Ousmanou Adama

Ousmanou Adama (University of Ngaoundere) specializes in the political, social and religious history of the Chad Basin. Studies he has conducted so far demonstrate how politics are manipulating ethnic diversities and how Islam was instrumental in gaining control of political power from the ancient Borno Empire to today's modern states (Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria). This study is based on a comparative approach.

Sujet d'étude - Doctorat/PhD
Islam, Ethnicité et Pouvoir dans le Bassin du Lac Tchad de 1596 à 1997:
Étude comparative du Cameroun, du Tchad et du Nigeria

The Chad Basin is an area of ethnic and religious diversity that is in constant change. It is also a vast historical entity within which political hegemonies have emerged. These kingdoms emphasize ethnicity as an imagined identity that has developed into a social reality. This dissertation analyses the different modalities by which this ethnicity is being manipulated within the context of social and political interethnic relationships. The process of progressive penetration of Islam in communities that have not yet completely lost their past religious traditions adds a new dimension to the conquest of and control of political power by different sovereigns. This research project aims to understand the role of Islam in the differentiation and manipulation of these ethnic groupings. A comparative approach has been chosen to study these ethnic and religious phenomena in an attempt to explain their true nature in the construction and recomposition of postcolonial national groupings. The dissertation argues that the naturalization of Islam in the Chad Basin is a principle of differentiation that is resulting in antagonism and hostility. The role of ethnicity in this phenomenon is primordial and appears to be deeply rooted in the political management of the countries under consideration.

Fellowship year: 
O. (Ousmanou) Adama
Former visiting fellow