International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Diaspora, Faith, and Science: Building a Mouride Hospital in Senegal

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article examines a development initiative spearheaded by the members of a transnational diaspora - the creation of a medical hospital in the holy city of Touba in central Senegal. Although the construction of the hospital is decidedly a philanthropic project, Hôpital Matlaboul Fawzaini is better understood as part of the larger place-making project of the Muridiyya and the pursuit of symbolic capital by a particular Mouride dahira. The dahira's project illuminates important processes of forging global connections and transnational localities, and underscores the importance of understanding the complex motivations behind diaspora development. The hospital's history reveals the delicate negotiations between state actors and diaspora organizations, and the complexities of public-private partnerships for development. In a reversal of state withdrawal in the neo-liberal era, a diaspora association was able to wrest new financial commitments from the state by completing a large infrastructure project. Despite this success, we argue that these kinds of projects, which are by nature uneven and sporadic, reflect particular historical conjunctures and do not offer a panacea for the failure of state-led development. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal African Society. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

African Affairs

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Volume

110

Issue

438

First Page

75

Last Page

95

ISSN

0001-9909

DOI

10.1093/afraf/adq063

Keywords

statte hospitals, African diaspora, hospital buildings, diasporas, hospital costs, sufism, cities, nonprofit hospitals, hospital administration

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology

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