SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Justice Africa

Justice Africa is an independent non-governmental organisation which began as an advocacy organisation and research institute in 1999, and has become a platform to amplify the voices of Africa’s civic activists and to foster solidarity between them. The organisation advocates for citizen participation in decision-making on issues of peace, justice and democracy. Justice Africa undertakes research and design process-oriented programmes based on consultation with affected communities and partnerships with like-minded organisations.


In February-March 2014 the Centre of African Studies collaborated with Justice Africa on a series of seminars called Talking Eritrea. The seminars were programmed by the team at Justice Africa and facilitated by CAS. The series aimed to contribute towards awareness-raising on critical issue areas as defined by long-standing researchers, activists, academics and authors, as well as to promote dialogue among relevant stakeholders. 

In a report reviewing the series, Reflecting on the limits of ‘Talking Eritrea’ both inside and outside the country, project officer Harry Duncan wrote: ‘It is no secret that there are limits on criticism of the government inside Eritrea, but the idea that you are either for the government or against the nation is being promoted internationally too; this is a substantial barrier to dialogue and progress. Our ‘Talking Eritrea’ Series convened with Centre of African Studies (SOAS) highlighted the problem and demonstrated the need for new spaces for public deliberation and exchanges between government and opposition supporters.’

Further details of the events can be found below and the series programme can be downloaded on the right-hand side of this page.

Eritreans: Migrants or Migrating Refugees?
3rd February 2014
Speaker: Prof. Dan Connell
Chair: Martin Plaut
Respondent: Jason Mosley

On National Service and its impacts on the social fabric of Eritrean Society
17th February 2014
Speaker: Prof. Gaim Kibreab
Chair: Dr David Styan
Respondents: Selam Kidane, Iyob Tsegai

On Sinai Human Trafficking & Torture
3rd March 2014
Speaker: Meron Estefanos

Panel Discussion: Limits on Research and Reporting in Eritrea: the Implications for Peace and Rights
17th March 2014
Panellists: Dr John Campbell, Dr Laura Hammond (chair), Dawit Mesfin, Dr Sarah Ogbay and Michela Wrong