CAIRO – A senior member of the ‘Nile Valley Unity Project’ specializing in African Affairs at a Cairo-based African institute has won the prestigious Helmy Shaarawy Award for African Studies, according to a statement extended to Sudans Post by the initiative.
The statement signed by founder of the initiative Hassan Ali al Ghazali said Nisreen Al-Sabahi, a researcher on African affairs at the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) and a member of the research unit at the Nile Valley Unity Project, won the award and will be presented to her tomorrow.
“Researcher Nisreen Al-Sabahi, a member of the research team of the ‘Nile Valley Unity: Future Visions’ project, and a researcher specializing in African affairs at the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS), won the Great Thinker Helmy Shaarawy Award for African Studies for the year (2020-2022),” the statement said, adding that the award will be presented to the researcher on October 24 at Misr Public Library.
According to the statement, Al-Sabahi who graduated with bachelor of political science from Beni Suef University in 2017 “has enriched the field of African studies during the past five years since her graduation, with many published research and studies focusing on issues of terrorism, conflicts, climate change, the region, and the African Sahel in West Africa.”
“She also participated as a speaker in the workshop ‘The future of Africa in the post-pandemic world in light of Africa’s Agenda 2063’ at the World Youth Forum in 2021, during which she presented the experiences of African countries in the face of climate change: a study of the Egyptian case,” the statement added.
Al-Sabahi who has been at the epicenter of decision-making at the Nile Valley Unity Project also holds a master’s degree in African studies from Cairo University’s Faculty of African Postgraduate Studies.
She is also a doctoral researcher on African affairs at Cairo University.
Al-Sabahi expressed her “happiness upon receiving the news of winning the award” and described it as the “best news given the high level of the award in Africa.”
Al-Sabahi’s thesis which was nominated for the award consists of an introductory topic, three chapters, and a final topic, during which the researcher clarified to what extent climate change has affected internal conflicts in East African countries.
In the second chapter, the researcher addresses the impact of climate change on the emergence and development of internal conflicts in the region.
Meanwhile the third chapter discusses the policies of responding to climate change and its role in containing internal conflicts in East Africa and concluded in its final topic by stating the prospects for building environmental peace in Africa.
Reacting to the news, Al Ghazali, founder of the initiative and a member of the research team hailed the researcher for her outstanding achievements and said she was one of the most prominent researchers in the project’s research unit.
Al Ghazali highlighted Al-Sabahi’s participation in many activities, among which is the first meeting of the youth of Egypt and Sudan, within the ‘Project of Unity of the Nile Valley: Future Visions’ in addition to being a researcher in the preparations for the African School 2063 in 2018.
Al Ghazali further stressed “the importance of such awards and events, especially in the field of African studies, which results in encouraging and enhancing the participation of more young researchers to enrich this field, which still needs more study and intellectual production stemming from the Africans themselves.”
The Helmy Shaarawy Award is an annual prize offered for best scientific research in African studies and the tradition of awarding researchers in honor of the Egyptian thinker began in 2010, with winners receiving up to EGP10,000 ($510).
The thinker has many contributions to African affairs, including his assumption of the dossier of African liberation movements in Egypt during the reign of the late Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Shaarawy worked as a professor of political science at the University of Juba in Sudan between 1981 and 1982. He was also an expert on inter-African countries relations and a former president of the African Association for Political Science as well as the founder of the Arab and African Research Center.