Saharan Crossroads is an initiative of the West African Research Association (WARA) and the American Institute of Maghribi Studies (AIMS), in collaboration with the Saharan Studies Association (SSA). It aims to strengthen the cultural, artistic and historical links among the peoples living within and across the Sahara Desert. The Saharan Crossroads Initiative began as a workshop held at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004 where a trans-continental perspective of Africa and the need to encourage Saharan studies were formulated. It seeks to promote an understanding of the shared history and culture among the regions of Africa linked by the Sahara Desert through centuries of continued exchanges and interactions. To this end, Saharan Crossroads organizes international conferences and offers research fellowships.