Rethinking development interventions through the lens of decoloniality in sub-Saharan Africa: the case of global health

Lara Gautier, Youssouf Karambe, Jean-Paul Dossou, Oumar Malle Samb

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


There has been much talk about decolonizing global health lately. The movement, which has arisen in various communities around the world, suggests an interesting critique of the Western dominant model of representations. Building upon the 'decolonial thinking' movement from the perspective of Francophone African philosophers, we comment on its potential for inspiring the field of global healthinterventions. Using existing literature and personal reflections, we reflect on two widely known illustrations of global health interventions implemented in sub-Saharan Africa - distribution of contraceptives and dissemination of Ebola virus prevention and treatment devices - featuring different temporal backdrops. We show how these solutions have most often targeted the superficial dimensions of global health problems, sidestepping the structures and mental models that shape the actions and reactions of African populations. Lastly, we question the ways through which the decolonial approach might indeed offer a credible positioning for rethinking global health interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Public Health
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)180-193
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Global health
  • development interventions
  • decoloniality
  • sub-Saharan Africa

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