. Yet a strategy is not a solution. Both American and African peoples and governments now face urgent tasks to seize this moment and jointly frame concrete milestones for the implementation of a new transatlantic partnership, ideally by December’s U.S.-African Leaders’ Summit.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

To Counter Russia’s Aggression, Invest in Africa

To Counter Russia’s Aggression, Invest in Africa

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

By: Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

The current struggle by Western democracies to isolate Russia over its assaults on Ukraine and international rule of law will be costly to sustain. Spiking prices for fuels, fertilizers and foods that Russia exports are risking wider socio-economic instability in many countries. A long-term solution must include a Western partnership to invest economically and politically in Africa, arguably Russia’s most formidable potential economic competitor. This strategy can strengthen a rules-based world against economic coercion by authoritarian powers, stabilize African democracies by enabling them to deliver for their people and strengthen international institutions and laws by including African countries more fully in them.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

On Ukraine, Africa Needs a Clearer U.S. Message

On Ukraine, Africa Needs a Clearer U.S. Message

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

By: Heather Ashby, Ph.D.;  Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

As democracies rally to defend an international rules-based system against Russia’s brutal attack on Ukrainians, the United States should forge an alliance with African partners by committing with them now to resolve the Ukraine crisis in a way that makes that system fairer and more inclusive. One early step is for U.S. and other policymakers to highlight the core of this conflict: The 44 million Ukrainians are fighting to govern themselves freely within their internationally recognized borders — a cause that is viscerally real to billions of people across Africa and the “global south.”

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Countering Coups: In Africa, Use Investment to Build Rule of Law

Countering Coups: In Africa, Use Investment to Build Rule of Law

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

By: Joseph Sany, Ph.D.;  Thomas P. Sheehy

Policymakers are urgently seeking ways to reverse the erosion of democracy in fragile states exemplified by the past year’s surge in military coups in and around Africa’s Sahel region. To halt this decline, it’s vital to listen to African voices urging that international partners make the most of a powerful pro-democracy tool: increased foreign investment built upon the rule of law.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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