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The George Shepherd Memorial Paper Contest

Students for Africa, in conjunction with African Initiatives, each year sponsors a contest for the best University of Denver student papers on contemporary African issues. Each submission is peer reviewed by a team of advanced students with African expertise. The latest winning papers appear here.


First Place Winner- Poverty, Politics, and Religion: Understanding the Rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria by Rachel Goodman

Second Place Winner- A Systemic Review of Smallholder Farmers Climate Resiliency in the Savannah Agro-Ecological Zone of Ghana by Michael Madin

Third Place Winner- Globalization and International Marijuana Markets: Lesotho's Green Revolution? by Joe Downes


First Place Winner- "I can't sell peace like they do": Youth Civil Resistance and Art in Eastern Congo by Summer Downs

Second Place Winner- The Women Speak of Peace: A Strategic Assessment of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace Movement by Adeola Ajirotutu

Third Place Winner- Growing Violence: A Call for Mutually Reinforcing Protection Strategies in Burundi by Gavin Kiger


First Place Winner - "Digital Technology is Dependent on Forced Labor: The Exploitative Labor Practices of Cobalt Extraction in DRC" by Elise Mann

Second Place Winner - "Mother Tongue Education in Sub-Saharan Africa" by Diego Prados

Third Place Winner - "Gender Experiences of HIV in Malawi" by Daniel Odetola

2016 winners

First Place Winner - "Township Jazz & Apartheid: Interaction between Indians and Black South Africans" by Sonora Dolce, AHSS, Lamont School of Music

Second Place Winner - "Democratization Strategy in Africa: a Nonlinear Approach" by Luke Temple, International Security, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Third Place Winner - "Agricultural Development Strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Case for Ethiopian Land Certification" by Coleen Hogan, International Development, Josef Korbel School of International Studies


First Place Winner - "Inclusive Education and Children with Disabilities in Ethiopia" by Brittany Franck

Second Place Winner - "Remembering to Forget: The Influence of Genocide on Foreign Aid in Rwanda" by Ryan Goehrung

Third Place Winner - "The Grand Inga Illusion" by David Lunde