October 2023
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4


S.S. Nyang: Religion and Social Change in Contemporary Africa

Religion is an important factor in the lives of human beings. Nowhere on this planet is this statement now so widely accepted as in Africa. In the continent of Africa religion is life itself, and no one thinks of life without simultaneously looking at religion. Because of the centrality of religion in the African consciousness, social developments have always assumed a religious character. Each new development in the African social universe has been a lesson in religious understanding; and each social event carries religious meanings attached to it by members of society. In pre-colonial Africa, society provided the opportunity for the average man to partake in the activities of the community; and through his participation he shared the fears and securities, joys and sorrows of his fellow human beings. Owing to the precarious nature of the human condition, and due to the desire for certainty and security among men, religion has been a critical source of strength for many humans confronting social changes in their lives and their societies.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of the relationship between religion and social change in contemporary Africa. Working on the assumption that social change can impact religion negatively or positively, I argue that social change in the pre-colonial period was slow because the power of traditional religion determined the pace of change, and those who tried to effect change but were unsanctioned by the religion of the community, either gave up their efforts or sought to enlist religion in the service of desired change.

I further argue that in the colonial period, social change was made possible by the weakening of traditional religion and the rise of imported religions which sanctioned and legitimized change. Last, but not least, I argue that in the post-colonial period, social change is sometimes the cause of religious resistance and at other times the result of religious transformation.

According to anthropological and historical accounts, pre-colonial Africa was, in the words of John Mbiti, notoriously religious.[1] Because of this centrality of religion, people in Africa see social developments mainly in religious terms. Any social event which appeared to deviate from the familiar was deemed an affront to the religion of the society and the initiators were persecuted or banished. Of course there was no fixed African method of dealing with all social events and changes. The diversity of Africa simply ruled out such a possibility. Yet, in conceding the variety of responses in African societies, one must accept the proposition that any social change which weakened the religious order of an African group was unacceptable to the majority. An act of social change, in those times of deep attachment to traditional religion, passed the test of acceptance only when it was certified by the king and the priestly class charged with the moral and spiritual defense of the community.

Indeed, it is against this background that one can examine the historical record of social changes in pre-colonial Africa. During this period in African history, social changes that accompanied the intrusion of Arab-Islamic and Euro Western forces became acceptable only after the royal family and the priestly class embraced such a change. In ancient Ghana, the introduction of Islam by the Muslim traders of the Sahara gradually led to the conversion of some members of the royal family. This conversion of the royal court had great implications for social change. For example, prior to the advent of Islam, the form of burial used for West Sudan royalty was reminiscent of the custom of ancient Egypt where the king was buried in his home together with his weapons, his wife and people of his entourage.[2] Such acts, which are occasionally regarded as traits of divine kingship, were dispensed with once the members of the royal court became inculcated with genuine Islamic values.

It is conceivable that the elimination of certain beliefs and practices regarding the divine kingship of the early rulers of the Soninke kingdom of Ghana took a long time because, as al-Bakri[3] pointed out, there were two communities reflecting the rigid residential pattern of the Muslim traders and the traditional Africans. So long as the king remained loyal to the traditional beliefs, and lived in an area dominated by the men in charge of the Soninke religious cult, the chances for social change along Islamic lines were very limited. According to al Bam's account, the groves where the idols of the Soninkes and the tombs of their leaders were located were guarded and no one was allowed to discover their contents. Indeed, in order to wean the ancient Ghanaians from the grip of the cult of the Snake, for example, the power of the royal sorcerers and magicians had to be demolished by the Muslims.

The limited number of social changes that took place in ancient Ghana and Mali was made possible by the dynamics between the African rulers and the Arab-Berber traders. It is my contention that the emergence of indigenous African trading partners to the Arab-Berbers facilitated the adoption of Arab-Berber techniques in trade and commerce.

How did the Muslims manage to deal effectively with the problems of social change in West Sudan? Well, the historical data shows that Africans in pre-colonial societies were willing to adjust, provided it created no identity problem for them and did not go against the grain of their beliefs and values. Because of these attitudes and the attendant resilience, one must therefore appreciate the fact that throughout the continent, pre-colonial Africans dealt with foreigners and foreign ideas through a complicated process of selection and rejection. No standard practice can be identified for all African groups. One of several themes that is evident in all accounts of social change in pre-colonial Africa is the willingness of African groups to tolerate ideas and cultural forms which were not likely to disrupt their societies.

Colonialism in Africa had great implications for religion and social change. It was because of their responsiveness to new ideas and new wares that some of the African groups allowed the missionaries to settle in their midst. When the followers of Buxton went to Africa with their strong commitment to create a social and religious order where "the Bible and the Plough" would dominate, many African ethnic groups welcomed them.[4]

Indeed Ajai Crowther, who was later elevated to the post of Bishop, was able to effect social change in his part of Nigeria because there were Africans interested in his services. Most of the Africans who benefited from his technical knowledge and services in agriculture were willing to make the necessary changes in their attitudes toward things European; and the most important factor which explains their pliability was the erosion of old beliefs by a new technology. As the material world of the African was altered, his social universe and the religion that provided the framework within which the people defined themselves and their destiny became the target of destruction and discredit.

A good illustration of this development in the pre-colonial period was the gradual but effective establishment of mission stations throughout the African world. Every missionary who came to an African village immediately recognized the reality and tenacity of the traditional values. To effect change and to plant Christianity in Africa, many of these missionaries realized that granting of material benefits to potential converts would be a good investment. It not only provided the opportunity for "native" Africans to "defect" as a result of the seductive powers of missionary services,[5] but it also helped create a new climate of opinion which changed the course of social and political history in Africa. To cite concrete examples, one needs to draw attention to the Clapham boys who were handpicked in the early nineteenth century by Colonial officials in Sierra Leone to study in the United Kingdom in preparation for duties in the colonial service. Young Africans recruited by the missionary groups in various parts of Africa found that their encounter with Western Christian culture changed their self-image and views of life and destiny. Through the inculcation of Christian values and the internalization of Christian teachings, many of them began to undertake responsibilities which resulted in the transformation of the material and institutional bases of their cultures.[6]

This pattern of assimilation was not shared by all. There were dissidents and rebels who resisted colonial culture and the attendant changes it ushered into African society. Writing on the African encounter with European culture and the consequences of this experience, Melville Herkovits stated long ago:

“It was sheer fantasy on the part of those Africans, a relatively small number, it is true-who believed that they could recapture the "golden age" of their culture which preceded European contact. It was no less fantasy for Europeans—or for that matter, some Africans—to believe that Africans would become Europeans in their thoughts and acts, because African cultures were eroding to their eventual complete disappearance. African cultural change has been selective. The results of the process of exercising choice, represented in the greater or lesser number of European elements found in a given African setting, must in each case be regarded as reflecting the historic situation in which the process occurred. What we find not only depends on the opportunity various peoples had to become acquainted with European culture, but also on the degree of intransigence of flexibility with which they faced new cultural experiences.”[7]

Herkovits' assessment is correct and the evidence compelling. What we need to add here is that the development of colonialism in Africa created the opportunities for alien religious ideas to take root. The planting of these ideas opened the way for changes in social life which were unacceptable in earlier times. One good illustration of the impact of colonial rule on both religion and social change in African society was the case of the colonially sponsored secular school. The introduction of such schools not only created a rival to the traditional centers of community instruction, they also ushered in social changes in the contents of education and in the relationships between males and females. To put it another way, one can say that while the introduction of Christian missionary schools impacted on African children through learning the Western alphabet and familiarity with the historical figures of the bible, the colonial secular school brought young boys and girls into a co-educational setting unimaginable in the pre-colonial times.

To conclude this section one may say that colonialism not only introduced new cultural forms to Africa, it also undermined, both materially and ideologically, the values of old Africa. So long as the African remained loyal to the ways of the ancestors, European penetration was limited. The assimilation of Africans became a reality only when they abandoned their faith in the religious foundation of the old society.

Another conclusion is that social change in the colonial period was much faster in the urban than in the rural areas. This of course was related to the level of modernization that took place in a given country. As an African society modernizes, its inhabitants respond more favorably to social changes. Or conversely, as the society is forced by powerful external forces to adjust, its inhabitants find themselves more and more responsive to social changes.

During decolonization Africa witnessed a number of social changes. Some were heralded by the political forces that were dominant at this time. Others reflected the social changes affecting the relationship between the individual and the community and between humans and the supernatural kingdom. Traditional Africans were very religious, and their life was dominated by fears of the spiritual kingdom.[8] In the post-colonial period, a new generation of African leaders restored the self-confidence of most Africans. This new leadership not only gave the average African the feeling of restored dignity and pride but also provided the motivation to accept modernization. This will to change the material conditions of the African people could develop concretely only in the post-colonial period.

Since the colonial powers were not seriously interested in the development of the African personality and the material world of the average African, it fell on the shoulders of African leaders to do this. Africans in the post-colonial period found it necessary to pursue modernization at all costs and as rapidly as possible. Yet by committing themselves to modernization, African leaders and their people expose themselves to a host of problems.

In no area other than the field of religion has the impact of social change been so evident. Modernization, according to most studies, brings to a society a multitude of problems. For example, urbanization, which is one of the processes of modernization, ushers in a host of social adjustment problems which negatively impacts the religious situation of society. Because of the moral decay and social disharmony that tend to accompany urbanization, religious groups usually emerge to address the issues of morality and social justice.[9]

In the post-colonial era, three patterns of responses to social change can be identified. The first pattern, evident all over the continent, is the utilization of religion to legitimize the rule of new African leadership. During the presidency of Léopold Sédar Senghor in Senegal, Muslim religious leaders, locally called Marabouts, played an important role as brokers between the rural poor and the politicians based in urban Senegal. They were usually called upon to give blessings to the modernizing efforts of the government, although their cooperation was not guaranteed. Their disciples responded to government development projects on the basis of religious instruction from the leadership of the Sufi brotherhoods. Indeed the evidence from Senegal suggests that social changes which enhanced the power and influence of the Sufi brotherhoods were sanctioned and accepted by the Muslim religious leaders, while those that were perceived as negative to their corporate interest were either avoided or rejected outright.[10]

These differential responses to government policies and programs of modernization have led some commentators to see at least the Muridiyya brotherhood in Senegal as an African Muslim embodiment of the "Protestant Spirit" which Max Weber claimed to be the motive force behind capitalist development in the West.[11]

Another manifestation of the first pattern described above, was the use of religious leaders to help rationalize theologically the modernization drive of the government. This process of rationalization was most advanced in Egypt under Nasser. During his 18-year rule of this North African country Nasser pursued political and modernization programs by taking two important measures.

The first was the appointing of religious scholars (ulema) who were not only modernizers but sympathetic to his cause. The second was the requesting of fatwa (religious rulings) from the Muslim jurists that justified and legitimized the government's modernization programs. To facilitate this arduous task, Nasser found it necessary to stack the cards in his favor by appointing young Egyptians trained in Western universities. By so doing he undermined the power of the traditional ulema, whose interpretations of the Qur'an were deemed unacceptable. Through this effective use of religious leaders Nasser's government pushed through programs such as family planning, greater women's involvement in development, and other liberalization measures of socialist Egypt.[12]

Religion was also used to strengthen the political power of post-independence leadership in Africa. In East and Central Africa, Christianity and traditional African religions played less significant roles than did Islam in predominantly Muslim Africa. President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia has been the African leader who employed Christian values more frequently than anyone else. In his drive for humanism he has appealed to the Christian values which missionaries inculcated in his people. He tried to steer the Zambian society along the path of Christian/African development, and used his power of expression and political clout to create a moral order that reflects what he perceives to be the best of old Africa and the best Africa can borrow from the West.[13]

To a limited extent, one can similarly argue that President Nyerere of Tanzania was another African leader whose Christianity has manifested itself in his political thought.[14] While President Nyerere did not appeal directly to the scriptures to promote his ujamaa programs, his political and social thought were very much influenced by Christianity, and he earned the respect of many of his fellow countrymen who see him as a humble leader dedicated to human service.

The second pattern of response is the use of religion by groups who feel that the political establishment in the country is oppressive and corrupt and thus deserves to be eliminated. Such groups are disturbed by social changes unleashed by the forces of modernization in their country. Unwilling to accept such socially disruptive developments, many undertake political actions to rectify what they believe to be wrongs in their society.

In North Africa the emergence of groups such as the Takfir al Hijra in Egypt, shows that the sword of religion is double-edged and can cut both ways. The Takfir al Hijra came to world attention when its members assassinated President Anwar Sadat in October 1981. This heinous act, for which many Muslim fundamentalists are scheduled to face the firing squad in Egypt, demonstrates beyond doubt that social changes in the Muslim world could have negative consequences. It is true that President Sadat died because of a host of reasons and that the radicalization of Muslim fundamentalists in Egypt was only one of these reasons. Yet in conceding this fact, one must point out that modernization in Egypt has always been a bone of contention between fundamentalists and secularists.[15]

This second pattern of response to social change has also manifested itself in Sub-Saharan Africa. Northern Nigeria has been the theater where these forces of religion have acted most violently. Since 1980 three major disturbances have taken place. During the 1980 incident, a fundamentalist group led by a cleric called Muhammadu Marwa, went on the rampage in Kano. Working on the assumption that he was a messiah chosen to cleanse Northern Nigeria of all its corrupt elements, Marwa called upon his followers to take up arms and destroy the targeted enemy. Acting on the teachings of their leader, these fanatically motivated members and supporters of the Maitatsine Movement raided bars, shops and buildings believed to be dens of iniquities and corruption. In the course of their rampage, and as a result of military action by the authorities in Lagos, many of those rebels lost their lives.

The violence of 1980 was again repeated in 1982, when the followers of Marwa started a violent confrontation with the security forces in Maiduguri and other Northern localities. The death toll was high, and Nigerians were again reminded of the dangers posed by religious groups. Indeed, this message was brought home to the Nigerian people in the spring of 1984 when religious riots broke out in Yola and other Northern urban centers.[16]

Reacting to these developments, the Nigerian government launched a commission of inquiry in 1980. The oil boom in Nigeria and the social changes it created, due to the present religious malaise in Northern Nigeria. Marwa's followers were drawn largely from the urban poor who flocked to Northern Nigerian cities from neighboring countries and rural Northern Nigeria. A sense of alienation and relative deprivation among the poor migrants from rural Northern Nigeria and the immigrants created a sense of solidarity. In other words, the followers of Marwa were united by a common cause in poverty, and by an ideology woven by a leader who mistook himself for an African Muslim Messiah. That they were willing to die in large numbers meant that their ideology was sufficiently powerful to galvanize action against their perceived enemies.

One can also speculate that the Maitatsine Movement could have swelled with some of the 90,000 Nigerian Muslims expelled by Saudi Arabia in 1978/79. Considered unwelcome pilgrims by the Saudi authorities, these Nigerians were deported back to Nigeria. Some of these men and women were terribly disturbed by these developments. It is possible that some of the poorer elements in this group saw the Maitatsine Movement as a refuge and a sanctuary. Indeed there is some evidence from the activities and beliefs of the Movement which suggests some disillusionment and hostility to Arabs, especially Saudi Arabians.

A number of political parties have emerged in West Africa whose leaders have tried to employ religion as an instrument of political mobilization. In Ghana, before independence, Gold Coast Muslims put up a political party to challenge the position of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. This party was short-lived, for it did not enter the post-colonial stage of Ghanaian political life. It was quickly banned by the Nkrumah regime, and the Muslims were forced to press their demands through the single party ruling the country. Some of them were reconciled with Nkrumah, and this eased their way into the corridors of power in independent Ghana.

This Ghanaian experience was different from what transpired in both Gambia and Northern Nigeria. The Gambia Muslim Congress of Ibrahima Garba Iahumpa used Islamic symbolism and rhetoric to organize the Muslim vote against what he at the time perceived as the dominant Christian minority in the country. His appeal to Muslim sentiments struck a responsive chord among young Muslims aspiring for greater access in the colonial government.

But this was not the feeling of the majority of the older generation of both the Wolof and non-Wolof Muslims living in the Colony area of the country. Since the majority of these people were Wolofs of Saloum descent, they responded more favorably to the sloganeering of "Saloum-Saloum" from their Catholic brother, Gambia barrister Pierre Sarr Njie. Njie outpolled Iahumpa who had defeated him at the 1951 elections. From 1954 onwards the Gambia Muslim Congress suffered terrible electoral defeat. Indeed, retrospectively speaking, one can argue that Iahumpa's decision to drop the word Muslim from the reconstituted Congress Party in 1964 was a belated realization of the lack of responsibility to religious rhetoric among the Gambian electorate.[17]

But, if Mr. Iahumpa was unable to exploit religion as a political tool to enhance his political standing in Gambian society, the then primarily rural party called the Gambia Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) was able to do so in a slightly different way. Instead of appealing directly to Muslim sentiments, the PPP leadership pandered to the ethnic loyalties of the rural majority in the country. And to consolidate its power among these voters, it employed Islamic symbolism and Muslim oaths of fidelity to defeat its urban opponents. They used the Qur'an to assure itself of the continued support of the Muslim elders in rural areas. The Qur'an was used to make the elders swear allegiance to the party; the first chapter “Surah al-Fatihah” was recited publicly in all party meetings.[18]

The Nigerian experience was different from both the Gambian and the Ghanaian. In the case of Nigeria, regionalism helped heighten religious division. The Northern part of the country is predominantly Muslim, and those Muslim leaders who wanted to protect Northern regional interests at the Federal level tried to rally support for their cause by calling upon Muslims to unite. This appeal to Nigerian Muslim sentiments did not succeed throughout the country. The Yoruba Muslims were generally more loyal to their ethnic brethren than to fellow Muslims. As a result, the Islamic solidarity that Northern leaders, such as the late Sardauna Ahmadu Bello, tried to build remained mainly a Northern phenomenon, with only scattered support in pockets of Muslim presence in the Southern part of the country.[19]

Yet, in retrospect, one can argue that the Sardauna succeeded in building a strong Northern alliance which captured the seat of power in Lagos and then worked out a modus vivendi with predominantly Catholic partners. This alliance between the Ibos and the Northerners ruled Nigeria until the first coup d’état swept the partners out of office. This army takeover changed the course of Nigerian politics and further secularized political organization.

I believe certain conclusions are crucial in any study of the relationship between religion and socio-political change in Africa. First, traditional African religion suffered a severe blow when it came into contact with alien religions. This was particularly true in the case of Euro-Western Christianity that planted itself in the continent during the nineteenth century. The arrival of Christianity coincided with the unchallenged supremacy of Europe; and the material transformation ushered in by the European advent helped weaken African culture and religion. With the withering away of traditional African self-confidence, social changes that were previously resisted began to gain wider acceptance.

The second conclusion is that the colonial period fostered social change which helped the alien religions in Africa gain greater numbers of converts. This was true of Islam in many parts of West Africa. It was also true of Christianity in other parts of the continent. In fact, the Christian movement in Africa benefited from the material civilization of Europe, just as the Muslim traders traveling across the Sahara in the medieval period had once made breakthroughs in Africa owing to their material advantage over the African buyers of their goods.

Last, but not the least, the present situation in most of Sub-Saharan Africa seems to suggest that religion may assume greater significance, but not to the point of becoming a state-established institution. This is to say that an Islamic state is not likely, and the only use to which religion will be put is to further secular objectives. The Gambian and Nigerian examples are likely to serve as models of how politicians will exploit religion to maintain power and ward off opponents.•



[1] John S. Mbili, African Religions and Philosophy (New York: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1970 edition).

[2] Al-Bakri, Kitab al-Masalik wa'l mamalik, ed. M.G. de Slane (Algeria, 1911), trans. M.G. Slane as de L'Afrique Septentrionelle (Algeria, 1913). Quoted in Nehemia Levitzion, Ancient Ghana and Mali (New York & London: Africana Publishing Co., 1981), p. 24.

[3] Ibid., p. 25.

[4] For discussion of Buxton's efforts at Christianization of Africa see C.P. Groves, The Planting of Christianity (London, 1948), vol. 1.

[5] See Lamin O. Sanneh, West African Christianity: The Religious Impact (New York: Orbis Books, 1983), 212/1.

[6] For discussion of the circumstances which led to the education of the Clapham boys see Lamin A. Mbye, Senior Africa 11 Civil Servants in British West Africa (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Birmingham, 1969).

[7] Melville Herskovits, The Human Factor in Changing Africa (New York: Vintage Books, 1-2), pp. 476-77.

[8] The persistence of traditional beliefs in African societies is well known. African newspapers report on this daily and Western education is no guarantee of one's immunization from superstitions.

[9] For discussion of some of these social issues from a Christian theological perspective see the works of Joseph Donders, Non-Bourgeois Theology: An African Experience of Jesus (New York: Orbis Books, 1985); Monica Wilson, Religion and the Transformation of Society: A Study in Social Change in Africa (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1971); Gwinyai H. Muzorewa, The Origins and Development of African Theology (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1985).

[10] For discussion of the Mauride organization and its activities see Donal Cruise O'Brien, "Cooperators and Bureaucrats: Class Formation in a Senegalese Peasant Society” in African (London), 41, 4 (October, 1971), pp. 262-78; idem, The Mourides of Senegal: The Political and Economic Organization of an Islamic Brotherhood (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971); idem, Saints and Politicians: Essays in the Organization of a Senegalese Peasant Society (London: Cambridge University Press, 1975); idem, "Political Opposition in Senegal: 1960-67,· in Government and Opposition, vol. 2, no. 4 (July-October 1967), pp. 557-66; idem, “The Saint and the Squire. Personalities in the Development Forces in the Development of a Religious Brotherhood” in African Perspectives: Papers in the History, Politics and Economics of Africa, ed. Christopher Allen and William Johnson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970); Shelden Gellar, Senegal (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1982), pp. 88-92.

[11] Donal Cruise O'Brien has raised this issue in his writings on the Mourides of Senegal.

[12] See M.S. Agwani, "Religion and Politics in Egypt” in International Studies vol. 13, no. 3, (July-September 1974), pp. 367-88; Peter Mansfield, "Nasser and Nasserism," in International Journal, vol. 23, no. 4 (Autumn 1973), pp. 670-88; I.J. Vatikiotis, The Modern History of Egypt (New York: Praeger, 1969).

[13] Collin M. Morris and Kenneth Kaunda, Black Government? A Discussion Between Collin Morris and Kenneth Kaunda (Lusaka, Zambia: United Society for Christian Literature, 1960); idem, A Humanist from Africa: Letters to Collin Morris from Kenneth Kaunda (London: Longmans, Green, 1966); idem, Zambia, Independence and Beyond: The Speeches of Kenneth Kaunda, ed. Colin Legum (London: Nelson, 1966); idem, Zambia Shall Be Free (London: Heinemann, 1-2). For an analysis of Kaunda's thought see Nsolo Mijere, "The Theology of Zambian Humanism and Its Implications for the Local Church” in AFIR (Eldoret, Kenya), 20, 6, (December, 1978), pp. 349-57.

[14] President Julius Nyerere is a very productive African leader. A sample of his writings are: Freedom and Utility (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968); Freedom and Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973).

[15] Daniel Crecelius, "Non-Ideological Responses of the Egyptian Ulama to Modernization," in Sufis, Saints and Scholars, ed. Nikki Heddie (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972); idem. "The Course of Secularization in Modem Egypt” in Religion and Political Modtrtliwlion, ed. Donald E. Smith (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974); Harold B. Barclay, "Egypt: Struggling with Secularization," in Religion and Societies: Asia and the Middle East, ed. Carlo Cardarela (Berlin, New York, Amsterdam: Mouton Publishers, 1984).

[16] For discussion of the Maitatsine uprisings of 1980 and 1982 see Raymond Mickey, "The 1982 Mailatsine Uprisings in Nigeria: A Note," in African Affairs, vol. 83, no. 331 (April 1984), pp. 251-56; Muhammad Sani Umar, "Maitatsine Revisited. Substantive Issues and Tentative Conclusions” in The Guardian (January 4, 1985), p. 7; Nick Dazang, "Maitatsine: Documentary," in The Guardian, 7; Tejuna Olaniyan, The Guardian (October 7, 1984); Pini Jason, The Guardian (October 7, 1984).

[17] For discussion of Mr. Jahumpa's efforts at building Islamic solidarity see my "The Historical Development of Gambian Political Parties," African Research Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 4 (July 1975), pp. 3-38.

[18] See my "Local and National Elites and Islam in the Gambia," The International Journal of Arabic & Islamic Studies, vol. I, no. 2, (Bloomington, Indiana)

[19] West Africa (June 11, 1984), p. 1240.