Global Indigenous Religions of Africa and Global Challenges – Overcoming Neo-Colonialism and Intolerance against Indigenous Religions of Africa and their Diaspora Derivatives


August 10 – 12, 2021


Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
(Online Conference Anchor Station)

In Collaboration with:

Pan-African Strategic & Policy Research Group (PANAFSTRAG), Lagos, Nigeria
Zimbabwe Open University, Harare, Zimbabwe
University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, Republic of South Africa
University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica
University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil


There is much work on the part of global Africans which needs to be done with regard to proper understanding, appreciation and utilization of African Indigenous Religions, Cultures and Traditions. Using the tools provided by colonial, enslaving and hegemonic West and East is hardly the best way to confront these challenges, but a start must be made from somewhere and with something. We recognize that there is no way to decolonize in theory and praxis within the current trend without digging into various aspects of religious formations and their survival with or without scriptural texts.

In the current frame, hardly is any attention paid to the views, epistemes and ontologies of the AIR custodians, priests, priestesses, practitioners and devotees. To what extent are their lives impacted by the goings on around them, especially the discriminatory and recriminatory disproportionate efforts to relegate their traditions to the periphery. What do these categories of people feel is the most important aspect of their existence and need? To what extent is research effort directed at understanding their primary and secondary cultural foundations?

While one may wish, on the one hand, to thank Caucasian scholars and Clerics who saved Indigenous Religions of Africa from oblivion through their writings from research by living and learning from the ethnic groups who have a mixture of esoteric texts and scriptures accessible to the initiates and which but relied heavily on oral memorization, passing through generations, to what extent has the efforts of these category of persons been positive or negative remain matters for critical engagement.

Given the foregoing, there are pertinent questions which reverberate: What are we trying, for example, to achieve, when we try to group African Indigenous Religions, which are actually cosmovisions underlying religious worldviews in their hundreds, under just one umbrella and place them side by side with other so-called world religions? And, to what extent is a Pan-African religious identity the same thing as a unified African religious practice? What would be the stand or informed response of specialists in the field of theology and religious studies to such a teaser?

These are questions and issues which one may raise to enunciate the differences between African Indigenous Religions and Indigenous Religions of Asia is view of their apparent posturing with passive conversions, branding, commercialism with growth of these religions globally.

African Indigenous Religions need dedicated, serious minded and regular fora to discuss many of its aspects for a deeper understanding of their strength and weaknesses, with a view to ensuring that the enduring aspects of the cultures which they enshrine and their benefits for global African humanity are not lost to global Africans and to human civilization.


• Pre-colonial and colonial, Post-colonial Ourstory and Philosophy of IRA and its Derivatives
• Imperialism and its Impact on IRA and its Derivatives in Africa and the Diaspora
• Slavery and globalizing of IRA
• IRA in overcoming Neocolonialism
• IRA on Decoloniality
• Challenges of making IRA a BRAND with its empowerment of Practitioners and Scholars
• Define Research Programmes on IRA and Decoloniality
• IRA on Socio-Economic issues such as development, poverty alleviation and emergency and disaster responses
• Decolonizing Gender and Culture in IRA
• IRA Social Entrepreneurship and Business
• Overcoming the global challenges of Religious Intolerance of IRA in Africa and its Derivatives in the Diaspora
• Activation IRA role in global Interfaith Communities
• IRA Spiritual Tourism and Cultural Exchanges
• IRA Shrines and the Environment
• IRA Philosophy and Ethics in Governance


Conference Dates – August 16-20, 2021
Submission of Abstracts – May 31, 2021
Acceptance of Abstracts – June 30, 2021
Submission of Full Paper – August 1st, 2021 (for online uploading)
Full Programme Circulated – August 5th, 2021


Dr. Joel Mokhoathi
Faculty of Theology and Religion
University of the Free State
Republic of South Africa

CORRESPONDENCES (For Abstracts, Logistics and Information)

Professor Felix Ayoh Omidire – Director, Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria:,

Professor John Ayotunde (Tunde) Isola Bewaji – Pan-African Strategic & Policy Research (PANAFSTRAG), Lagos, Nigeria:,,