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Islam in Africa

Research on and teaching of Islam in Africa is an important part of the Center for African Studies’ activities. The purpose of the Islam in Africa Working Group (IAWG) is to generate interest and to facilitate enhanced understanding of Islam in African contexts. IAWG pays attention to the inherent complexity of Islam in Africa; its multifaceted historical trajectories, its geographical differences, its ideological variations, and contemporary dynamics. Through regular meetings, conferences, and other arrangements – IAWG is an important meeting-place for faculty and students interested in Islam in Africa, and aims to be a venue for sharing ideas and findings, for discussions and generating ideas, as well as for encouraging further research.

Coordinator: Terje Østebø (

Archived Events

2018: Islam Africa Symposium: Muslim Minorities in Islamic Africa: Religious Freedom, Human Rights, and Geopolitics in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic
2015: Symposium – Sufism in Africa: Adapting to New Realities, Speakers: Benjamin Soares, Felicitas Becker, Marie Natalie LeBlanc, Joseph Hill

Archived Activities


Spring 2015
Fall 2014

Spring 2014
Previous programs


2014: The African Madrassa: Transformations of Islamic Education in Contemporary Africa
2013: Islamic NGOs and Development Aid in Africa
2012: Militant Islam in Africa: Fears and Realities
2011: Slavery, Social Justice & Islam in West Africa


Professor Leonardo A. Villalón, Department of Political Science and the Center for African Studies
Associate Professor Susan O’Brien, Department of History and the Center for African Studies
Associate Professor Abdoulaye Kane, Department of Anthropology and the Center for African Studies
Assistant Professor Terje Østebø, Department of Religion and the Center for African Studies

Courses on Islam in Africa

AFS 4935, Section 2040: Islam and Politics in Africa
AFS 4936 & AFS 6905: Religion and Reform in Africa
AFS 4935 & AFS 6905: Islam in Africa
REL 4933, Section 0311: Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa
AFS 6905, Section 06H8: The Politics of Islam in Africa

To read recaps of recent Islam in Africa Working Group events, please click here.