Students and Faculty Tackle Political Situation in Africa



Ifrane, September 27, 2012 – Al Akhawayn School of Humanities and Social Sciences organized a roundtable discussion on Mali and the Sahel in a Local, Regional and International Context, on September 25, 2012.

Four Al Akhawayn professors, experts in Mali and the Sahel, led the discussion for more than 60 students and faculty. John Shoup, Ahmed Rhazaoui, Emilie Roy, and Jack Kalpakian described Mali’s major geographical, economic, and religious context. They also launched a debate on the political evolution of the country. The professor-panelists presented their respective papers “Mali: the Rome of West Africa and the Sahel”, “The obstacles that prevent democracy from taking root in a new and fragile African State, the case of Mali”, “Southern Malian Muslims' political project: Democracy, Islam, and the Moralization of the State”, and “Ansar El Dine, Mali, and the Possibilities for Stabilization: Implications for Morocco, Nigeria and the NATO States”. 

“All panelists are experts in African studies and most of them have spent time in Mali, and are knowledgeable about the recent evolution of that country,” said Nizar Messari, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and moderator of the roundtable discussion. “Having such a great team of experts was one of the incentives for our school to offer a minor in African Studies to Al Akhawayn students.”

Based on Liberal Arts education, Al Akhawayn University programs provide students with a wide spectrum of courses. In the fields of humanities and social sciences, students are introduced to key concepts and theories of International Studies, in addition to key disciplines within the field. Students can choose Political Science and International Co-operation and Development, North African and Middle Eastern Studies, European Studies and American Studies.