Jainism in Africa

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African Jains
Total population
Regions with significant populations
African Languages
Indian Languages

The history of Jainism in Africa is relatively short when compared with the histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam on the same continent. There are about 20,000 Jains and around 10 Jain organizations in Africa.[1][2]


Jainism entered Africa during the late 19th century, when Jains first emigrated from India to Kenya, and then to Uganda, Sudan and Tanzania.[3]

An exodus of Asians from Uganda in 1972 due to Idi Amin's policies forced some Jains to migrate elsewhere, like Australia,[3] North America and Europe.[4]

Jainism in Kenya[edit]

Jainism in Kenya has been present for about 100 years.[5] It is practiced by a small community that actively organizes Jain conventions,[6] film festivals[7] and other community programs.

There are Jain temples in Nairobi and Mombasa.[8] Jains are among the most successful and prosperous businessmen in Nairobi and other bigger towns.[9]

Jainism in South Africa[edit]

Jains emigrated to South Africa under British colonial rule in India and South Africa, and exceeded in trade and business.[10] Due to the high number of Jain tourists, in addition to the resident Jain community, many South African restaurants offer Jain food.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dundas 2002, p. 271.
  2. ^ Shah, Natubhai (1998). Jainism: The World of Conquerors (2 ed.). Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 9781898723974.
  3. ^ a b Titze, Kurt; Bruhn, Klaus (1998). Jainism: A Pictorial Guide to the Religion of Non-Violence. Motilal Banarsidass Publication. p. 263. ISBN 9788120815346.
  4. ^ Qvarnström, Olle (2003). Jainism and Early Buddhism: Essays in Honor of Padmanabh S. Jaini. Jain Publishing Company. p. 88. ISBN 9780895819567.
  5. ^ Barrett, David B. (1973). Kenya churches handbook: the development of Kenyan Christianity, 1498-1973. Evangel Publication House.
  6. ^ "Jain Convention Takes Places In Nairobi". The Star. 18 January 2011.
  7. ^ Jabbal, Harleen (2 January 2012). "Kenya: Young Jains of Nairobi's Film Show". allAfrica.com.
  8. ^ Briggs, Philip (1 September 2011). DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Kenya: Kenya. DK Publishing. p. 31. ISBN 9780756684457.
  9. ^ J.N.K. Mugambi 2010, p. 108.
  10. ^ Sharma, Suresh K.; Sharma, Usha (2004). Cultural and Religious Heritage of India: Jainism. Mittal Publications. p. 117. ISBN 9788170999577.
  11. ^ "Many SA hotels offer Jain, veg cuisine - India - DNA". DNA India. 5 February 2009.