• Joe Penney

    About Joe Penney

    Joe Penney is a writer and photographer based in Bamako, Mali. His photos have appeared in Geo, Jeune Afrique, Le Monde, Newsweek (Africa edition), The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time, among others. His articles have appeared on CNN (online), Al Jazeera and in Montreal newspapers. He has photographed presidential elections in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone as well as the 2012 coup aftermath in Mali, Mauritanian refugee camps, mining sites in Niger and the 2013-2014 conflict in Central African Republic.

    In 2013, he covered the French airstrike campaign in Mali and was interviewed about it by BBC Radio.

    Penney graduated from McGill University in Montreal.


    A Tenuous Life for Malian Refugees in the Desert

    by  • June 11, 2012 • Africa, Refugees • 2 Comments

    UN refugee camp Mauritania

    MBERA REFUGEE CAMP, Mauritania — One major fallout from the eruptions that began between Tuareg rebels in northern Mali and government troops last winter— spurred by NATO’s war in Libya, which sent thousands of Tuaregs back home to Mali with Libyan military weapons — was not only a coup d’état but also an influx of [...]

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    A West African Coup’s Potential Ripple Effects

    by  • May 16, 2012 • Africa, Security Council • 4 Comments

    Guinea-Bissau army

    DAKAR, Senegal — The fate of Guinea-Bissau hangs on precariously as regional and international bodies involved in resolving the country’s post-coup crisis, which forestalled a presidential run-off vote, disagree about pace and tactics. The complications from the coup and another recent government overthrow, in Mali, have created unease throughout West Africa, possibly the last place [...]

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    A Transition in Sight for Mali

    by  • April 9, 2012 • Africa, Refugees • 1 Comment


    BAMAKO, Mali — The junta that upended the country here on March 22 has agreed to hand over power to Dioncounda Traore, the president of the National Assembly, in the next few days. Mali was set to hold a presidential election on April 29 before a junior military officer and his entourage ousted the president, [...]

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    In Tiny Guinea-Bissau, Ruthless Politics and Cool Refrain

    by  • March 30, 2012 • Africa, Security Council • 4 Comments

    Bissau port

    BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau — Guinea-Bissau’s presidential election on March 18 and the shooting of the country’s former military intelligence that evening caught the world’s attention briefly, as rumors of a coup festered. So far, that has not happened. Since then, more prominent West African nations have snagged international attention: the presidential election run-off in Senegal, in [...]

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    Tensions in Senegal Raise the Heat in the Region

    by  • February 9, 2012 • Africa • 2 Comments

    In Dakar, men pray during prayers held by a political coalition after the deaths of antigovernment protesters recently in the capital. The country is expected to hold a presidential election on Feb. 26.  PHOTO BY JOE PENNEY

    DAKAR, Senegal — Senegal has always been praised as the most secure country in West Africa since its independence in 1960 from France. Its capital, Dakar, perched on the western edge of the Atlantic coastline, is a city of very rich and very poor, mosques and outdoor athletic fields, hawkers and cultural aficionados. A highway [...]

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