Khadija Sharife

Africa Forensics Investigator

Writer and researcher Khadija Sharife is a specialist in investigative research with a keen interest in shining a light on financial opacity.

She is the lead Africa forensics investigator with Investigative Dashboard and the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting, where her areas of focus span environmental injustice, resource politics, financial secrecy jurisdictions, apartheid reparations and multinational corporations.

She is also the author of Tax Us If You Can: Africa.

Sharife is a champion of ensuring that the truth is exposed and made public.

“I don’t see myself as an agent of change or anything special. I am, by nature, someone who is protective and will act to protect. While I believe deeply in fighting for ecological justice and reparations, I believe that it must be based on critical investigative research,” she says.

“I see myself as a decent researcher and writer; if I have a good quality, perhaps it is that I am driven. Not everyone has the luxury of dedicating the better part of their time to what they believe in.”

Some of her recent research has covered topics including diamond mining and trading in South Africa and the working conditions at a chocolate factory in Madagascar.

Her research and conclusions have been featured in a wide variety of publications including Africa Confidential, African Business, Le Monde Diplomatique, The Economist and the London Review of Books.

Sharife’s investigations also appear regularly in academic journals such as the SA Journal of Human Rights, World Policy Journal and the Review of African Political Economy.

Our resources are not infinite, she says, and people need to rethink resource-intensive developments. “Who sets the price tag?” she asks. That will always be subject to human valuation, with some humans seen as more valuable than others.

Sharife also co-ordinates the Africa hub of the Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade (EJOLT) project, investigating African social resistance to ecological crises, and she arranged for 200 conflicts across Africa to be mapped and recorded on EJOLT. — Lesley Stones