University of California, Berkeley
21 September 2012
Hosted by UC Berkeley (Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability; College of Natural Resources; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and the African Institute for Development Policy.
The Sahel contains some of the least developed parts of sub-Saharan Africa. It has the world’s most rapid population growth and the greatest exposure to the destructive effects of global warming. On this wide strip of land on the southern edge of the Sahara, stretching from Senegal to Somalia, this combination of challenges will bring huge problems. Unless immediate and significant investments are made, the Sahel will face a humanitarian catastrophe of colossal proportions.
To date, however, the Sahel has been given relatively little priority by the international community. The University of California, Berkeley has recently found itself uniquely positioned to construct the evidence base that policy makers and foreign aid agencies will require to respond realistically to this crisis.
On September 21, 2012, the Bixby Center hosted the OASIS@Berkeley Conference, including 150 researchers, policymakers and advocates from across Africa, Europe and the United States. This conference brought together key experts in climate change, agricultural adaptation, family planning and population, and women’s empowerment. Speakers provided an analysis of the key problems and an exploration of the range of solutions to dramatically reduce the suffering of millions in the Sahel.