African Jains
Jain temple, Mombasa
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

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

Jains emigrated to South Africa under British colonial rule in India and South Africa, and were successful 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


  1. ^ a b Dundas 2002, p. 271.
  2. ^ Shah 1998, p. 10.
  3. ^ a b Titze & Bruhn 1998, p. 263.
  4. ^ Qvarnström 2003, p. 88.
  5. ^ Barrett 1973.
  6. ^ "Jain Convention Takes Places In Nairobi". The Star. 18 January 2011. Archived from the original on 24 February 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  7. ^ Jabbal, Harleen (2 January 2012). "Kenya: Young Jains of Nairobi's Film Show".
  8. ^ Briggs 2011, p. 31.
  9. ^ J.N.K. Mugambi 2010, p. 108.
  10. ^ Sharma & Sharma 2004, p. 117.
  11. ^ "Many SA hotels offer Jain, veg cuisine - India - DNA". DNA India. 5 February 2009.