Bamako, Mali


Photographer: Nicolas Réméné

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Seydou Sylla is rector of the University of Sahel in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Founded in 2011, the university’s mission is to train young people to feel at home in today’s world of rapid scientific and technological change while maintaining their traditional religious and cultural principles. The university, principally funded by Al Farouk, a Saudi Arabian non-governmental organisation, offers degrees in Islamic studies, Arabic and computing. It plans to add faculties of law, management and medicine. Currently it has around 400 students. Seydou studied engineering at the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia and has a PhD in Quran studies. As well as his university post, he is also general secretary of the Union of African Muslim Scholars.