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8th Annual Thabo Mbeki Africa Day Lecture

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8th Annual Thabo Mbeki Africa Day Lecture

23rd May 2017


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Members of the Press and Media are invited to attend the 8th annual Thabo Mbeki Africa Day Lecture to be held on Friday the 26th of May 2017 at 19:00hrs. The venue for the Lecture is the ZK Matthews Great Hall at the UNISA Muckleneuk Campus, 1 Preller Street, Pretoria.

The Thabo Mbeki Africa Day Lecture is held annually and is organised by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation in partnership with the University of South Africa. Every year eminent and distinguished scholars and thought leaders are invited to share their perspectives on a variety of subjects pertaining to the African continent in pursuit of the realization of the ideal of the African Renaissance.


This year’s theme is “AFRICA AND THE CHANGING WORLD” and the invited guest is Professor Mahmood Mamdani.

Professor Mahmood Mamdani is a foremost African Political Scientist and Professor of Political History at Columbia University in United States of America as well as the Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University in Uganda.  An Alumnus of Harvard University, he has held various academic positions at University of Dare-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Makerere University in Uganda and University of Cape Town in South Africa.  His intellectual engagements have been formed in the crucible of fire and shaped by the combination of colonial and national politics of exclusion and oppression.


If the British colonial administration treated him as a subject, who had less rights than the citizens, the dictatorial regime of Idi Amin labelled him an unwanted and unrecognised alien, leading to his forceful expulsion from his country of birth in 1972.

Mamdani has made intellectual footprints on the study of the intersection of African Political history and culture, especially the implications of colonialism on pre-colonial institutions in Africa; history of civil war and genocide, the politics of Cold War, the war on terror, knowledge production in the context of the commodification of knowledge under the hegemony of neoliberal ideas, as well as the history and theory of human rights in Africa.

He has   published award-winning books that help us to understand how historical forces shape the modern African society and how the contradictions of colonialism continue to create structural distortions in contemporary Africa.

In an age where there is a virulent campaign against the study of history by the self-acclaimed high priests of development, Mamdani has, through his historical studies of colonial policies and intrusion in Africa, shed light on why history matters in any attempt at unravelling and finding solutions to the intractable challenges of societal dislocations and anaemic development   on the continent.

Given his antecedents and accomplishments as a globally acclaimed Africanist scholar, Mahmood Mamdani is well positioned to do justice to the theme of the 2017 Africa Day Lecture. The position of Africa in the past and in contemporary times cannot be well understood without adequate engagement with the universe of intellectual inquiry that Mamdani has carried out over the past four decades and a half.

For further information, please contact: Mr Thami Ntenteni, Head of Communication; Thabo Mbeki Foundation on: 011 486 1560 (Office Landline) and 083 256 3586 (Mobile). Email address: ntentenithami

Tommy Huma: UNISA Senior Media Officer 012 429 3981 (Office Landline) and 072 218 6197 ( Mobile) email


FOR THE ATTENTION OF: News Editors and Members of The Press/Media

DATE:            26 May 2017

TIME:             19:00

VENUE: ZK Matthews Great Hall,

Unisa Muckleneuk Campus, 1 Preller Street, Pretoria

theme:  “africa and the changing world”


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