Journalism professor’s prize for study of African ivory trade

Honorary professor in the Centre for Journalism, Keith Somerville, is to receive a prestigious prize for his ground-breaking examination of the history and politics of ivory in Africa.

Keith has been awarded the Marjan-Marsh Prize – given annually by the King’s College’s Marjan Centre for the Study of War and the Non-Human Sphere and the Marsh Trust “to someone who has made an invaluable contribution to an area where conflict and conservation overlap”.

Keith will share the award with Stephane Crayne, who trained and led anti-poaching teams in the Central African Republic. Both will receive their awards and give a presentation on their work at King’s College on 23 November.

At the award ceremony, Keith will also be launching his  book Ivory – Power and Poaching in Africa, which played a key part in his nomination.

Half of Tanzania’s elephants have been killed for their ivory since 2007, and a similarly alarming story can be told of herds in northern Mozambique and swathes of central Africa.

Keith’s new study of the history and politics of ivory in Africa forensically examines why poaching happens and why it is corruption, crime and politics, rather than insurgency, which we should worry about.