University of Florida Homepage

Workshops and conferences

Workshops and Conferences

African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) Annual Meeting

The UF Sahel Research Group and the OECD Sahel and West Africa Club will organize the 2020 African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE) annual meeting in Paris from 7-8th September. The topic of the meeting is “Security and Trade in African Borderlands”. The conference will serve as a global forum for border scholars, local, regional and national policy makers and other border professionals from customs and security agencies, irrespective of their disciplinary backgrounds, methodological approaches, or geographical scope.

Conference: Les enjeux de la laïcité: Regards croisés sur les débats Sahéliens

The Sahel Research Group jointly with the West African Research Center (WARC) and Le Centre d’Etude des Religions (Université Gaston Berger) in Dakar organized a conference exploring the challenges of laïcité in the Sahel on Monday 8 July 2019 at 3:00 PM at the WARC in Dakar. Flyer 

Our four guests were Rahmane Idrissa (Niger, Leiden University), Koudbi Kabore (Burkina Faso, University of Ouagadougou, Boukary Sangaré (Mali, University of Bamako) and Remadji Hoinathy (Chad, University of N’Djamena). The conference was moderated by Professor Leonardo Villalón (UF) and Professor Abdourahmane Seck (University Gaston Berger, Senegal)

Roundtable on Secularism in the Sahel

With Leonardo Villalón (UF), Abdourahmane Idrissa (Niger, Leiden U), Koudbi Desiré Kaboré (Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou U), Hoinathy Remadji (Chad, CRASH), Boukary Sangaré (Mali, Leiden U), Abdourahmane Seck (Senegal, U Gaston Berger Saint Louis). This event is part of the Symposium “Lived Islam in Africa” organized by the UF Center for African Studies, Center for Global Islamic Studies and Department of Religion from May 22-24.

Faith and Politics: Student activism and religious movements in Sahelian universities

On Thursday and Friday 26 and 27 April, 2018, the Sahel Research Group (SRG) hosted a symposium and workshop on “Faith and Politics: Student Activism and Religious Movements in Sahelian Universities,” at the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.

This event brought together scholars from six countries of the Sahel with colleagues from the University of Florida. Presenters included Mamadou Bodian from Senegal, Abdoulaye Sounaye from Niger, Elémine ould Mohamed Baba Moustapha from Mauritania, Mamadou Dembélé from Mali, Magloire Somé from Burkina Faso, and Abakar Walar Modou from Chad. Collectively the presentations offered an in-depth and comparative analysis of religious student movements across the campuses of national universities in all six countries.

The Sahel region has experienced significant recent socio-political change. Religiously-based student movements, largely but not exclusively Muslim, are now central features of student life across the region. These have overshadowed what remained of the older leftist student movements of the first post-independence decades, as well as the more recent corporatist movements represented by student unions demanding material benefits. The symposium, supported by a grant from the Minerva Initiative, was structured to allow for comparative examination of the individual country cases so as to shed light on the factors influencing these changes as well as the reasons for the increasing religiosity on university campuses in Sahelian countries. The symposium will provide the basis of a forthcoming publication. Read the Program

Roundtable: Jihadi movements and security in the Sahel

The Sahel Research Group and Center for African Studies are proud to present a discussion on Jihadi movements in the Sahel on Wednesday 24 January 2018 from 3:30-5:00 PM in 404 Grinter Hall.

Our two guests will be Jean-Hervé Jezequel and Vincent Foucher from the International Crisis Group. Jean-Hervé Jezequel will lecture on the changing jihadi landscape in Mali and Niger. Vincent Foucher will address the current dynamics and the future of Boko Haram. The talk will be moderated by Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim of the Sahel Research Group. Download our poster.

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 other perspectives on key issues shaping the region. The conference will take place from February 23 to February 25, 2017. It is free and open to the public, but advance registration is kindly requested. Details Abstracts Authors

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. Poster Program

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. Program

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. Poster Video 1Video 2

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. Poster

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. Read More

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. Poster

APSA Africa Workshop: Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective

Leonardo Villalón and Kenneth Wald served as the two US-based workshop leaders for the 2013 American Political Science Association’s Africa workshop in Burkina Faso. The team also included Professors Augustin Loada (Burkina Faso), Mahaman Tidjani-Alou (Niger) and Dr. Einas Ahmed (Sudan). On the theme of “Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective,” the two-week workshop was held in collaboration with the Center for Democratic Governance. The program brought together 22 young African scholars, from 17 countries, as well as five US and European based scholars, for intensive training and discussion on carrying out research on the issue of religion and politics in Africa.

Symposium: “Demography and the Challenge of Social Change in the African Sahel”

The symposium was part of a year-long project on the theme of Development, Security and Climate Change in the Sahel, which involves exchange and collaboration between UF, Sciences Po (France) and Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD- Dakar, Senegal). Five graduate students visited UF between Sept. 20-26 thanks to funding from the US French Embassy through the France-Florida Research Institute. The symposium was followed by a series of workshops hosted by the Center for African Studies. Schedule of workshopsPosterPictures 1Pictures 2,