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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