Launch of the “Islam West Africa Collection”

On 9 November 2023, the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) officially launched the Islam West Africa Collection (IWAC) in Berlin. This project, which I’m directing, is a collaborative, open-access digital database that currently contains over 6,000 archival documents, newspaper articles, Islamic publications of various kinds, audio and video recordings, photographs, and references on Islam and Muslims in Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and Côte d‘Ivoire. This project, funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Science, Health and Care, is a continuation of the Islam Burkina Faso Collection I created in 2021 in collaboration with the University of Florida.

Far from being the end of a project, this is just the beginning, as the database will continue to grow with the inclusion of thousands of other documents I have already digitised, and will lay the groundwork for future collaborations with other scholars and institutes as more countries may be added.

Ulrike Freitag (ZMO), Mauro Nobili (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA), Issouf Binaté (Université Alassane Ouattara, Côte d’Ivoire) and Kai Kresse (ZMO) commented on the project.

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