Brussels It is with sadness that Crisis Group has received the news that a former colleague and friend, Professor Stephen Ellis, died on 29 July 2015 after a tenacious fight with leukaemia. Stephen was Africa Program Director at Crisis Group from 2003 to 2004. During his time with us, he expanded our presence to Nigeria and South Africa and enriched our work, especially in West Africa. After leaving Crisis Group, he returned to the African Studies Centre in Leiden, Holland.
Stephen made an immense and wonderful contribution to African studies, focusing his writing on the continent’s global impact, and on developments in Liberia, Nigeria, Madagascar, South Africa and Sierra Leone.
His most recent book, entitled “External Mission: The ANC in Exile 1960-1990” was awarded the Recht Malan Prize for Non-Fiction in South Africa. His book “Season of Rains: Africa in the World” was a well-received overview of Africa's place in contemporary history, and “The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War” was a masterful study of the Liberian civil war.
In addition to his work at the Leiden ASC, Stephen Ellis was the Desmond Tutu Professor of Youth, Sport and Reconciliation at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the VU University, Amsterdam. He was a member of various editorial boards, including that of the journal African Affairs, of which he is a former editor.
Our thoughts are with Stephen’s partner Professor Gerrie ter Haar and the Ellis family at this time.