Events & Activities

Sahel Research Group news and events


Recent Research Group Activities

The Sahel Research Group seeks and welcomes opportunities to share our research and understanding of the countries of the region, in both academic and other settings. We list here some recent publications, presentations, and other activities by group members.


Conference: On the Edge: What Future for the African Sahel?

The Sahelian region of West Africa is at an important crossroads, under multiple pressures of diverse kinds—environmental, political, demographic, security, and economic—and marked by rapidly changing social and cultural dynamics. This interdisciplinary conference will bring together scholars from Africa, Europe, and North America to o¬er perspectives on key issues shaping the region. The conference is free and open to the public, but advance registration is kindly requested.

Symposium: African Clandestine Migrants and Fortress Europe

The Sahel Research Group is co-sponsor of the symposium “African Clandestine Migrants and Fortress Europe: Dreams of a Better Future and Human Dramas in the Mediterranean Sea.” Held on 22-23 January 2016, this symposium explored the flow of migration from Africa to Europe, examining underlining factors, consequences, and likely future scenarios on this risky migration route. Click on the links below for more information.

Masters of Development Practice Collaborative Research Exchange

In partnership with the France-Florida Research Institute, the Sahel Research group is participating in a year-long collaborative exchange bringing together graduate students in the respective Masters of Development Practice (MDP) programs of the University of Florida, l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, and l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques (“Sciences Po”) in Paris. The exchange was inaugurated by a symposium and a week-long series of workshops on the theme of “Development, Security, and Climate Change in the Sahel” at the University of Florida from September 20-26, 2014. Participants met again at Sciences Po, in Paris from March 1-6, 2015 and at UCAD, in Dakar, on May 1-9, 2015. Click on the links below for more information.

International workshop: L’Islam au Sahel: nouvelles tendances et dynamiques locales

In collaboration with the Centre d’Etudes des Religions of the Université Gaston Berger (UGB) in St. Louis, Senegal, the Sahel Research Group has organized an International Workshop on the theme of L’Islam au Sahel: nouvelles tendances et dynamiques locales. Held at the UGB on 27-28 June 2014, this workshop served as an initial exchange of ideas and a platform on which to build a collaborative program of research on religious dynamics across the Sahel.

Talk: Islam, Slavery, and Human Rights in Mauritania

A presentation by Biram ould Dah ould Abeid, a major Mauritanian anti-slavery activist and winner of the 2013 UN Human Rights Award. Biram ould Dah ould Abeid is a candidate in Mauritania’s June 2014 presidential election. If you would like to learn more about his campaign please see his campaign videos below.

Roundtable: The Maghreb after the Arab Spring: Tunisia and Algeria in Regional Perspective

This panel discussion focused on the contrasting political trajectories of these countries of the Magbreb since the events of the “Arab Spring,” and their implications for the Sahel.

Conference: The Politics of Institutional Reform in Sahelian Africa

This conference and workshop, sponsored by the Minerva Initiative grant to the Sahel Research Group, brought together distinguished scholars from the Sahel at the University of Florida. Discussions focused on the key question of whether the politics of creating and reforming institutions in the name of democracy have weakened or strengthened states across the region.

Roundtable: Making Sense of the Sahelian Crisis: One year after Qaddafi

On the one year anniversary of the fall of Qaddafi in Libya, this public panel sponsored by the Sahel Research group provided a forum for discussing the array of actors, issues and forces that led to the collapse of Mali and which were central in shaping the evolution of the Sahelian crisis.


Islam in Africa working group

The Islam in Africa Working Group is an ongoing working group hosted by the Center for African studies, established to share and coordinate research on Muslim socieites in Africa. Many of the members of the Sahel Research Group are also active participants in the Islam in Africa working group and the two groups often coordinate and cosponsor activities.

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APSA Africa Workshop: Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective

Sahel Research Group coordinator, Leonardo Villalón, along with his UF colleague Kenneth Wald, distinguished professor of Political Science, served as the two US-based workshop leaders for the 2013 American Political Science Association’s Africa workshop in Burkina Faso.

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