A Multi-Country Study Abroad in Senegal and Rwanda

(May 23 - June 23, 2020)

Sankofa Summer 2020

Field study, Excursions, and Cultural activities.

The West African Research Center (WARC), based in Dakar, and the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center (IGSC), based in Kigali, co-organize a multi-country study abroad program in Senegal and Rwanda from May 23rd to June 23rd. Destinations include several cities of Senegal and Rwanda.

Program Description

Colorful Senegal, the country of Taranga “hospitality”, is one of West Africa’s most popular destinations. Rwanda, the Country of Thousand Hills, is one of the safest countries in the world and one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

In Senegal, participants will learn more about the slave trade in West Africa, the impact of French colonization, and the introduction of Islam and Christianity. In addition, participants will also look at how Senegal responded to different intrusions and redefined its current identity and culture. Participants will explore contemporary Senegalese rich musical culture, visit lively markets, etc.

In Rwanda, the program includes Rwandan historiography, the background of the genocide, the role of the international community, transitional justice, and some specific topics related to post-genocide reconstruction such as women’s empowerment, Universal Health Coverage, and free education.

In both countries, participants will also examine roles played by indigenous religions, Islam, Christianity, and syncretistic traditions in current African crises, as well as how these religions impacted issues related to gender, social justice, and democracy.

In Senegal, a city tour will be organized and visits will include various landmarks such as Grand Mosque of Dakar, Monument de la Renaissance Africaine, Place de l’Indépendance, Goree Island, La Maison des esclaves, Museum of Black Civilization, University Cheikh Anta Diop, Saint-Louis & surroundings, Thiossane, Youssou N’Dour’s Nightclub., Lac Rose, local markets (Soumbedioune, HLM), etc.

In Rwanda, visits will include the Campaign Against Genocide Museum, Nyamata Church, the King Palace, the Kandt House Museum of Natural History, the Butare Ethnographic Museum, the National University of Rwanda, Lake Kivu, Rwanda Droneport, and the Marian Sanctuary of Kibeho.

Sankofa multi-country program is a very exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of Senegal and Rwanda, their respective cultures, religious traditions, and current politico-socio-economical renewal.

Why the Sankofa Program?

The Akan culture spread throughout several countries of West Africa shares the story of a mythic bird, the Sankofa. This bird walks or flies with it head always turned in the direction from which it came with an egg on his beak. The egg symbolizes the future. The past of Senegal and Rwanda will serve as a guide to understand current challenges, hope, and renaissance. This first “Sankofa” program in Senegal and Rwanda is unique because of the history of both countries.

Why visit Senegal?

  1. Accessibility: The gateway to West Africa with many attractive facets
  2. Landmarks: A number of cultural institutions
  3. Memory of the slave trade: Gorée Island, 30 mn away from Dakar
  4. Diversity: various ethnic and religious groups meet and merge in peace and harmony
  5. Hospitality: visitors are treated like queens and kings, “Senegal, the country of Teranga”
  6. Good food: taste Senegalese food and you will want to come back!
  7. Culture: dynamic and active intellectual and cultural life
  8. History: St. Louis played important roles in the history of French Africa
  9. Democracy: A model of a democratic and tolerant society
  10. Intellectual life and Panafricanism: Senegal the country of the poet president Leopold Sedar Senghor and Cheikh Anta Diop the Pharaoh of Egyptology
  Welcome: Dal Leen Ak Jamm, Fadiidi, Bienvenue!

Why visit Rwanda?

  1. Genocide Memorial Centers: Remember the victims and be part of Never Again Action.
  2. Sustainability: 1st country in the world to ban plastics bags
  3. Gender: 1st country in the world with a female majority in the legislature
  4. Innovation: 1st country in the world to use drones to deliver medical supplies
  5. Knowledge Production: Home-Grown Ideas and Initiatives rooted in Rwandan Traditional Culture and Values that play a major role in the country’s transformation
  6. Safety: Africa’s 2nd safest country. Also has cleanest capital city in Africa
  7. Business Opportunities: 2nd easiest country to do business in Africa
  8. Beauty: Diverse magnificent landscapes, wonderful scenery, Intore traditional dance, museums, lakes, and home to Mountain Gorillas
  9. Marian apparition: Kibeho-Rwanda is the only approved apparition in Africa by the Vatican.
  10. Organic food: Cuisine includes foods produced by the traditional subsistence-level agriculture
  Welcome: Murakaza Neza, Karibuni, Bienvenue!


This program is an intensive experiential tour aimed at all students, faculty, scholars, artists, and other professionals with a sincere desire to better understand both societies (Senegal and Rwanda). The operating language of the program is English, and when necessary, the translation of guest speakers are provided to all participants.

What are the dates of the trip?

May 23-June 23, 2020.


May 23-May 31


June 1-June 23

Program Fee and Application

• All participants will be housed together and will share meals and daily debriefs.
• The program fee covers housing, meals, group transportation in Senegal and Rwanda, and does not include round-trip airfare, Tourist Visas in both countries, and personal expenses.
• The application deadline is March 20th
• For the program fee and application form, please contact Orietta Agasaro at orietta@igscrwanda.org and Mariane Yade at yademariane@gmail.com.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jean-Pierre Karegeye at jpkaregeye@igscrwanda.org or karegeyj@dickinson.edu
and visit http://warccroa.org and https://www.igscrwanda.org