Archive | Events

Public Dialogue on Ubuntu as Public Policy

ON Thursday 28 September 2017, in celebration of Heritage Month, the UJCI hosted a Public Dialogue on ‘Discourses on Decolonization: Ubuntu as Public Policy’.

The speakers were:
Professor Muxe Nkondo, former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Venda;
Professor Peter Ndege, Professor of History at Moi University, Kenya; and
Professor Chris Landsberg, SARChI Chair of African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at UJ.
The event will be chaired by Dr David Monyae, Co-Director of the UJCI.

From the 1950s onwards, many African leaders formulated new philosophies or ideologies as guiding principles for the post-colonial era. This included the Pan-Arabism of Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt; the Pan-Africanism of Kwame Nkumah of Ghana;  the African Socialism of Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Tom Mboya of Kenya; and the Common Man’s Charter of  Appolo Milton Obote of Uganda.  Other contributions included Leopold Sedar Senghor’s Socialism, Kenneth Kaunda’s Humanism, and Mobutu Sese Seko’s Authenticity. Following South Africa’s transition to democracy, Ubuntu and the African Renaissance were added to the list, proving that efforts to formulate an African approach to political and social freedom had not ended.

The debate about Ubuntu has been revitalised by an exchange of ideas between Professors Muxe Nkondo of South Africa and Peter Ndege of Kenya, contained in two UJCI Occasional Papers (available on this website). In this Public Dialogue, these two figures and others continued his conversation, reflecting on the potential for and implications of using Ubuntu as a driving principle of public policy, including international relations.

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Public Dialogue on China’s role in regional development

On Tuesday 18 April, the UJCI and the Chair of Industrial Development at UJ, in partnership with the UJ Library, hosted a Public Dialogue on ‘The Role of China in SADC’s Regional Integration through Industrialisation’.

The Dialogue was chaired by Prof Erika Kraemer-Mbula, senior researcher at the Chair of Industrial Development. The speakers were:

  • Prof Siphamandla Zondi of the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria;
  • Prof Minquan Liu, Professor of Economics and Honorary Director of the Centre for Human and Economic Development Studies at at Peking University in Beijing, China; and
  • Prof Simon Roberts, Executive Director of the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at UJ.


Outlining the background to the Dialogue, the organisers stated:

‘Industrialisation is regarded as the vehicle for accelerated economic growth in Africa. After the economic recovery, industrialisation is now a priority focus for political leaders and policy-makers in Africa.

‘At the SADC Summit in August 2014, the Heads of State and Government of SADC mandated the SADC Secretariat to develop a strategy and roadmap on Industrialization for the region. The SADC Strategy and Roadmap on industrialisation was produced and subsequently adopted at the August 2015 SADC Summit.

‘Currently, the SADC Secretariat is developing an Action Plan to facilitate the implementation of the strategy. In the same vein, development partners such as China have acknowledged industrialization as a fundamental component of its Africa strategy. And the Johannesburg Action Plan (2016-2018) identified industrialization as “imperative to ensure Africa’s independent and sustainable development”.

This Public Dialogue will debate the opportunities and challenges for industrialization in Southern Africa through the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap as a mechanism for scaling up regional integration in the region and the possible role of China in this regard.’

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