Issouf Binaté, born on 01.06.1981, is a researcher in the history department at Université Alassane Ouattara (Ivory Côte d’Ivoire). His research interests include Arab-Islamic education, the revival of Sufi Islam, and Islamic faith-based NGOs in Côte d’Ivoire (including organizations from Arab Muslim countries). During these projects, he benefited several fellowship programs particularly in African Studies Center (ASC) in Leiden (The Netherlands) in 2013, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris (France), Department of African Studies and Anthropology of the University of Birmingham (England) in 2016, Leibniz – Zentrum Moderner Orient (L-ZMO) in Berlin (Germany) in 2018, and more recently Institut Français des Etudes Anatolennes (IFEA) in Istanbul (Turkey) in 2019. Since January 2019, he is an associate researcher at the Chair of Contemporary Islam in West Africa (ICAO) at the Université du Québec à Montreal (UQAM) in Canada.
“Walking to Knowledge”: West African Students in Modern Turkey
This study is a part of our postdoctoral research on the Turkish presence in Côte d’Ivoire. It is a contribution to scientific production on contemporary Turkey, especially the social mobility link to its policy of opening towards Africa – opening up to Africa – started in 1998. During this decade, this country, which had welcomed refugees from Iraqi and Syrian wars, began to receive first African migrants in search of social well-being, then recently students from this continent. In fact, this student mobility program is a result of Soft Power which consisted to the opening of diplomatic representations and the installation of Turkish social entrepreneurs abroad. Limited initially to the business, this Turkish presence has become visible in various fields of activities, ranging from educational projects – opening of schools and scholarship – to humanitarian actions – assistance to needy – in several African countries.
This research project on these students start in Côte d’Ivoire and questions itineraries of youth from West African countries – where this social dynamic mobility is observed – encountered in Abidjan, Bouaké, Korhogo (Côte d’Ivoire ), Niamey (Niger), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Istanbul (Turkey) during a fieldwork from 2016 to 2019. From an anthropological and historical approach, it will describe this emerging bilateral cooperation in the field of education policy and analyze the trajectories – academic and religious background, social integration, affiliation with pietist movements and networks of professional organizations – of these students from West Africa whose relations in terms of cooperation have long been limited to Saudi Arabia and certain Gulf countries.
Université Alassane Ouattara
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