Africanist Press Needs Eight Research Assistants for Mano River Project

Africanist Press is recruiting eight research assistants from West Africa to work on a two-year transnational research project that aims to investigate and document sources of illicit financial flows (IFFs) in West Africa. The Africanist Press Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) project will focus on the Mano River corridor of West Africa that includes the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Ivory Coast. The project is designed to study the history of multinational corporate operations and economic activities in the region from the 1970s to the present day.

About the MRU Project: The Mano River corridor of West Africa is a region endowed with immense natural resources, including diamonds, gold, bauxite, aluminum, uranium, timber, and agricultural goods. Such abundance has long fueled colonial and more recent struggles to determine not just how resources were extracted, but also who secured the profits. Multinational corporations from Europe, North America, and increasingly Asia have actively competed for control of these resources.

With its rubber and coffee plantations in Liberia and Ivory Coast, its diamond mines in Sierra Leone, and the bauxite and iron ore reserves in Guinea, the Mano River region remains a site of immense wealth and also a hotbed of political and social conflicts and environmental and epidemiological disasters. Much of the wealth and domestic revenues accrued from mining and agricultural capital and other large-scale foreign direct investment projects are lost to corrupt and clandestine networks and financial crime syndicates. The proceeds in fact are often shipped directly through clandestine operations to offshore destinations, otherwise known as tax havens.

The Africanist Press IFF project will examine how international networks of crime have historically helped to fuel conflict, instability, and underdevelopment in the region. The overall goal of the project is to produce reports that will influence future development policies and contribute to a better understanding of ongoing debates about international development and global security.

Job Description: Africanist Press seeks to recruit eight full-time research assistants (two from each of the Mano River countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast) who will join a multidisciplinary team of academics and investigative journalists for a two-year contractual period. Assignments mostly include collecting and assessing data, authenticating information, interpreting and analyzing evidence, conducting interviews and other general duties relating to the IFF project. Applicants can be based anywhere in MRU countries but must be willing and ready to travel as and when required.

Academic/Other Qualification Requirement: Applicants must be nationals of any of the MRU countries and must hold minimum of a bachelor’s degree in the humanities, social sciences, journalism, and/or mass communication with at least three years of working experience in news reporting, journalism, or any research related project. A master’s degree in any field in the humanities or social sciences will be an added advantage. In addition, prospective candidates must be able to write concise and straight forward prose, and have skills in data analysis, and be familiar with key financial and economic concepts and reporting rubrics. Knowledge of advanced statistical modeling and analysis will be an asset.

Salary: Salary is negotiable based on experience and qualification, and will include travel allowances, costs for accommodation and related expenses when on assigned travel, and recommended training opportunities as and when required. Salary will be paid monthly and in the local currency of the country where employee is assigned.

How to Apply:  Interested applicants must email a cover letter and a resume to  on or before August 15, 2023. Only shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by August 30, 2023. All job offers will commence on September 10, 2023. Women are strongly encouraged to apply. Confidentiality and protection of each employee’s identity is a part of the criteria of recruitment for the IFF project.

About Africanist Press: The Africanist Press is a non-profit organization of investigative journalists and academics established in the U.S. in December 2002 to report on corruption, human rights, and democratic governance in Africa. Africanist Press journalists and researchers have documented and reported on corruption, graft, and human rights issues across many African countries, including in Cameroon, Kenya, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Africanist Press recent work includes together a multi-year investigation that has produced more than 70 reports documenting large-scale financial crimes and corruption in Sierra Leone under the government of Julius Maada Bio. The Sierra Leone investigation has had far-reaching consequences and attracted international attention to the issues of democratic governance and financial corruption in that West African country.

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