Sub-Saharan Africa is home to over a quarter of the world’s Muslim population. While Islam and secularism have coexisted for centuries in much of Africa, recent moves toward the politicization of Islam are cause for concern. What do these developments foreshadow for the future of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa? Should religious identity remain separate from the political domain? What are the implications of political Islam for women and minorities?
Penda Mbow is a historian, activist, and Senegalese politician. Mbow is currently minister of Francophone affairs and personal advisor to the president of Senegal. Previously, she was a professor of history at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar. Mbow obtained a doctorate in medieval history at Université de Provence in France in 1986. Her academic research and publications focus on African intellectual history and Islamic gender studies.