2017 Morocco
Mahfoud Ali Zoui – Algeria
Associate Professor of Civilization, Department of English, Guelma University

Mahfoud Ali Zoui is a professor of civilization at the Department of English, Guelma University, Algeria. He is the author of many papers including: “Freedom of Expression and the Right to Offend: Western Vs. Islamic Perspectives”, and “Media Discourse and Intolerance of Muslim Post -9/11 Visibility in the West: The British Context”. He presided over the organizing committee of the international conference “15 Years in the New Millennium: The Grand Upheavals; Global Security, Ideological Conflict and Literary” held at Guelma University in November 2016. His research areas of interest include faith minorities and intercivilizational dialogue, political Islam, and multiculturalism.

Jean-Baptiste Sourou – Benin
Professor of Religion and Law, Saint Augustine University Mwanza; President, CeDReS

Jean-Baptiste Sourou is Professor of Communications and the founder and president of the Center for Documentation and Research on Art and Social Sciences (CeDReS Project) in Benin Republic. He also teaches African Cultures and Migrations in universities and schools in Italy. He holds a BA, MA, and PhD in Social Communications and Social Sciences from the Gregorian University. He also has a BA and MA in Theology from universities in Padua and Rome. He is an international media practitioner, and won The International Award of Solidarity with Refugees at the 2013 and 2016 International Journalism and Media Awards, and the Award of the Best Writer/Author at the 2013 Africa-Italy Excellence Awards. Prof. Sourou’s research interests center on rites, dance, and music, and the relationship between media, culture, and religion, especially in Africa. His research has earned him international honours such as the 2012 African Studies Association (ASA) Presidential Fellowship, and the 2007 International Award in Media, Religion, and Culture. He also researches African immigration through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. He has founded two associations, Cedres NGO in Benin and Il Cedro in Italy, to promote education in Africa as a solution to the endless flow of African forced migrations towards Europe. He has published writings on African cultural, social, and religious life. He is a member of the International Society in Media, Religion, and Culture, and Consultant for the Observatory of Media and Religion in Canada.

Muhammed Haron – Botswana
Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Botswana

Muhammed Haron is a South African professor who is based in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies at the University of Botswana. He authored The Dynamics of Christian-Muslim Relations (2006), edited Going Forward: South African-Malaysia Relations (2008), compiled/edited South Africa’s Muslims: Annotated Bibliography (1997), and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: An Annotated Bibliography (2009), and co-edited Islamic Civilization in Southern Africa (2009) and Muslim Higher Education in Postcolonial Africa (2016). He edited special issues on ‘Arabo-Islamic Manuscripts [in Africa]’ for Tydksrif vir Letterkunde (Pretoria 45:1, 2008), and a special issue on ‘Muslims in Southern Africa’ for BOLESWA: Journal of Theology, Religion and Philosophy (University of Botswana 4:1, 2012). He co-edited Annual Review of Islam in Africa (Cape Town 2015/2016).

Helen Namondo Linonge-Fontebo – Cameroon
Lecturer, Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Buea

Helen Namondo Linonge-Fontebo earned a Doctor of Literature and Philosophy (DLitt et Phil) in Sociology, from the University of South Africa, South Africa as well as a Masters degree in Women and Gender studies and a BSc Double Major in Women’s Studies and Law from the University of Buea Cameroon. She is an alumnus of the Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) on Religious Pluralism and Public Presence from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Lecturer in the Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Buea, Cameroon. She is also a part time lecturer in the Department of Sociology and the Pan African University.

Tanto Richard Talla – Cameroon
Associate Professor, Department of History, Faculty of Arts, University of Bamenda

Tanto Richard Talla, Associate Professor of Archaeology, holds a PhD in Ethnoarchaeology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (2003). He was Head of Service, Research and also Chair, Department of History, at the University of Buea, Cameroon from 2012 to 2015. He is currently Vice Dean in-charge of Programmes and Academic Affairs, Faculty of Arts, the University of Bamenda, Cameroon where he also teaches archaeology and history in the Department of History. He has widely published in peer reviewed journals and is currently working with Professor Elias Bongmba of Rice University, Houston-Texas, on a project entitled “Land and Authority in Postcolonial Cameroon”.

Célestin Gnonzion – Côte d'Ivoire
Professor of Media Ethics and Journalism, Faculty of Information, Communication, and Arts, Félix Houphouet-Boigny University

Dr. Célestin Gnonzion obtained his PhD from the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome in Italy in 2008. He is founder and President of the Ivoirian Network for promotion of Ethics in Society (Réseau Ivoirien pour la promotion de l’Ethique dans la société-RIPES). Dr. Gnonzion is a teacher in the Faculty of Information, Communication and Arts, Félix Houphouet-Boigny University in Ivory Coast. He lectures on topics of journalism and ethics such as Ethics of Public Social Communications, Ethics and Deontology in Media and Methods, and Techniques of Social Science. He has published on topics such as the impact of press on democratic processes, ethical decision-making factors of journalists, and Ivory Coast and media freedom.

Mohamed Abdelaal – Egypt
Assistant Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, Alexandria University

Mohamed Abdelaal is an Assistant Professor of Law at Alexandria University, Faculty of Law, Egypt, and Adjunct Professor of Law at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, IN. Abdelaal earned his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Alexandria University, Faculty of Law (English Department) in 2009, a diploma in public law in 2010, and his Master of Laws degree (LLM) and Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD/PhD) from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2011 and 2014 respectively. He focuses his teaching and scholarship on the areas of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Islamic Law, Islamic Constitutional Law, and International Human Rights. Abdelaal has authored articles in law reviews, and he served as a presenter and a panelist in several law conferences and workshops in the USA. Meanwhile, he is licensed to practice law in Egypt and he is admitted as a certified arbitrator under the Egyptian Law. Also, he is a permanent member of the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association (EARLA), Washington D.C., and has been invited for two consecutive years (2012-2013) to serve as an Egyptian expert to draft the Rule of Law Index Report sponsored by the World Justice Project (WJP).

Yonas Adinew – Ethiopia
Lecturer, School of Law, Addis Ababa University

Yonas B. Adinew is a lecturer at the School of Law of Addis Ababa University (AAU). He obtained his degree in law from the Faculty of Law of Addis Ababa University in July 1998. He also completed his Master of Arts in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights at the Norwegian Center for Human Rights (University of Oslo). He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Martin Luther (Germany). Yonas is the Head of the School of Law and Pro Tem Dean of the College of Law and Governance Studies.

Mohammed Dejen Assen – Ethiopia
Lecturer, College of Law and Governance, Addis Ababa University

Mohammed Dejen Assen obtained a BA Degree in History in 2000, an MA Degree in 2009, and a PhD Degree in 2016 in Federal Studies from Addis Ababa University. He also received his LLB Degree in Law from Mekelle University in 2012. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at Addis Ababa University. His research interests include; religion and human rights, federalism, minority rights, and secularism among others. 

Halefom Abay Ayele – Ethiopia
Director, Religious Organizations and Associations Registration, Ministry of Federal and Pastoralists Affairs

Halefom Abay Ayele obtained a BA Degree in History, Education, and Sociology and Social Anthropology in 2011 and 2012 respectively from Addis Ababa University. Currently, he is Director of Religious Organizations and Associations Registration Directorate at Ministry of Federal and Pastoralist Development Affairs. 

Afework Hailu Beyene – Ethiopia
Head of Student Affairs, Lecturer in Historical Studies, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology

Haji Ali Dermesha – Ethiopia
Advisor to the State Minister, Ministry of Federal and Pastoralists Affairs

Haji Ali Dermesha obtained BA degree in Business Administration in 2008 from New Generation University. Currently, he is Advisor of the State Minister at Ministry of Federal and Pastoralist Development Affairs. 

Solomon Negussie – Ethiopia
Dean, College of Law and Governance Studies, Addis Ababa University

Solomon Negussie is an Associate Professor and Dean of the College of Law and Governance Studies at Addis Ababa University. He earned an LLB from Addis Ababa University, an LLM from Amsterdam University, and a PhD from Utrecht University. Professor Negussie's research interests are Federalism and the management of resources, tax and development, and constitutional law and intergovernmental relations. His published articles include “A constitutional overview of Fiscal Federalism in Ethiopia”, 2010 Indian Journal of Federal Studies (No. 21/2010); “Intergovernmental Transfers and the Problem of Imbalances in Regional Development in Ethiopia: The Need for Benchmarking the Right-Based Approach” (FSS, 2014); “Intergovernmental fiscal relations from a human rights perspective: The Ethiopian context”, in Ethiopian and Wider African Perspectives on Human Rights and Good Governance (NWV, verlag, recht, Graz, 2014); “Intergovernmental relation and Fiscal Issues in Federations: The Case of Ethiopia”, Constitutionalism and Human Securities in the Horn of Africa (Addis Ababa, 2009); and “The Role of the House of Federation in Promoting Fiscal Accountability in Ethiopia”, in Fiscal Federalism and Economic Development (Forum of Federations, Shama Books, 2012).

Burkhard J. Berkmann – Germany
Professor, University of Munich

Prof. Dr. Dr. Burkhard J. Berkmann holds a chair for Canon Law at the University of Munich since October 2016. Religious pluralism, fundamental rights and their implications on Canon Law are among his primary research interests. He obtained an MA degree in Philosophy, followed by doctorates in both Law and Theology from the University of Innsbruck, and a Licentiate in Canon Law from the University of Munich. After his habilitation at the University of Lucerne, he was a lecturer and later an associate professor at the theological seminary of St. Poelten (Austria), besides working as a legal advisor and diocesan judge for the Diocese of St. Poelten. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Potsdam in 2009/10, and is a lecturer at the University of Lucerne since 2015.

Serawit Bekele Debele – Germany
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bayreuth

Serawit Bekele Debele is a Fritz Thyssen Stiftung postdoctoral fellow based at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Currently she is conducting research on Irreecha celebration and its political significance among the Oromo living in Europe. She has published articles on women and religious authority, female leaders in new religious movements, fieldwork in the study of religion, and religion in revolutionary Ethiopia. Her forthcoming book is titled Managing Irreecha Ritual: Religion in post-1991 Ethiopia

Loreen Iminza Maseno – Germany
Humboldt Research Fellow, University of Bayreuth

Dr. Loreen Maseno is a Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Bayreuth working on the project Hagar in Africa. Her PhD from University of Oslo in 2008 culminated in an interdisciplinary dissertation that spans across the disciplines of Christian Theology, Gender Studies and Ethnography. She is also a Research Fellow at the Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa and serves as the Kenya National Representative of the African Association for the Study of Religions (AASR). Her research interests include Religion and gender, feminist theology, Christology, Pentecostalism, Religion and security, and Sexuality.

Adelaide Anno-Kumi – Ghana
Chief Director, Ministry of the Interior

Adelaide Anno-Kumi, Chief Director of the Ministry of Interior, Ghana, completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Religions from the University of Ghana, Legon. She also holds a degree of Bachelor of Law from Ghana School of Law Accra in 1996. She completed an International Executive Masters in Business Administration, Strategic and Consultancy Management from the Paris Graduate School of Management in May, 2012, and holds a Diploma in Public Administration. Currently, Anno-Kumi is a member of the Ghana Highways Board and the Ghana Immigration Service Board. In the past, she worked as a trained teacher, and has worked for the Civil Service for the past 26 years. 

Abamfo Ofori Atiemo – Ghana
Professor, Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana

Abamfo Ofori Atiemo is a senior lecturer and former Head of the Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana, Legon. He obtained his PhD from the Free University of Amsterdam after he had studied for the Master of Philosophy and Bachelor of Arts degrees in the Study of Religions at the University of Ghana. He also holds other qualifications from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague and the Trinity College, Legon. He has been a senior fellow at the Indian Institute of Advance Study in Shimla, India; a visiting lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; and a visiting professor at the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa. He has also been a fellow of the Linnaeus-Palme Exchange Programme at the University of Gavle, Sweden, and a visiting fellow of the African Studies Centre, Leiden, in 2015. He teaches Comparative/History of Religion and his current research interests include Religion and Human Rights; Hinduism in Ghana; Pentecostalism; and Evil and Popular Piety in African Christianity and Islam. Among his recent publications are Unpacking the Sense of the Sacred: A Reader in the Study of Religion (2014), and “Religion and custom are not the same: sacred traditional states and religious human rights in contemporary Ghana” in Law and Religion in Africa–The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies (2015).

Festus Kofi Aubyn – Ghana
Research Fellow, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC)

Dr. Festus Kofi Aubyn is a Research Fellow at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana. He lectures on the Centre’s MA Programmes and Training Courses. Festus is also a part-time Lecturer at Webster University in Ghana and has been a Guest Lecturer in a number of institutions including the Ghana Armed Forces Staff and Command College, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, University of Ghana, and the Ghana Military Academy. He was also a visiting Lecturer at the Department of Political and International Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa in September 2016. Before joining the KAIPTC in 2011, Festus worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana.

John G. Esubonteng – Ghana
PhD Candidate, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Ghana

John Ghartey Esubonteng is currently a third year PhD candidate at the Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana researching the dynamics of leadership and governance within Pentecostal Charismatic churches. He is a senior associate minister of the Living Streams International, a Charismatic Church in Ghana. 

Marcus B. Nash – Ghana
Africa West Area Presidency, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Marcus B. Nash was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 1, 2006. At the time of his call he had been serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the North America Northwest Area. He has served as President of the South America West and South America Northwest Areas and as assistant in the North America Northeast and North America Southeast Areas. He has also served as an Assistant Executive Director in the Church History and Correlation Departments, Executive Director of the Correlation Department, and as a member of the Boundary and Leadership Change Committee. He is currently serving as a member of the Africa West Area Presidency. Elder Nash graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and earned a law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. He was a partner in a major Seattle law firm at the time of his call as a Seventy.

Giancarlo Anello – Italy
Professor of Law and Religion at the University of Parma

Giancarlo Anello is currently Associate Professor of Intercultural Law & Economics & Anthropology and Institutions of Islam at the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural Industries (DUSIC), University of Parma-Italy; and a lawyer. Since 2005, he has been a full time researcher at the Department of Jurisprudence of the University of Parma. He is a member of the PhD-Board in Legal Sciences, at University of Modena-Reggio Emilia since 2013. He earned a law degree from the University of Palermo and a DPhil in Law from the University of Roma “la Sapienza”. He has published books and articles on law and religion and human rights topics and his current research includes Intercultural Legal Subjectivity, Religions, Languages and the Public Legal Sphere. Professor Anello is an expert of Islamic Law and Comparative Constitutional Law and recently was an Adjunct Researcher of the LARSA group. He was formerly part of the group of reviewers of the book The Marrakesh Declaration. A Bridge to Religious Freedom in Muslim Countries?, edited by Antonio Fuccillo in 2016.

Cristiana Cianitto – Italy
Lecturer in Canon Law, University of Milan; General Coordinator, ICLARS Secretariat

Cristiana Cianitto attended the Faculty of Law in the Università degli Studi in Milan, where she took her undergraduate degree in Law in 2000 and her PhD in Philosophy of Law, curriculum in Ecclesiastical and Canon Law, in 2005. Since October 2007 she has been a Lecturer in Canon Law at the University of Milan, Faculty of Law. Her main fields of investigation are church and state relationships in UK with a particular attention to the Anglican canon law and the British legal system in relation to religious issues and hate crimes, hate speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression in the UK, USA, India, and Italy. In 2008 she was a founding member of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), and she has since continuted as the general coordinator of ICLARS secretariat. She serves as a case note editor for the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion and is Coordinator of the Secretariat of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies. She is a member of the editorial committee of the journal Quaderni di diritto e politica ecclesiastica.

Thaer Al-Adwan – Jordan
General Director, Judicial Institute of Jordan

Dr. Thaer S.A. Al-Adwan, General Director of the Judicial Institute of Jordan, was the first PhD graduate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Jordan. He also holds a Master of Laws with merit from the University of Kent, UK, and a BA Degree in Law from the University of Jordan. Dr. Al-Adwan began his legal career as a clerk at the First Instance Court in 1989. Since 1993 he has been a judge specializing in competition issues and intellectual property issues. His past experience includes Attorney General of the High Felony Court, Attorney General in Amman, Head of North Amman First Instance Court, Director of the Legal Department at the Ministry of Justice, and Director of the Studies and Planning Department at the Ministry of Justice. He is a member of many judiciary committees and has spoken at and participated in numerous international conferences. Dr. Al-Adwan is lecturer at the Jordanian Judicial Institute, the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy, and the Faculty of Law, University of Jordan as well as specialized educational centers. He has published two books.

Fayyad Alqudah – Jordan
Dean, University of Jordan Law School

Professor Fayyad Alqudah is the Dean of the University of Jordan Law School. He earned an LLB from the University of Jordan (UJ), an LLM with Distinction and a PhD both in Commercial Law from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to becoming Dean, Prof. Alqudah assumed many posts at UJ including assistant dean for administrative affairs, assistant dean for student's affairs, head of the private law department, and vice dean. He is a member of the Deans Council, a member of the Appointment and Promotion Committee, and the UJ Legislative Committee, and a member of the legal Committee of the Council of Higher Education in Jordan. For his contributions, UJ awarded Prof. Alqudah the title of distinguished alumna. He has published articles in Arabic and English and participated in many conferences, public lectures, and media interviews advocating rule of law. He is a member of the board of many local and regional refereed journals, and works as an external examiner evaluating post-graduate degrees for various universities. Professor Alqudah is a practicing attorney at law and a managing partner in Alqudah Law & Arbitration and has worked as a legal advisor to UJ, to Jordan University of Science and Technology, King Abdullah I Hospital, and to the Government of Jordan Privatizations Unit as well as many other private and public institutions. By Royal Decree, Prof. Alqudah was appointed a member of the Jordan Anti-Corruption Committee Board in 2010, a member of the Board of King Abdullah II Center for Development and Design (KADDBI) in 2014, and later a member of the Board of the Hashemite Fund for Badia Development. 

Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen – Kenya
Chairperson, Department of Social Sciences, Technical University of Mobasa

Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen is the Chairperson, Department of Social Sciences, Technical University of Mombasa. She specializes in Conflict and Security Studies. Her PhD research was on youth radicalization and recruitment in Kenya. Her research fellowships and presentations include presentations at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford; Mahanirban Calcutta Research Institute, India; CODESRIA – Dakar, Senegal, among others.

Tito Kunyuk – Kenya
Magistrate, Kenyan Judiciary

Hon. Tito Kunyuk is a Kadhi ‘s Court Magistrate based at Kakuma Law courts in Turkana County, Kenya. He holds a Bachelor of Sharia from the International University of Africa, Sudan (2005), a Bachelor of Laws from Mt. Kenya University (2016) and a Diploma in English, Literature, and History from Kagumo Teachers’ Training College (2012). He is currently finishing his MA in Religious Studies (Islamic Studies) from Mt. Kenya University. He joined the Kenyan judiciary in December 2012 and is currently a Senior Resident Kadhi. His research interests include the role of Islamic law in advancing the rule of law in Kenya.

Mohamed Mraja – Kenya
Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Department of Philosophy, Religion and Theology, Moi University

Dr. Mohamed Mraja is currently the head of the Department of Gender and Social Economic Development in the School of Arts & Social Sciences, Moi University. He is a senior lecturer in Islamic Studies in the Department of Philosophy, Religion and Theology, in the same university. He has authored, among other scholarly articles, “Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui (1891-1947) and the Dilemma of Islamic Law in the Kenyan Legal System in the 21st Century”, in Journal for Islamic Studies, vol. 31, Centre for Contemporary Islam, University of Cape Town, 2011 and “The Reform Ideas of Shaykh ʻAbdallāh Ṣāliḥ al-Farsī and the Transformation of Marital Practices among Digo Muslims of Kenya”, in Islamic Law and Society, vol. 17, No.2, Brill: Leiden, 2010.

Hamisi Ali Mwadzogo – Kenya
PhD Candidate , Faculty of Sharia and Law, Omdurman Islamic University

Hamisi Ali Mwadzogo holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan and a Master in Sharia and Law from Omdurman Islamic University, Khartoum, Sudan. He also earned a post graduate diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law. He is an advocate of the High court of Kenya and a tutorial fellow at the Technical University of Mombasa in Kenya. Previously, he worked as the National Programmes Coordinator of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya National Head office, in Mombasa. He also practiced law with the firm of A. A. Mazrui and Company Advocates and was a part time lecturer in several Kenyan public universities.

Hassan Ndzovu – Kenya
Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Moi University

Hassan J. Ndzovu is a Senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology, Moi University, Kenya. He was awarded a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in 2009. Ndzovu has also held two postdoctoral positions at Freie Universität Berlin (2013-2014) and Northwestern University, USA (2010-2011). His research interests are broadly focused on Islam in Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, and his research revolves around religion and politics/law, religious based conflict, religious authority within the Islamic tradition, religion and sexuality, and witchcraft among African societies. Ndzovu has conducted previous studies related with the Muslim community of Kenya. A culmination of some of his research projects the publication of Muslims in Kenyan Politics: Political Involvement, Marginalization and Minority Status.

Damaris Seleina Parsitau – Kenya
Director, Institute of Women, Gender, and Development Studies; Lecturer, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Egerton University

Damaris Seleina Parsitau is a lecturer and a researcher of Kenyan Pentecostalism based at Egerton University, Kenya. She has published more than 20 book chapters and journal articles on Kenyan Pentecostalism. She recently completed her PhD thesis on Neo-Pentecostalism: Its Civic and Public Roles in Kenya (1970-2012). Currently, she is researching Pentecostals and politics, Christian churches, Islamophobia, and the Kadhi court controversy, prophesy and prayer as civic engagement. She was a visiting research fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK, and a visiting fellow at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Lalla Aïcha Belarbi Alaoui – Morocco
Professor of Sociology, Mohammed V University, Rabat; Former Ambassador to the European Union; Former Secretary of State in charge of Cooperation

Aïcha Belarbi is a women's rights activist and scholar. She is a Professor of Sociology at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco. In March 1998, she was appointed Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, in charge of Cooperation by His Majesty Hassan II. She also served as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco at the European Union. As Secretary of State and as a member of the Ministerial Commission on Migration, she worked extensively on migration issues. As an academic researcher, she focuses on girls' education and gender socialization. Dr. Belarbi is a founder of the Moroccan Organization of Human Rights and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Arab Institute of Human Rights. She offers her expertise as a human rights activist to a number of organizations including Initiative for Peace and Cooperation in the Middle East, Human Rights Watch, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and the International Commission of Jurists. She has published several articles and books on children, women's issues, and human rights education among other topics.  Her latest work is "Mother or stepmother, the challenges of migration in the Mediterranean", Crossroads (2016). Dr. Belarbi speaks Arabic, French, and English. 

Abdelaziz Benjouad – Morocco
Vice-President for Research and Development, Université Internationale de Rabat

Malika Benradi – Morocco
Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Rabat

Malika Benradi is an international attorney and a professor at the Faculty of Law in Rabat, Agdal. She also serves as an associate professor at the Sorbonne in Paris and a consultant on gender and law. Benradi’s research focuses on the role of women in the Arab world, gender and law, international immigration, and child labor. She has also directed a course on family law in North Africa and was a missionary professor at l’Universite Paris Diderot-Paris 7 in France. She has served as a consultant for BIT and UNICEF on the question of child labor and social dialogue for the countries in the Mediterranean Rim, for the European Union on women’s rights in Morocco, and for PNUD and FNUAP on gender and law. She is a member of the National Commission for the revision of Penal Code and also directed the 5th Congress of Francophone Feminist Researchers. Benradi is president of the Association of African Women for Research and Development, vice president of the Forum of Arab Palestinian Women and former president of the Moroccan Association of Studies and Research on Immigration. She is also a member of the International Association of Women Lawyers; Association for Women’s Rights in Development of Montreal, Canada; Network of Women Living Under Muslim Laws in London, U.K.; and the Moroccan Organization of Human Rights. Benradi received her doctorate in private law in 1981.

Driss Bouyahya – Morocco
Professor, Moulay Ismail University

Dr. Driss Bouyahya is a professor at Moulay Ismail University. He holds a PhD in political Islam and Political communication. His publications include Islam-Oriented Parties' Ideologies and Political Communication in the Quest for Power in Morocco (Cambridge, 2016), Islamist Movements Typology in Morocco (2014), Is Islam an Ideology?  How and Why? (2013), and Sufism and Religious Tourism in Morocco (2016).  His fields of interest are: Religious studies, Political Islam, Interfaith dialogue and Intercultural communication.

Meriem El Haitami – Morocco
PhD candidate, University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah; Area Studies Instructor, AMIDEAST Rabat

Meriem El Haitami is completing a PhD at the University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah in Fes, Morocco. Her research explores the dynamics of women’s religious authority and activism in Morocco with focus on state-sanctioned female imams and their particular role in nation-building and in the war on terror. During 2015-2016, she was a Rice Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University, where she taught courses on Islam and gender in North Africa. From 2012-2013, she was a Fulbright Scholar at SUNY Binghamton, conducting research in affiliation with the Political Science Department. Her research during this period explored Sufism as a global Islamic movement. In spring 2015, she was a Carnegie Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, where she was conducting research relating to modes of religiosity and attitudes towards human rights in Morocco. El Haitami is currently a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization at the Yale Law School.

Driss El Yazami – Morocco
Chairman of the Moroccan National Human Rights Council

Mr. Driss El Yazami was appointed by His Majesty the King to chair the National Human Rights Council on March 3rd, 2011. A graduate of the Paris-based Centre de formation et de perfectionnement des journalists, he was a member of the Advisory Council on Human Rights (CCDH), the Equity and Reconciliation Commission (Moroccan Truth Commission) and the board of the Three Cultures Foundation (Spain). He is the Director of Générique, an association specializing in the history of foreigners and immigration in France, and chief editor of Migrance. Mr. El Yazami, is a former Vice-President of the French League of Human Rights (LDH), former Secretary General of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and former member of the Executive Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. Since 2004, he has been president of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders and member of the board of the Cité nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration in France. Mr. El Yazami is co-director of the "France, terre d’Islam?" film. He was in charge of several exhibitions: - "France of foreigners, France of freedoms" (Marseille, Paris, Orléans, Strasbourg, 1989-1992); - "In the mirror of the other, immigration in France and Germany" (Frankfurt, May 1993); - “Generations, a century of history of Maghrebians in France (Lyon & Paris - 2009). He has published several articles in the French-speaking press, and co-authored several works including For Human Rights; Les étrangers en France, guide des sources d'archives publiques et privées (XIXè-XXè siècles); Le Paris Arabe; and Générations. In 2001 Mr. El Yazami drafted (with Remy Schwartz) a report on the establishment of a national centre for the history and culture of immigration, submitted to the French Prime Minister. Mr. El Yazami was awarded the Legion of Honor (knight grade) of the French Republic on July 14th, 2010. He was appointed to chair the Council of Moroccan Community Abroad in 2007.

Moha Ennaji – Morocco
Professor, University of Fes

Moha Ennaji is a Moroccan linguist, author, political critic, and civil society activist. He is a university professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University at Fes, where he has worked for over 30 years. In addition to his publications in linguistics, he has written on language, education, migration, politics, and gender, and is the author or editor of over 20 books. His works include Multilingualism, Cultural Identity and Education in Morocco (2005), "Language and Gender in the Mediterranean Region", International Journal of the Sociology of Language issue 190, editor (2008), Migration and Gender in Morocco, co-authored (2008), Women Writing Africa, the Northern Region, co-edited (2009), Women in the Middle East, co-edited (2010), and Gender and Violence in the Middle East (2011). His writing has appeared in international publications including Common Ground News, Project Syndicate, Al-Safir, Al-Ahram, Khaleej Times, Japan Times, The Boston Globe and in many Arabic newspapers. Ennaji is a visiting professor at Rutgers University. He is the president of the South North Center for Intercultural Dialogue and a founding president of the International Institute for Languages and Cultures at Fès, Morocco. Since the 1980s, Ennaji has been working for the revival of Berber (Amazigh) language in Morocco and the protection of human rights, especially women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa region. His work has been in fields such as Arabic and Berber linguistics and the sociology of language.

T. Jeremy Gunn – Morocco
Professor of Law and Political Science, International University of Rabat

T. Jeremy Gunn, now at the International University of Rabat, was previously Professor of International Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Al AKhwayn University. Prior to these appointments in Morocco, he served as director of the program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the American Civil Liberties Union and as director of research at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. He earned his PhD from Harvard University, JD from Boston University (magna cum laude), MA from the University of Chicago, and BA in International Relations and Humanities from Brigham Young University. His publications include his Harvard dissertation, published as A Standard for Repair: The Establishment Clause, Equality, and Natural Rights, and the articles 'Religious Symbols in Public Schools: The Islamic Headscarf and the European Court of Human Rights Decision in Sahin v. Turkey'; 'Permissible Limitations on Religion'; 'Freedom of Religion and International Politics', World Politics Review; 'Religious Symbols and Religious Expression in the Public Square'; 'The Human Rights System'; and the book, No Establishment of Religion: America’s Original Contribution to Religious Liberty, ed. with John Witte Jr. (OUP 2012).

Amal Idrissi – Morocco
Professor in Public Law and Political Sciences, University Moulay Ismail

Amal Idrissi is Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Moulay Ismail in Meknès, Morocco. She is the first woman to be promoted to full professor in the law faculty at the university. She previously taught at University Hassan I in Settat, Morocco. She received a National Doctorate in Public Law from Hassan I University in Casablanca. In addition to teaching public law and constitutional law, her research interests and publications focus on the rights of women, and religion and law. She wrote, with T. Jeremy Gunn, the article on Morocco for the Brill Encyclopedia of Law and Religion.

Driss Sidi Maghraoui – Morocco
Associate Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University

Driss Maghraoui earned his PhD in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA. Among his research interests are history and memory, Colonialism, Moroccan culture and polities, and world history. His publications include Revisiting the Colonial Past in Morocco (Routledge, 2013), Fez in World History co-authored with Said Ennahid (Al Akhwayn University Press, 2012), and numerous articles in international journals. He was awarded the 2009 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship, The Edward J. Dorothy and Clarke Kempf Fund, Middle East Studies Council, Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, fall 2005.

Najib Mokhtari – Morocco
Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Université Internationale de Rabat

Najib Mokhtari holds a PhD in English & Comparative Literature from the University of Texas in Austin, USA. Dr. Mokhtari is associate professor of English and Comparative Literature and senior visiting lecturer on the Diacritical Readings of Post/Colonial Literatures & Cultures within and across Global Strategic Dialogues in a number of colleges and universities and supervisor of interdisciplinary academic research projects. Since 2011, he has been appointed Director of Studies at the International University of Rabat where he has been instrumental in securing a high standard of teaching, syllabus design, teaching practicum, translation and research in English. Dr. Najib is currently Academic Advisor and Director of MEdiNA Studies Program, a cross-disciplinary study and research program on Middle Eastern, North African, and Mediterranean area studies. 

Noureddine Mouaddib – Morocco
Founder and President, Université Internationale de Rabat

M. Noureddine Mouaddib has spent twenty-five years in the field of higher education in France as a tenured full professor and researcher in Computer Science. After obtaining his PhD in Computer Science from the university Henri Poincaré in 1989, M. Mouaddib earned the Habilitation à diriger des recherches (HDR) in Computer Science from the same university in 1995. Since 1996, M. Mouaddib was appointed as a full-tenured professor at the Ecole Polytechnique de Nantes (France) and was for many years the head of LINA (Laboratoire d’Informatique de Nantes Atlantique), a major research lab in computer science in Nantes University. Beside supervising a significant number of PhD’s, M. Mouaddib published more than ninety publications in conferences, and in national and international revues, and was also appointed as vice-president at the Ecole Polytechnique de Nantes in France. M. Mouaddib is the founder and President of the Université Internationale de Rabat (UIR) since 2010. M. Mouaddib believes that the role of the Moroccan academic diaspora in the development of higher education in Morocco is of the essence. He belongs to such academic diaspora who chose the option to come back to their home country to contribute to its development process. In October 2011, M. Mouaddib was appointed by His Majesty the King Mohamed VI as a member of the National Council of Human Rights (Conseil National des Droits de l’Homme, CNDH), among eight other members appointed by the King of Morocco. 

Eric Stanley Ross – Morocco
Associate Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University

Eric S. Ross is a cultural and urban geographer. He earned a MSc in Geography at Université du Québec à Montréal (1990) and a PhD in Islamic Studies at McGill University (1996). He is currently a Professor at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, where he has been teaching geography and research methods since 1998. Ross has conducted research on Sufi institutions and urban processes in Senegal, and on the city of Touba in particular. He also studies cultural heritage, tourism, and urban planning in Morocco, and contributed to a multidisciplinary study of the impacts of tourism on Essaouira.

Fatima Sadiqi – Morocco
Professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies, University of Fes

Fatima Sadiqi is Professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies, University of Fes, Morocco. Her work focuses on women’s issues in modern North Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean world. She is author and editor of numerous volumes and journal issues, including Women, Gender and Language (Brill 2003), Women’s Activism and the Public Sphere: Local/Global Linkages (Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 2006), Women and Knowledge in the Mediterranean (Routledge 2013), Moroccan Feminist Discourses (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), and Women’s Movements in the Post-“Arab Spring” North Africa (2016). Fatima Sadiqi is also a public speaker in many languages and a member of many national and international scholarly and policy-making boards. She served as Director General of the Fes Festival of Sacred Music and an Administrative Board Member of the Royal Institute of the Amazigh Language and Culture (IRCAM). Her work has been supported by numerous prestigious awards and fellowships from Harvard University, The Woodrow Wilson Center, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, and Fulbright. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Oxford Encyclopedia of African Women’s History.

Julio R. Machele – Mozambique
Assistant Lecturer, Faculty of Letters and Social Sciences, History Department

Júlio Raimundo Machele earned a degree in History with Honours from the University Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique in 2008. He is Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University Eduardo Mondlane from 2008 to the present. His research interests include: Social Medicine; Traditional Medicine; Public Health; Environmental History; Poverty; Development; Urbanization; Music; and Religion. 

Sohail Wahedi – Netherlands
PhD Candidate, Erasmus School of Law

Sohail Wahedi is a PhD Candidate at Erasmus School of Law in the Netherlands. His research elaborates on the liberal theories of religious freedom, and it aims to theorise, from that perspective, the relationship between law and religion. His work has been published in, among others, the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion and it covers topical issues such as ritual circumcisions and religious clothes. Prior to his appointment as PhD Candidate, Sohail was working student at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek Lawyers and Notaries in Amsterdam. Next, he was deputy clerk of the Rotterdam District Court. From July 2011 until December 2011, Sohail was an intern at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Seyni Moumouni – Niger
Director, l'Institut de Recherches en Sciences Humaines, Universite de Niamey

Seyni Moumouni, Prof Dr philology – Islamic studies, is a senior researcher and Director of the Institut de Recherches en Sciences Humaines of the Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey. He is a Teaching Coordinator for the Arab Language and Islamic Culture at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, and a Corresponding member of the Program Fontes Historea Africanae of the International Union of Academies. He is also a member of the sub-commission Education of UNESCO World Memory. He is a National expert in Islamism, radicalization and terrorism to the courts of the Niger republic. Moumouni is the author or co-author of Vie et œuvre du Cheik Uthman dan Fodio (1754 – 1817), (2008); Inspiration spirituelle et élaboration des sciences ésotériques et exotériques (2012); “Niger: Islamic Schorarship”, Oxford Islamic Studies Online (2013); “Alfa Maman Jobbo”, Oxford Islamic Studies Online (2013); and co-editor of Voice of Africa’s Past (2014).

Musa Usman Abubakar – Nigeria
Associate Professor, Department of Islamic Law, Bayero University, Kano

Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar is a solicitor and advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He studied Common and Islamic law at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria (1997). He earned a Master of Laws in Legislative Drafting (NIALS, Lagos 2003), a Master of Laws in Law in Development, and a PhD in Law (University of Warwick, United Kingdom, 2005 and 2012 respectively). He is recipient of the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship Award 2003/2004 session. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Islamic Law, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria, and is the Sub-Dean, Academics of the faculty. He attended many local and international conferences, and has published in journals and contributed chapters to books both locally and internationally. He is currently working on a book to be published by Hart Publishing London in 2018. His research interests include Child Justice Administration, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, International Human Rights Law, and Gender and Islamic Law.

Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi – Nigeria
Acting Secretary, West African Law and Religion Society; Lecturer, Department of Public Law, University of Lagos

Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, is a Lecturer in the Department of Public Law, University of Lagos, founding Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), and currently the acting Secretary, West African Law and Religion Society. A former student leader and dedicated human rights defender, she specializes in gender, climate justice, peace, security, and international human rights law. In recognition of her commitment and efforts on behalf of her fellow citizens, particularly women, the International League for Human Rights named her a recipient of the1999 Defenders’ Day Awards, presenting the award on December 9, 1999, the first anniversary of the United Nations Defenders Declaration. A graduate of Law from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi has a Master’s Degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Indiana, USA. She attended the course on a full tuition scholarship, and was awarded a fellowship for her distinction in performance and professionalism. She later earned a Doctoral Degree from SOAS, Faculty of Law and Social Science, University of London. She has produced several research materials and publications in the areas of her specialization and has worked as a consultant to local and international organizations on several projects including gender and climate change. She was part of Nigeria Negotiators at the Conference of Parties (COP) of the UNFCC at Copenhagen and Mexico. A delegate of the 2014 National Conference and also a prominent member of the ongoing 2016 Presidential Electoral Reform Committee, Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi is the Chair of the subcommittee on Review of Relevant laws and Constitutions affecting electoral reforms in Nigeria. She is also the Chairperson of the Transition Monitoring Groups and leads a UN Democracy Fund Project on Safe and Secure Schools Initiative in the North East, Nigeria.

Saleh Dwamlong Bala – Nigeria
Brigadier General (Rtd), Ministry of Interior

Brigadier General Saleh Bala (Rtd) is a Senior Adviser to Lt Gen (Rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau CFR, PhD, The Honourable Minister of Interior, Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of White Ink Consult, a private defense and security research, strategic communications and training consultancy firm based in Abuja, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature, from the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria (1982) and a Masters Degree in International Peace Studies, from the University for Peace, San Jose, Costa Rica (2006) and another Masters in National Security Strategy, from the National Defense University, National War College, Washington, DC (2009). He is an honours graduate of the Special Forces Detachment Officers Qualification Course (1991), John F Kennedy, United States Special Warfare Centre, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and an alumnus of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Sanremo, Italy, International Refugee Law Course (2010) and a member of the institute's Training Advisory Group. He is also a resource associate of the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Washington, DC and the Africa Institute for Strategic and Security Studies, Alexandria, Virginia, USA. Bala was commissioned into the Nigerian Army on 15 December 1984. He served in various command, staff and training capacities, which included company commander, 72 Parachute Battalion (1987-88), instructor at the Nigerian Army Infantry School, Airborne, Tactics and Special Warfare Wings (1988-93). He also served as an instructor at the Nigerian Defence Academy (1993-95), as well as a Directing Staff at the Nigerian Armed Forces Command and Staff College (2002- 2004) and the National Defence College (2009-2011). Bala had peacekeeping experience as a UN Military Observer at the United Nations Verification Mission in Angola II (1995-96) and was the Military Chief of Staff, United Nations Operations in Cote D'Ivoire (2011-2012). His last military assignment was as the Chief of Staff, Nigerian Army Infantry Corps Center (2012-13).

A. Wahab Egbewole – Nigeria
Professor, Faculty of Law, Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Ilorin

Wahab Egbewole is a legal practitioner and academic. He was called to the Nigerian Bar as a solicitor and advocate on 20th August 1985, and holds a Master’s and PhD in Law. Currently, he is a professor in the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law at the University of Ilorin. He served in various capacities in the Faculty including the office of the Dean, University of Ilorin. He is a member of the Governing Council of University of Ilorin representing the Senate and Director of General Studies Unit. He is a member of several learned societies including the African Consortium on Law and Religion, Law and Society Association, and the Nigerian Bar Association, and is a Fellow, Society for Peace Studies and Practice. At the 2015 International Bar Association held in Vienna, Austria he was unanimously elected as Newsletter Editor of the IBA Damages and Negligence Committee. He has published widely in the areas of Jurisprudence and Legal Theory and has five books in his name including Jurisprudence of Election Petitions by the Nigerian Court of Appeal (LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany). He has attended several conferences including those of the American Society of International Law, the International Bar Association, and the Law and Society Association. He has served in executive positions of many learned societies, and is serving as External Examiner in a few Universities across the continent.

Ahmed Salisu Garba – Nigeria
Professor, Faculty of Law, Bauchi State University

Ahmed Salisu Garba attended the University of Jos, Faculty of Law, earning First and Second Degrees in 2004 and 2011 respectively. Called to the Nigerian Bar in 2005, he is still in active legal practice and has held the position of Head of Chambers in the law firm of ABC Attorneys. He is presently the Acting HOD in the Department of Private and Business Law. He teaches law at the Bauchi State University, Gadau, in Nigeria. A PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria, he is working on the regulation of religious preaching in Nigeria with a focus on Islamic Preaching Board Laws. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Iowa College of Law in the United States from August–December 2013. His publications include a recent article in the Annual Review of Islam in Africa published by the University of Cape Town. 

Hammed A. Hanafi – Nigeria
Senior Lecturer, Ag HOD, Public and International Law, Al-Hikmah University

Hammed A. Hanafi earned his Bachelor of Law (LLB) from Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto in 1997, and his Barrister at Law from Nigerian Law School, Abuja in 1999. In 2006 he earned a Master Degree in Law from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, and in 2013 a PhD in law from the University of Ilorin. Hanafi worked as a lecturer and researcher at Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies from 2001-2011; Kogi State University, Ayingba, from 2011-2015; and Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, 2015 to the present where he is currently Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Public and International Law.

Akinola Ibidapo-Obe – Nigeria
Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos

Akinola Ibidapo-Obe is Professor and former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. As Dean of Law, he pioneered the introduction of Law and Religion studies as an approved course in the Curriculum of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lagos for the 2016/2017 session. He is the former Director of the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) in the Faculty of Law. Professor Ibidapo-Obe's involvement with the law and religion movement began when he attended the 21st International Conference on Law and Religion held in Provo in October 2014. His faculty subsequently hosted an International Conference, "Towards Law and Religious Freedom in Africa", with support from Brigham Young University (BYU). Ibidapo-Obe together with his colleagues in several other Nigerian Universities and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) branches in Lagos and Ikeja, have formed the Nigeria Association for Law and Religion Studies (NALARS) and the West African Regional Centre for Law and Religion Studies (WARCLARS) to promote teaching and research on law and religion in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region. NALARS, WARCLARS, ACLARS, ICLARS, and the National Judicial Institute of Nigeria are also collaborating to organize the 1st National Judicial Roundtable on the Intersection Between Law and Religion: World Perspectives in the Nigerian Capital, Abuja on June 20, 2016.

Afis Ayinde Oladosu – Nigeria
Professor, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan

Afis Ayinde Oladosu is a Professor in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, at the University of Ibadan. He specializes in Islamic Studies broadly defined and has expertise and competence in Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, Middle Eastern, North African and Cultural Affairs. Before his promotion to the rank of Professor at the University of Ibadan in 2011, Afis has participated in many international conferences on Islam in and Muslim Culture in the United States, Malaysia, Uganda, Saudi Arabia and Sudan among others. He was a Fulbright Scholar to the University of Southern Maine, United States, a Bill Gates Scholar and fellow, African Scholar Program, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a Visiting Professor to the International Islamic University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and was once on sabbatical to the University of Ghana. Afis has published in all continents of the world except Latin America. He is a consultant and resource person to the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Federation of Muslim Women Organisation of Nigeria (FOMWAN) among others. He is an external examiner and assessor to Universities in Nigerian and abroad including International Islamic University of Malaysia  (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur. 

Habibat Oladosu-Uthman – Nigeria
Lecturer, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan

Dr. Habibat Oladusu-Uthman obtained her PhD from the International Islamic University Malaysia specializing in Islamic and other civilizations. Her areas of interest includes Gender studies, cultural criticism, modernity, History of Islam and Muslims in West Africa. She is the author of Muslim Women and the Politics of Emplacement (2011).

Is-haq Oloyede – Nigeria
Professor, Islamic Studies, University of Ilorin; Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board

Professor Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede, OFR, FNAL, Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, was appointed on August 1, 2016 by the Federal Government of Nigeria as Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Ilorin, where he is Professor of Islamic Studies and was formerly Deputy Vice Chancellor and Director of Academic Planning. He is a fellow of the Islamic Academy of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Fellow, Academy of Entrepreneurship; Member, Nigerian Association of Teachers of Arabic and Islamic Studies (NATAIS); Member, Editorial Board, Centre for Islamic Legal Studies, ABU, Zaria. He was National President of the Unilorin Alumni Association, a member of the University Governing Council; Students’ Disciplinary Committee; Revenue Yielding Committee; Honorary Degree and Monument Committee; Strategic Planning Steering Committee; and Member, Capital Project Implementation Task Force. In 2005 Prof. Oloyede was appointed co-secretary of the National Political Reform Conference by President Olusegun Obasanjo. He has been a consultant to the National Universities Commission on Educational Reforms in Nigeria and was Chairman of University of Ilorin Holdings Ltd, Executive Secretary of National Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), and President of the Association of African Universities (AAU).

Mariatu Bangura – Sierra Leone
Deputy Chief of Social Services, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs

Mariatu Bangura is Deputy Chief of Social Services, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) of Sierra Leone. She is a veteran in child protection and gender issues with the responsibility of providing technical guidance and managing national child protection, gender, and social welfare issues. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Sociology from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone in 1988 and a master’s degree in Gender and Development from the same university in 2004. She has vast knowledge on issues of religion as she plays an oversight role on the Social Welfare Directorate of her Ministry. She has attended numerous international conferences relating to children, social welfare, and gender. 

Francis Kabia – Sierra Leone
Director of Social Welfare, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children's Affairs

As the current Director of Social Welfare, Francis Kabia monitors key interventions covering Religious Affairs, Anti-Human Trafficking, Disability, Disaster Risk Management, and Older Persons. His overarching responsibilities are to ensure that all divisions within the directorate fulfill their mandated tasks and ensure the development and implementation of legal frameworks on the aforementioned intervention areas. As part of the National Hajj Committee and the National Pilgrimage Committee, Kabia ensures that the two major religions in the country are represented at Pilgrimages to the Holy Land of Mecca and Israel.  In collaboration with the Inter Religious Council, he works for religious tolerance in Sierra Leone.

Ján Figeľ – Slovakia
Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion Outside the EU, European Commission

In May 2016 Ján Figeľ was nominated by the European Commission as the first Special Envoy for promotion of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) outside the European Union. Formerly European Commissioner for Education, Training & Culture, Mr. Figeľ has also held other positions such as State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was the Chief Negotiator for Slovakia's accession into the EU. He joined the Christian Democratic Movement party in 1990 and was elected in 1992 as an MP to the National Council of the Slovak Republic, serving on its Foreign Affairs Committee and becoming a member of Slovakia's delegation to the Council of Europe. In 1998 he was appointed State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was also the representative of the Slovak government in the European Convention which drafted the European Constitution. From 2004 to 2009 he served as European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism, with a brief stint as Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society. In 2009 we was elected leader of the Christian Democratic Movement in Slovakia. He stepped down from his Commission post in 2009 following his election as leader of the Christian Democratic Movement in Slovakia.

Pieter Coertzen – South Africa
Professor, University of Stellenbosch (retd); President, African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, South Africa; Member, ICLARS Steering Committee

Retired professor of Theology at the University of Stellenbosch, Professor Coertzen still teaches a course in Comparative Canon Law at the KU Leuven every year. He is chairperson of the Unit for the Study of Law and Religion in the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Stellenbosch and President of the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS). He holds seven degrees: BA, BA Hons, and MA in Philosophy (Pothefstroom University for Christian Higher Education); Bachelor of Theology, Licentiate in Theology, and Master of Theology in Ecclesiology, and doctorate degree in Theology (Ecclesiology) (University of Stellenbosch). For the Dutch Reformed Church, he has served in many capacities, including Parish Minister, Actuarius, and Church Law Committees. He was Senior Lecturer in Ecclesiology, Professor, and Dean of the Faculty of Theology (University of Stellenbosch). He has published 36 articles in NGTT (of which he has been editor for many years), has written 14 books, and is co-author or editor of more than 30 other publications. Among many honors and activities: Chairman of the Huguenot Memorial Museum in Franschhoek. 

Kevin S. Hamilton – South Africa
President, Africa Southeast Area, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Kevin S. Hamilton was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 2013. At the time of his call he was serving as a Church public affairs director in Southern California. He is currently serving as a member of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency. Elder Hamilton received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Brigham Young University in 1979. In 1982 he received a master’s degree in finance from the University of Washington. He has been CEO of several mobile telecommunications companies, and prior to his call he was a cofounder and partner in a venture capital firm. Elder Hamilton has served in several capacities for the LDS Church, including full-time missionary in the Switzerland Geneva Mission, counselor in a bishopric, bishop, high councilor, stake president, and president of the Belgium Brussels/Netherlands Mission (2003–2006).

Nokuzola Mndende – South Africa
Director, Icamagu Institute; Research Associate, Department of Theology, University of the Free State

Dr. Nokuzola Mndende is the President of Icamagu Spirituality, a national organization for African Traditional Religion in South Africa (ATR), and is the Director of Icamagu Institute, an academic institute that develops African Traditional Religion clergy. She is the Deputy Chairperson for the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims, and also a Research Associate, Department of Theology, University of the Free State, South Africa. Dr. Mndende has been a lecturer of African Traditional Religion, feminist/womanist theology, and religion education at the University of Cape Town, and of African Traditional Religion at the University of South Africa (UNISA). She has also worked as a freelance presenter of the ATR at Umhlobo Wenene, the second largest radio station of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Dr. Mndende is an expert in South African Customary law, and a consultant on all issues regarding the comparative analysis between the South African Constitution and customary law.  She is an activist for the liberation of African Traditional Religion in a post–colonial and post–apartheid South Africa, and has published several books and papers on African Traditional Religion in a democratic state. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Saibu Mutaru – South Africa
PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Stellenbosch University

Saibu Mutaru is a Ghanaian citizen by birth. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon. In 2011, he won a common scholarship award offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission to undertake a postgraduate study at Edinburgh University leading to the award of a Master of Science degree in Africa and International Development. He is currently a Lisa Maskell Fellow at the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, Stellenbosch University, where he pursues a PhD programme in Social Anthropology. His research focuses on ‘witch camps’ in Northern Ghana.

Enyinna Sodienye Nwauche – South Africa
Professor, Rhodes University, Grahamstown

Professor Enyinna Sodienye Nwauche teaches in the area of company and commercial law with research interests in human rights in Africa; intellectual property and development; business and human rights; trade and culture; legal pluralism in Africa; law and religion; regional integration in Africa, and constitutionalism in Africa. He was Director of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (2002-2004); Dean at the Faculty of Law Rivers State University of Science and Technology (1999-2002); Member of the 8th & 9th Governing Councils of Rivers State University of Science and Technology; Director of the Centre for African Legal Studies Port Harcourt, and member of the Rivers State Economic Advisory Committee. He has published extensively in local and international peer reviewed publications; is a member of the editorial board of the Constitutional Court Review; a tutor at the WIPO Worldwide Academy, and a member of the Executive Council of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL). Professor Nwauche received his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Law (LLM) degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. He also has a Doctor Legum (LLD) from the North-West University (Potchefstroom campus).

Mary Anne Plaatjies van Huffel – South Africa
Senior Lecturer in Ecclesiology, University of Stellenbosch

Prof. Mary Anne Plaatjies van Huffel teaches Ecclesiology and Church Polity at the University of Stellenbosch. Currently, she serves as the moderator of General Synod of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa and was chosen in 2013 as the Africa President of the World Council of Churches. She is the holder of two doctorates, namely in Systematic Theology (UNISA) and in Church Polity (University of Pretoria). She has published articles in accredited journals. Amongst Prof. MA Plaatjies van Huffel’s major publications are the following: Control, secede, vested rights and ecclesiastical property; The relevance of Reformed church polity principles: Revisiting the concept; The Belhar Confession: Born in the struggle against apartheid in Southern Africa, guiding light today; and From Justifying war to justifying peace: An historical overview of the discourse in ecumenical circles.

Lee-Shae Logan Scharnick-Udemans – South Africa
Research Associate, Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town

Lee-Shae Logan Scharnick-Udemans is a lecturer at the University of Cape Town. She holds a Bachelor in Social Science (Hons) and a  Master's in Social Science (Distinction) from the University of Cape Town. Her research interests include religion and public pedagogy, religion and media, religion and politics, religion and law, and critical pedagogy and curriculum design. Her research focuses on the multiple historical and contemporary intersections of the religion, politics, and media triptych. It traces and critically engages with the historical and contemporary role of religion in the political economy of public broadcasting in South Africa. 

Abdulkader Tayob – South Africa
Professor of Religious Studies, Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town

Abdulkader Tayob holds the chair in Islam, African Publics, and Religious Values at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He has published on Islam in South Africa, modern Islamic thought, and Islam and the history of religions. He has led a number of research initiatives and projects, and convened workshops and conferences locally and abroad. Prof. Tayob obtained his doctoral degree in 1989 from Temple University in the United States. His teaching experience includes Cape Town, Charlottesville (Virginia, USA), Bayreuth, Hamburg and Cologne (Germany), and Nijmegen and Leiden (the Netherlands). His current research is focused on religion education in South Africa, modern Islam, and biographies of religious engagement. He is a widely published author.

Asonzeh Ukah – South Africa
Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town

Asonzeh Ukah is a sociologist and historian of religion. He joined the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in 2013. Previously, he taught at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, from 2005 to 2013. He studied at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and the University of Bayreuth, Germany. He is the author of A New Paradigm of Pentecostal Power: A Study of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nigeria (Africa World Press, 2008) and co-editor of Bourdieu in Africa: Exploring the Dynamics of Religious Fields (Brill, 2016). He is Director of the Research Institute on Christianity and Society in Africa (RICSA), University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Affiliated Senior Fellow of Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Yolanda van der Vyver – South Africa
PhD Candidate, Department of Architecture, University of the Free State

Yolanda van der Vyver holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Pretoria. For her thesis she rewrote the curriculum for a course on the History of the southern African environment. She obtained a BA Honours in French and a BArch from the University of Pretoria. She is currently enrolled at the University of the Free State for her PhD titled A critical interpretation of the temporal impact of landscape, space and power on the built environment of Church Square, Pretoria (1841-2016). She has been practicing architecture since 1996, is a founding member of Y and K Architects, and a fellow of the Association of Arbitrators. 

Mohammed Jemal Ahmed – Turkey
Lecturer and Researcher of History and Tourism, Wollo University of Ethiopia

Mohammed Jemal Ahmed earned a BA Degree from Madawalabu University in History & a MA degree from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia in Tourism and Development. From 2009-2016 he was Lecturer of History and Tourism at Jigjiga University. Currently he is a lecturer and researcher at Wollo University, Ethiopia and a PhD student of Tourism at Katib Celebi University, Turkey.

Malcolm Evans – United Kingdom
Chair, UN Subcommittee on Torture; Professor of Public International Law, University of Bristol

Sir Malcolm D Evans OBE is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Bristol. His areas of specialism include the international law of the sea and international human rights protection. His particular interests concern torture and torture prevention and the protection of religious liberty under international law. He is a member, and since 2011, Chair, of the United Nations Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (the SPT). From 2014-2015 he served as Chair of the Meeting of Chairs of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies. From 2003 - 2013 he was also a member of the OSCE ODIHR Advisory Council on the Freedom of Religion or Belief. Major published works include: Religious Liberty and International Law in Europe (CUP, 1997); Manual on the Wearing of Religious Symbols in Public Areas (Council of Europe/Brill, 2009); The Changing Nature of Religious Rights under International Law (ed) (OUP, 2015).  He is also an Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion.

Mark Hill – United Kingdom
Extraordinary Professor, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Visiting Professor, Cardiff University

Mark Hill QC is a barrister specializing in ecclesiastical law and religious liberty. He has represented clients in the UK Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. He is a recorder on the Midland Circuit (sitting in criminal, civil and family cases) and Deputy Judge of Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber. He sits as judge in ecclesiastical courts of the Church of England and is Visiting Professor at Cardiff University’s Centre for Law and Religion (United Kingdom), at University of Pretoria in South Africa, and at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College, London. Publications include Magna Carta, Religion and the Rule of Law, Religion and Law in the United KingdomReligion and Discrimination Law in the European UnionEcclesiastical Law, Religious Liberty and Human Rights, and English Canon Law. He is a Consultant Editor of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal and a member of the Editorial Boards of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion and the Revista General de Derecho Canónico y Derecho Eclesiástico del Estado. He is Ecumenical Fellow in Canon Law at the Venerable English College in Rome, and a former President of the European Consortium for Church and State Research. He is an accredited mediator, current co-chair, and a founder of BIMA, a charity which promotes faith-based mediation.

Funmi Olonisakin – United Kingdom
Professor, African Leadership Centre, King's College London

Funmi Olonisakin, a British Nigerian scholar, is a professor of leadership, peace and conflict at King's College London and a distinguished associate scholar at the University of Pretoria. She is the founder and former Director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC) founded on the principle of Pan-Africanism to build the next generation of leaders and scholars on the African continent with core transformational values. Olonisakin is a senior lecturer at King's College London and the Programme Director of the ALC's Master of Science (MSc) programmes on Leadership, peace and security. She is a research associate of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria. Olonisakin under her many erudite caps is an Andrew Mellon Foundation distinguished scholar and a distinguished fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). She is currently an appointed member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) advisory group of experts on the review of the UN Peace-building Architecture. Olonisakin is currently the Vice-Dean International, Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, King's College London.

Elias Bongmba – United States
Harry and Hazel Chair in Christian Theology, Professor of Religion, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Professor Elias Bongmba is the Harry and Hazel Chair in Christian Theology and Professor of Religion at Rice University, Houston Texas where he teaches Religion, specializing in African indigenous religions, Christianity, theology, ethics, and political theology. Bongmba has published African Witchcraft and Otherness: A Philosophical and Theological Critique of Intersubjective Relations; The Dialectics of Transformation in Africa, which won the Frantz Fanon Prize in Caribbean Thought in 2007; and Facing A Pandemic: The African Church and Crises of HIV/AIDS. He is editor of The Wiley Blackwell Companion to African Religions; co-editor of Living on the Edge: Steve de Gruchy Activist & Theologian, and The Routledge Companion to Christianity in Africa, and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles. Bongmba received the Mosle Research Award in 2000 and 2001 from Rice University. He is lead investigator for “Land and Authority in Postcolonial Cameroon” with the Contending Modernity Project at the University of Notre Dame. He was named outstanding Faculty Associate of Wiess College three times. Bongmba is Managing Editor of Religious Studies Review and serves on several editorial boards. He is President of the African Association for the Study of Religion.

W. Cole Durham, Jr. – United States
Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law, Brigham Young University; Founding Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies

Cole Durham is the immediate past President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), and Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law and Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS), at the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a Note Editor of the Harvard Law Review and Managing Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. He has been heavily involved in comparative law scholarship, with a special emphasis on comparative constitutional law. He is a founding Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. He served as the Secretary of the American Society of Comparative Law from 1989 to 1994. He is an Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. He served as a General Rapporteur for the topic 'Religion and the Secular State' at the 18th Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, held in July 2010. He served in earlier years as Chair both of the Comparative Law Section and the Law and Religion Section of the American Association of Law Schools.

M. Christian Green – United States
Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University; Editor, Journal of Law and Religion

M. Christian Green is Senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion and an editor at the Journal of Law and Religion at Emory University. She taught religious ethics at DePaul University, Harvard Divinity School, and the Candler School of Theology at Emory. During the 2010-2011 academic year, she was a visiting research fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, researching issues of religion, rights, and identity. Her general research interests include law and religion, human rights, feminism and the family, religion and world affairs, and global ethics.

Rosalind I.J. Hackett – United States
Professor and Head, Department of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee

Prior to receiving her PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, Rosalind Hackett taught at Nigerian universities. Since moving to the US, she spent a year as Liberal Arts Fellow in Law and Religion, Harvard Law School, and Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of World Religions. She was also a Rockefeller Research Fellow at the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.  She was appointed a Mellon Fellow at the University of Cape Town in Religious Studies in 2014.  She spent 2014-15 as Visiting Professor and Research Associate at the Women’s Studies in Religion program at Harvard Divinity School.  She has published widely on religion in Africa.  Recent (co-edited) publications include Displacing the State: Religion and Conflict in Neoliberal Africa (2011), The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism (2015) and New Media and Religious Transformations in Africa (2015). She served as President of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR) from 2005-2015 and is now an Honorary Life Member. She is a co-founder of the IAHR Women Scholars Network, a founding member of the African Association for the Study of Religions, and is part of the founding steering committee of the African Consortium on Law and Religion Studies.  

Simeon Ilesanmi – United States
Washington M. Wingate Professor of Religion, Department for the Study of Religions, Wake Forest University

Simeon Ilesanmi received his PhD from Southern Methodist University and his JD from Wake Forest University School of Law. He teaches courses in comparative ethics, international human rights, religion and law, ethics of war and peace, and African religions. He is the author of Religious Pluralism and the Nigerian State (Ohio University Press, 1997) and numerous articles and book chapters on African religion, ethics, war and politics. He is an Associate Editor of Journal of Religious Ethics and serves on the editorial boards of several other learned journals. His current and ongoing research interests focus on human rights, ethics of war, and religion, law and politics in Africa.

Brett G. Scharffs – United States
Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

Brett G. Scharffs is Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law and Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University Law School. He received a BSBA in international business and an MA in philosophy at Georgetown University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, earned a BPhil in philosophy at Oxford. He received his JD from Yale Law School, where he was senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. He is a recurring visiting professor at Central European University in Budapest and at the University of Adelaide Law School. He has for several years helped organize certificate training programs in religion and the rule of law in China and in Vietnam and has taught and helped organize programs at several Indonesian universities on sharia and human rights. Author of more than 100 articles and book chapters, he has made more than 300 scholarly presentations in 30 countries. His casebook, Law and Religion: National, International and Comparative Perspectives (with Cole Durham, 2nd English edition forthcoming 2017), has been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese, with Turkish, Burmese, and Arabic in process. He is author with Elizabeth Clark of Religion and Law in the USA, a 2016 contribution to Wolters Kluwer’s International Encyclopaedia of Laws.

Kate E. Temoney – United States
Assistant Professor of Religion, Montclair State University

Kate E. Temoney is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Montclair State University and holds an MEd in Higher Education Leadership from The College of William & Mary and an MA and PhD in Religion from Florida State University. Her research interests are Buddhist applied ethics, human rights, the problem of evil, and the just war tradition. Her recent publications are a chapter on genocide and religion in the Routledge History of Genocide (2015); an article on genocide, religion, and sexual violence in Rwanda in Genocide Studies and Prevention (2016); and Jainism and warfare (War and Religion: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict (2017).

Johan van der Vyver – United States
I.T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights, Emory University School of Law; Extraordinary Professor, Department of Private Law, University of Pretoria

Johan van der Vyver is I.T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights, Emory University, and Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Private Law of the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Formerly, he was Professor of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education in South Africa. He served as the Human Rights Fellow of The Carter Center from 1995-1998. Current teaching obligations include Public International Law, International Human Rights, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law, Comparative Bills of Rights, and Implementation of International Law in the United States. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws, Honours Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (Potchefstroom University); Doctor of Laws (University of Pretoria); and the Diploma of the International and Comparative Law of Human Rights (International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg). He was awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees by the University of Zululand in 1993 and Potchefstroom University in 2003. The author of eleven books and monographs and close to 300 chapters in books, law review and other articles, and book reviews, his research interests include human rights, and international criminal law among others.

Sophia Chirongoma – Zimbabwe
Lecturer, Theology and Religious Studies, Midlands State University; Associate/Research Fellow, RITR, University of South Africa

Dr. Sophia Chirongoma is a lecturer in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at Midlands State University, Zimbabwe and an Academic Associate/Research Fellow at the Research Institute for Theology and Religion (RITR) in the College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa (UNISA). Her research interests and publications focus on the interface between culture, ecology, religion, health, and gender. An active member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians (the CIRCLE), she is the resource person for the dialogue on faith, culture, and gender between the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the World Young Women’s Christian Association (WYCA).

Bernard Humbe – Zimbabwe
Lecturer, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Great Zimbabwe University

Bernard Pindukai Humbe is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo. He is a PhD candidate with the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is a subscribed member of ACLARS and ICLARS and presented a paper at the 4th ACLARS Conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His research interests include: Symbolism of Animals in African Indigenous Religion, Onomastics, Traditional Law and Social Development, Religion and Entrepreneurship, Religion and Social Transformation, and Religion and Power. 

Elias Konyana – Zimbabwe
Lecturer, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Great Zimbabwe University

Elias G. Konyana is a lecturer and academic researcher in the School of Arts, Culture, and Heritage Studies, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo. He teaches Logic and Ethics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has recently completed his doctoral studies with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Republic of South Africa. Konyana’s research interests are rooted in Ethical Philosophy, unpacking ethical issues from law and culture. To date, Elias has presented several papers at regional and international conferences on the link between ethics, culture, and the law. He is a non-executive member of CODESRIA.

Obedingwa Mguni – Zimbabwe
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs

Honourable Obedingwa Mguni holds a Diploma in Economics and Financial Management- Preston Azaliah College (USA), and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics, Wits University (SA). He has various certificates under his sleeve such as Certificate in; National Key Point Management, Change Management, Social Economy Management, Export and Import Management, Leadership, Project Management, Anti-Smuggling Investigations, Customs and Boarder control. A former Teacher, Chief Director of Compliance (Customs & Excise, SARS), Project Director SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency-RSA) and businessman, he was elected a Member of Parliament for Mangwe Constituency in 2013. In 2015 he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. He is fond of helping people and has been engaged in various social activities to uplift people in his Constituency and beyond. He is the current Chairman of Guta Ra Mwari Congregation Church.

Loveness Ngwanga – Zimbabwe

Fortune Sibanda – Zimbabwe
Lecturer in Religious Studies, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Great Zimbabwe University

Fortune Sibanda lectures in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo.  He obtained his PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Zimbabwe in 2015. He has published many articles in refereed journals, and written book chapters on various themes from a religious studies perspective such as new religious movements, land, indigenous ways of knowing, human rights issues, and the environment in the African context. Among other platforms, Sibanda attended and presented papers at the second and third ACLARS conferences.