Why did we create CREATES ?

CREATES was brought to life in 2023 by a collective of researchers, practitioners, activists, and artists. This collaboration was sparked by a shared recognition of the urgent need for a paradigm shift in how development and research are approached, especially in the complex and multifaceted context of the Sahel region.

We understood early on that the challenges facing the Sahel were not only complex but required systemic and practical knowledge. Our foundation is built on addressing these intricacies by considering the dynamic interplay between social and ecological dimensions.

Historically, Africa has seen the imposition of top-down development policies. CREATES champions a new direction—empowering grassroots organizations and local communities to lead the charge. By leveraging their unique insights, we aim to craft sustainable and effective strategies from the ground up.

Our inception was also a response to the dominance of North-led research agendas, which often overlook the actual needs of the Sahel. CREATES is committed to realigning these agendas, ensuring they are contextually relevant, ethically conducted, and resonate globally while being locally informed.

Moving away from short-term, project-based initiatives, we advocate for a continuous, integrated approach. This shift allows for deeper engagement, cumulative learning, and the development of long-term strategies that truly address the root causes of socio-ecological challenges.

Addressing these challenges necessitates holistic approaches. CREATES serves as a conduit, bridging the divides between science and policy, research and application, and among diverse stakeholders. Our goal is to create a nurturing environment for collaboration and innovation.

We embrace a stakeholder engagement model that is informed by a deep appreciation for diverse perspectives and knowledge types. This approach fosters consensus, promotes equitable progress, and ensures that no community is marginalized.

From our inception, CREATES has been more than just an organization; it is a coalition towards a future where development and research are driven by those it aims to uplift. 

On these bases, our history largely remains to be written. Together.

Vision and Mission


We foresee a future in which vulnerable communities in the Sahel and beyond become agents of transformations toward resilience, healthy ecosystems, and just societies. Empowered by knowledge, inclusiveness, and innovation, they are equipped to shape a future that harmonizes their aspirations with their socio-ecological systems.


We aim to provide the knowledge, tools, and platforms necessary for fostering innovation and inclusiveness. Our work focuses on co-developing, testing and learning from local solutions that are culturally resonant, environmentally sustainable, and socially just. We commit to supporting these communities in creating a sustainable future that respects ecological boundaries and enriches their cultural and natural heritage.


Tiafoura, Thies Region


(+221) 78 448 65 73