With the Help of God(s)? Religious Actors and Sustainable Development in Africa




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06:00 p.m. (CET)

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  • On the African continent and elsewhere, faith-based organisations provide healthcare services, religious groups offer education to kids and young adults, and religious leaders act as conflict mediators. At the same time, we often hear about violence carried out by radical religious actors. Such actors appear to have the capacity to both foster and undermine sustainable development. Today, a majority of African political leaders, Western governments, international organisations, and (I)NGOs acknowledge the relevant role of religious actors in bringing about sustainable development and place great hope in their potential. What are these hopes based on? How are religion and sustainable development linked? Are they linked at all? And what challenges arise when religion and politics go hand in hand?

    The “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence at Universität Bayreuth and the GIGA invite you to a public panel discussion on these and other questions: First, researchers will present ongoing studies, then experts from the areas of politics and development practice will discuss these critically. The panel discussion will be followed by an open Q&A session with the audience.

    Speakers: Dr. Damaris Seleina Parsitau is a social scientist and Senior Lecturer in Religion and Gender Studies at Egerton University in Kenya. She is also President of the African Association for the Study of Religions (AASR).

    Dr. Eric Stollenwerk is a Research Fellow at the GIGA.

    Prof. Dr. Eva Spies is Professor for the Study of Religion with focus on Africa and a member of the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence at Universität Bayreuth.

    Commentators: Nabiela Farouq-Martius is Project Manager of the Development Policy Forum at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

    Dr. Daniel Salau Rogei is a Researcher at Carleton University in Ottawa.

    Chair and moderation: Prof. Dr. Alexander Stroh-Steckelberg is Junior Professor of Politics of Africa and Development Policy as well as Senior Fellow at the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) and a member of the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence at Universität Bayreuth.


    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

    Lead Research Fellow / Head GIGA Berlin Office

    The GIGA is taking the coronavirus situation very seriously. Until further notice, all our events take place exclusively in digital space and Team GIGA is working from home. We are pleased to be able to offer you all GIGA products without restriction.


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