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01/19/2022 - 01/19/2022 | Hamburg

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

Religious actors can both promote and undermine sustainable development. Many stakeholders and scholars recognise the relevant role of religious actors and place great hope in their potential. Alongside GIGA scholars, members of the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence from Universität Bayreuth will discuss this topic in depth and take questions from the audience at the next GIGA Talk/Forum.

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.


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. Matthias Basedau is Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs.

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.


Nabiela Farouq-Martius is an Islamic scholar and advisor in the Values, Religion and Development sector project 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.

Information on participating / attending:
We would like to ask you to register for this event. The registration is free of charge.


01/19/2022 16:00 - 01/19/2022 18:00

Event venue:

German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) - Online Event

Target group:

all interested persons

Email address:



Subject areas:

Religion, Social studies

Types of events:

Presentation / colloquium / lecture




Verena Schweiger


Fachabteilung Kommunikation

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