To me the visual of the film is extremely insipid, savorless, amazingly dull and plainly disappointing! And in that area, someone will have to explain to me how cinematographer Sofian El Fani, who once again reveals himself as an amateur, actually did get a credit for this movie. Very rarely do we see technical challenges. The movie's visualization is so technically repetitive and mind-numbing that it makes the whole movie extremely boring (how many viewers did say they were checking their watch!). Timbuktu's stunning sandy deserts, lakes and caved houses, which should have been splendidly rendered, are regrettably reduced to being consistently filmed with the same elementary shots over and over. It could have been merely OK for a documentary (which the movie was supposed to be BTW). What makes the filming approach so tedious is that Sofian El Fani fails to convey emotions through camera angles (kind of reminded me of La vie d'Adèle where El Fani makes such an excessive use of close-ups that it becomes unbearably repetitive to the viewer).
So unless there was a political move to credit Tunisian film crew members, such as El Fani, (Original Score award to Amine Bouhafa was well deserved though), there is no technical basis whatsoever for him receiving this award for best cinematography. Globally, this film probably moved Western World viewers -- that's why it actually got credited--, but it no manner does it contribute to cinema or art.