Anti-slavery policy and public engagement: An Abolitionist Forum in Niger, March 2023 

Anti-slavery policy and public engagement: An Abolitionist Forum of West African Civil Society Organisations in Niamey, Niger, in March 2023.

AFRAB is the first large-scale historical research project on abolitionism in Africa. Its results have potential to contribute not only to African historiography, but also to the work of African anti-slavery NGOs and activists committed to the suppression of slavery and its legacies today.

AFRAB supported the organisation of a policy-focused public engagement forum at the Palace of Congresses of Niamey, Niger, on 15-16 March 2023. The forum was entitled “Making the Fight against Slavery a Shared and Consensual Combat of Civil Society Organisations and the Governments of the G5 Sahel Countries”. The forum was an initiative of the Nigerien NGO Timidria, one of the leading abolitionist NGOs in Africa, and was organised under the aegis of Niger’s Ministry of Justice. It brought together the main abolitionist associations of West Africa (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinée, Senegal, Chad, Niger) and representatives of Niger’s government, alongside national and international stakeholders active in the field of anti-slavery. It was aimed at debating the legacies and resilience of historical slavery in West Africa, lobbying West African governments to introduce more stringent anti-slavery measures, identifying best practices, and consolidating the collaboration of a sub-regional network of African anti-slavery NGOs.

Policy event in Niamey, Niger on the 15th of March, 2023

Ali Bouzou, President of Timidria, Niger, addressing the audience

Apsatou Bagaya, Hadijatou Mani, Aicha Mohammed Kolan Kolan, and grassroots leaders of the women's antislavery movement. Photo courtesy of Apsatou Bagaya.

Front row from the left, leading human rights activists, Ibrahim Idbaltanat of Mali, Ilguilas Weila of Niger, Ahmadou Diemdioda of Burkina Faso, Rhaichatou Walet of Mali. Photo courtesy of Apsatou Bagaya.

Intervention by Hon. Moussa Zangaou of Niger. Photo courtesy of Apsatou Bagaya.

For the full programme of the Forum click on the link below:

A reportage on the forum appeared in Le Sahel:

Following the forum, Nigerien researchers collaborating with AFRAB and the PI (Prof Zakaria Maikorema, Dr Oumarou Moussa and Prof Benedetta Rossi) were received by H.E. Prof. Mamoudou Djibo, Minister of Higher Education and Research of the Republic of Niger, and discussed the research collaboration and dissemination activities carried out in the framework of the AFRAB Project.

Policy event participants, from left to right: Prof. Zakari Maikorema, the Minister Prof. Mamoudou Djibo, Prof. Benedetta Rossi, Dr Oumarou Moussa et Dr Amadou Hassane

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 885418).

European Research Council (ERC): European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme