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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Public Dialogue on Un-Silencing African History

Join Soma in  Commemorating Africa Day with a Public Dialogue

Date: Saturday, 28th May, 2016
Time: 1000hrs – 1300hrs
Venue: Soma Book Café
TOPIC: “UN-SILENCING AFRICAN HISTORY: A DISCUSSION ON JACQUES DEPELCHIN’S BOOK— SILENCES IN AFRICAN HISTORY Published By Mkuki na Nyota
MAIN SPEAKER: PROF. WAMBA DIA WAMBA, a renowned Historian and Scholar.
The dialogue intends to bring out intergenerational perspectives on ‘academic violence; collective intellectual; culpable erasure; and deliberate omission of African history by scholars’ and engage young on the ‘complex linkages between historical knowledge and our collective freedom’.
The scope of the discussions is threefold
  •  To make sense of the relevance of Silence in African History today: what is silenced, why and why should we care? This is in the context as well that this seminal book was about to be shredded by its publisher—because it is a ‘slow moving item’
  • The agency of today’s youth—what do they know that inform their actions? From what sources? Is it enough to help us chart a liberated course for the future of the continent?
  • What makes a writer of Jacques Depelchin’s caliber? Are they celebrated and recreated beyond their generation? Under what conditions?
In brief, Prof. Jacques Depelchin analyzes in depth the influence of capitalism on the continent, in relation to various historical events through the centuries. He castigates those whose only vision of Africa is through the eyes of colonialism, and systematically erodes misconceptions about Africa and the nature of the Black man which have taken on the status of history.
Free Books available to all participants—courtesy of the author [you may wish to donate a small amount of money to facilitate postage to schools and regional libraries]. For those who wish to have a brief look at the book prior the day of the event you can drop by Soma and get your copy for Free.
For more information contact: 0712568699 – Jasper Kido; 0673014071 – Paulina; 0718484142 – Lilian.
Directions to Soma: You take your 2nd right – as if coming from Morocco to Mwenge just before the Bayport building (previously the AAR junction). But if you are coming from Victoria/ Mwenge heading wards Posta, it is your 1st left past the Victoria bus station. Thereafter you’d take your 1st left, soon after you finish the Sunrise Children School, few steps ahead then you take another left (you will see a road sign – Mlingotini Close). The last house on the right is Soma.
Kindly share with your network and observe time.
Karibu sana!
Jasper "Kido" Sabuni
Programme Manager 
E&D Readership and Development Agency (SOMA)
M: +255-712-568699/ +255-673-014071
ADDRESS: Mlingotini Close, Plot Number 53 Regent Street - Mikocheni A, Dar es Salaam

"You give a little but when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." - Khalil Gibran (THE PROPHET)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Kutumbuliwa Kwa Kitwanga Kunaashiria Kitu Kipi?

Kutumbuliwa Kwa Kitwanga Kunaashiria Kitu Kipi?



Chambi Chachage

Uamuzi wa Rais Magufuli kutengua uteuzi wa (aliyekuwa) Waziri wa Mambo ya Ndani, Charles Kitwanga, umepokelewa kwa msisimko katika mitandao ya jamii. "Hii", anadai Mtanzania mmoja katika Twitter, "haijawahi tokea tangu Tanzania iumbwe". Mhariri mfawidhi wa gazeti maarufu anaungana naye kwa kusema "Haijapata kutokea. Namba inasomeka kila kona #Tanzania".

Mtetezi wa mchakato wa kuwapima watu kiuchunguzi kabla ya uteuzi wao (vetting)  anasisitiza kwamba kilicho muhimu ni 'tiba'. Naye mwandishi mahiri wa vitabu vya 'ushushushu' amempongeza Mtumbua Majipu kwa 'kutwanga' baada ya kilio chetu 'kumbipu'.

Hata mwanasiasa machachari na mbunge pekee wa chama kinachochipukia kwa kasi cha ACT-Wazalendo naye kaguswa:


Hakika Rais anastahili pongezi nyingi. 'Tusimbanie'. Hongera sana! 
Wakati tunaendelea kumpongeza pia tukumbuke 'hapa kazi tu' kwa wanahistoria ni kuyafukuafukua  makabrasha ili kujaribu kuelewa tumetokea wapi katika masuala fulani, tupo wapi na tunaelekea wapi ili tusije tukayarudia (makosa) yale yale kiuwendawazimu.

Historia ya kisiasa inaturudisha kwenye kampeni za uchaguzi za mwaka 2015. Pale tunakutana na maneno haya ya Magufuli:



Kwa wafuatiliaji wa kila kichesemwacho watakumbuka kuwa hata baada ya kuwa Rais, Magufuli alinena maneno kama hayo kuhusu wateule wake wengine alipokuwa akihutubia pale Kinyerezi:

Mbinu hii ya uteuzi na utetezi ni ya aina yake. Inaleta ugumu na ukakasi hasa kwa wadadisi wanaotaka kujua vigezo vyote ambavyo Rais wetu hutumia katika kuteua. Tukumbuke mwaka jana Udadisi iliwahi kuhoji majibu yafuatayo ya Rais na haki yetu ya kikatiba ya kupata habari/taarifa kuhusu masuala muhimu ya nchi yetu pale wanahabari walipojaribu kuhoji mantiki ya idadi ya manaibu waziri kwa kuzingatia uunganishaji wa wizara na vigezo vilivyotumika kuwarudisha mawaziri kadhaa kutoka kwenye Baraza lililopita:



Baada ya kashfa nzito ya Lugumi kuibuliwa na mti wa Kitwanga kupondwa mawe na wapinzani, tumekuwa tunajiuliza kama vigezo vyote vya 'vetting' vilizingatiwa ilikuwaje akateuliwa kuwa Waziri na Mkombozi wetu wa kupambana na ufisadi nchini? Tunaoamini kuwa wanasiasa wa 'mjengoni' Dodoma wanajuana kwa vilemba, maneno haya aliyoaandika aliyekuwa Mwenyekiti wa Kamati ya Bunge ya Hesabu za Serikali (PAC) yalituacha mdomo wazi:

"Namsihi Waziri Kitwanga amalize matatizo yake yeye mwenyewe. Yeye kama mmiliki wa Kampuni ya Infosys yenye mkataba na Serikali katika Wizara anayoongoza sasa anapaswa aone ni namna gani hana mgongano wa maslahi. Waziri Kitwanga asitafute watu wa kuwatupia lawama kwenye mambo yanayomhusu. Mimi binafsi sijawahi kugombana na Charles Kitwanga. Hajawahi kuwa rafiki yangu. Hajawahi kuni excite kama Kiongozi ( kimsingi nashangaa mtu kama yeye kuweza hata kuwa Waziri wa Wizara nyeti kama hiyo) . Zaidi ya yote Waziri Kitwanga sio 'size yangu'. Kwa protokali za Uongozi, size yangu mimi ni Rais Magufuli, bosi wake. Naanzaje kuhangaika na Kitwanga? Ili iweje? Namsihi asijipandishe chati kwamba mimi nataka kumtoa. Ningetaka kumtoa wala asingejua maana ningeshughulika na aliyemteua. Nasema haya sababu amekaa na Waziri Mkuu na Wabunge kadhaa akilalamika kuwa nataka kumtoa Uwaziri. Asinipe dhambi, Uwaziri atatolewa na aliyemteua kwa madhambi aliyofanya. Asitafute bangusilo!" 
Lakini cha ajabu zaidi mnamo mwaka jana mtandao unaopigwa vita (na mafisadi) wa Jamii Forum ulitumika kuweka maneno haya:


Je, 'vetting' haikuziona ishara hizo za nyakati? Kama haikuziona, hata Mungu wa Magufuli hakuyaona yote haya? Sikio lake la yeye awekaye na aondoaye watawala ni zito hadi asisikie maombi hayo?
Mwisho kabisa historia yetu inatukumbusha kwamba Rais wa awamu ya Nne, Jakaya Kikwete, alipigiwa kelele asiteue baadhi ya watu lakini akawateua tu. Matokeo yake Baraza la Mawaziri likavunjwa baada ya miaka miwili tu tena baada ya fedha nyingi kutumika kuwafanyia semina elekezi mawaziri kwenye hoteli ya kihafahari ya Ngurdoto. Kwa miaka kumi kazi kubwa ikawa ni kuweka/kuziba viraka ambapo katika Wizara moja tu mawaziri walibadilishwa zaidi ya mara tatu - kutoka kwa Naziri Karamagi kwenda kwa Ibrahim Msabaha kisha kwa William Ngeleja halafu Sospeter Muhongo hadi George Simbachewene - na Waziri wake mmojawapo, Shukuru Kawambwa, alihamishwa zaidi ya mara tatu.
Gazeti la Mwananchi linatukumbusha kwa miaka 10 Serikali hiyo ya 'Ari Mpya, Nguvu Mpya, Kasi Mpya ('ANGUKA') na 'maisha bora kwa kila Mtanzania' ikaishia kutumikiwa na "mawaziri 120" huku JK akitema "mawaziri 60". Unawezaje kuendesha Serikali endelevu, thabiti na sikivu katika mazingira hayo ya kupanga na kupangua kila kukicha? Hakika kuwajibika na kuwajibishana ni muhimu katika kujenga utawala wa kitaasisi unaodumu kuliko utawala kinyonga na tegemezi kwa kiongozi mmoja mmoja.

 Ila kinga ya 'vetting' si ni bora kuliko dawa ya kutumbua majipu?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Will the People of Magufuli Eat Boils?

Will People Eat Boils?

Chambi Chachage

Let them eat cake” – Marie Antoinette


The presidential honeymoon is not yet over. President Magufuli is still enjoying the popularity he has earned in his holy war on grand corruption. Christened “bursting the boils”, this crusade is however raising eyebrows among champions of the rule of law.

Such criticisms, or rather critiques, have not passed unnoticed in the corridors of powers. In a clear breach of the separation of the church and state, recently the president used Sunday’s Catholic Mass in Arusha to insist that the bursting of boils through the suspension of public officials should not be interpreted as cruelty. For him, all those civil servants have breached the code of ethics for public service.
Elsewhere the president chided those who defend them, stating – sarcastically – that such critics may also be boils therefore they will start watching them. These human rights defenders have been wondering what is wrong with demanding a fair hearing – and indeed trial – for the ‘accused’? To them, justice is best served when one and the same person is not a judge and prosecutor, that is, when there is separation of powers.

Recall, for instance, the case of officials who were suspended for travelling abroad without the permission from the State House. It is claimed that they applied; however, they did not receive a response on time. Given that Tanzania was regarded as the coordinating secretariat – and thus host – of an important anticorruption event, they opted to rush there, hoping their boss would cover for them. Alas, he got dismissed.

What if they were unfairly suspended? Would they get a public apology? When?

Away with constitutional procedures, some may even dare to say. How many boils have they burst? Why don’t we just let the President do his job of bursting them?
Many of us are indeed not happy with the state of corruption in the country. We are yearning to see all those behind the Escrow and Lugumi scandals, among others, have their day in court. Yet some of us need all this to be done according to the legal and institutional parameters we have been busy building. That is why we are still calling for a new constitution that would curtail the concentration of powers on one entity.

Yet in the context of a centralized system, we appreciate the role of a strong leader in enabling an anti-corruption dispensation. More significantly, we are aware that in the short term things might be difficult even to those who are supposed to benefit from the war on corruption. As they note, the ‘circulation of money’ is limited in the sense that it is no longer ‘trickling down’ to them from the ‘boils’ that have been ‘burst.’
Probably nothing captures this irony more than the sugar scarcity saga that came in the wake of the presidential decision to intervene on its importation. By deciding to crack on those who allegedly hoard sugar to create artificial scarcity, Magufuli seems to be living up to the standards of the very person that some people believe is like him i.e. the late Edward Sokoine. However, it was during the latter’s crack on ‘economic saboteurs’ that Tanzania experienced its worst shortage of foodstuffs in shops yet.

Reminiscing on the battle for sugar that has been recurring since the beginning of liberalization, a seasoned politician notes: “I was almost killed by sugar importing mafia!” Such is the gravity of the war against any corrupt element in the country. It has to involve the society as a whole and not only one individual no matter how good his/her intentions are. Haven’t we seen benevolent dictators turning into despots? After all, we are told that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
For sure, when it comes to institutional building, it is one thing for the Executive to give additional money to the judiciary and quite another to nudge it to speed up the cases on corruption so that the government coffers can get filled when the public prosecutor wins. How does one win against corruption by doing the very thing that those involved in it are accused of? Is this how one builds an independent judiciary?

One cannot help but wonder whether we are eroding even the few gains in the separation of powers between the three arms of the state namely the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. If this accusation from a Member of Parliament, Zitto Kabwe, is true then the signs of the times are troubling: “Whenever we challenge the government here, we are being given letters and sometimes taken to the ethics committee. That is a threat to us and it diminishes our freedom of expression”.
Living in the times of Magufuli is so exciting. Yet it is frightening. Strange times.

It is thus in the long run that a sustained war on corruption that goes hand in hand with strengthening oversight institutions and upholding the constitution would yield a scaled-up ‘trickle down effect’. What we are experiencing now is a serious strain on what has been referred to as the ‘economy of affection’ or ‘shadow economy.’ The ‘patrons’ of corruption can hardly share their looted money with the people in the constituencies. It may take time for the people to get used to be free from ‘patronage’.
However, when the presidential honeymoon is over it is not the burst boils that people will be hungering for. Rather, ‘a better life for all’. Why not institutionalize it now?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Public Debate on Women in Politics

The Embassy of France in Tanzania, is pleased to invite you at the Alliance Française of Dar es Salaam to a debate on “Women in Politics”, to take place on Thursday, May 12th at 18:00, followed by a concert by the band the Golden Voices at 20:00.

Women were allowed to vote and stand for election in 1944 in France and in 1959 in Tanzania. Such simple and fundamental rights are actually a recent fact. This debate will look at the issues, the difficulties, the influence and the place of women in politics today.

The panel will consist of Anne-Cécile Mailfert, spokesperson of "Osez le féminisme" and founder of "La Fondation des Femmes", Aida Kiangi, East Africa Manager at Wind Lab, , Victoria Mandari, chairperson of the Gender Forum Coalition (GFC) and Mary Rusimbi, director of the Women Fund Tanzania. Maria Sarungi Tsehai, communication expert, will moderate the debate which will take place in English.

Uniting three young singers, The Golden Voices, is a dynamic band that will make you dance. Diem, Law and Maliya Jackson were revealed in France by the show "The Voice". Allying three different styles in duos and trios, their lively performance will take you from rap to gospel, soul to French variety…
Both events are open to public.

- Le Cercle Franco-Tanzanien


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A quest for African ontologies and epistemologies

Bukhi:

With reference to the ongoing discussions (in Wanazuoni) on African universities and diaspora academics, African academy and policy-oriented research, African scholarship, African education systems, the 'need' for innovation in African universities and 'innovation universities' in Africa and to what others think the need to Africa to have its own methods of evaluating things (Rev. Kishoka), I have been thinking about African ways of engaging with ontological and epistemological questions. To make it clearer, I'm talking about African ways of questioning about existence, reality and its nature, and knowledge/truth and the relationship between an observer and what can be observed and how? This implies the need for African philosophies, philosophers and metaphysical thinkers. But, one may ask, is there a need to have African ontologies and epistemologies? What have been the implications on African development planning and policies, and African academia in general?

Whether being a positivist/realist, or a constructivist/deconstructivist, critical realist/pragmatist etc. we have all been influenced by non-African ways of engaging with the ontological and epistemological questions. From Achille Mbembe, Kwame Appiah, Mogobe Ramose to Wole Soyinka, they have all been influenced by non-African philosophy. Michel Foucault has significantly influenced Mbembe's 'necropolitics' and other writings. I'm not sure about Soyinka's influence, but it is certain that Hegel influenced Appiah (at least for how I read his writings and thinking).

I have heard of African 'philosophies' such as Ubuntu etc., but there are almost no sustained academic engagements with such philosophies, especially in terms of deciphering complex and not-easy-to-understand concepts, and make use of them for African scholarship and development at large. At least Mogobe Ramose has written extensively on Ubuntu, check his book, African philosophy through Ubuntu. On the other hand, I know with heterogeneous African societies and cultures, it is unrealistic to have universal African ontologies and epistemologies i.e. to have universal African forms of knowing and truth/reality. But, I wish for more engagements with Ubuntu and other unknown African philosophies.
As someone with interest in conservation and development (both at theory and practice levels), I sometimes wish I could engage more with the discussions from African ontological and epistemological viewpoints. I find that necessary especially in today's complex, place-based and dynamic environmental problems and challenges. I wish for a 'movement' against hegemonic scientific orientations/frameworks for understanding socio-economic and socio-ecological processes in Africa, and Tanzania in particular, and coming up with local-specific ways of dealing with the problems. I wish for African ontological and epistemological paradigms in contrast to the Western ones. Do we have African thinkers cum philosophers who have written about ontologies and epistemologies without being influenced by non-African philosophers? Thinkers who have written on African metaphysics, ontologies and epistemologies before colonisation? 

I might be wrong, but this is how I see it so far.

What do you think?
Kassala:
Ndugu Bukhi's contribution to the discussion on the African 'wasomi' and 'wanazuoni' needs to be taken very seriously and critically. I have italicized the words 'seriously' and 'critically' on purpose. Many of us are not yet intellectually conscious enough to realize the gravity of the 'African problem'. For that reason they do not take critical thinking seriously. The problem with the 'African problem' is about the African meaning of meaning. It is about what and how an African makes sense of the fundamental common sense. The fundamental common sense is the meaning that a critical thinker discovers intellectually and conceptually to be what existentially drives human beings commonly.

That paragraph above, I know, has already raised some questions to anyone who is reading this! If that has happened, I am glad to say that we are moving in the right direction. The thing is: very unfortunately our higher learning institutions are so intellectually and cognitively lazy that they do not teach or give instructions on what I call 'critical thinking about thinking'. For me this 'critical thinking about thinking' is what the Western people have called 'philosophy', although the Greek etymological meaning of the word 'philosophy' is 'the love of wisdom'. Philosophy per se is not an academic discipline! It is part of being a rational human person! It is the effort to seek answers, solutions and responses to questions, problems and challenges respectively about the meaning of human existence. Since Africans are human beings, they must have their own way of seeking such answers, solutions and responses.

I do not want here to start a discussion within a discussion on the issue of the definition of philosophy. However, we African intellectuals need to raise critical questions such as: Is “philosophy”, in the way it was brought to Africa and taught to Africans by the West, a scholarly methodology for examining logical truth? Or is it a coherent set of beliefs about the nature of the world and the place of human beings in that world? If it is a methodology and/or a set of beliefs, then what we have is a Western methodology and/or a Western set of beliefs about the universe and humanity. If this is so, then what I have said before, i.e. the problem with the 'African problem' is the African meaning of meaning, needs to be followed up. In other words, we need to follow up this question: What meaning do we Africans give to Western philosophical methodologies and their philosophical beliefs? Is what is meaningful to a European or a Western man/woman meaningful as well to an African man and woman?

One way of following up this effort to search for answers, solutions and responses, is posing the questions: How do we Africans identify ourselves intellectually? What do we Africans make sense of our historical existence? What kind of thinking is behind our systems, structures, beliefs and ideologies which support our efforts in education, politics, economy, development, etc? What sense do we Africans make of what is beyond the sensible, the physical, the measurable, the empirical? But in making such sense, how do we know that this answer, solution or response makes sense to an African? What African criteria or theory do we have to justify or explain that such knowing is African?

Jacques:

Just one comment: how come there is no mention to people like Cheikh Anta Diop, Théophile Obenga, Ernest Wamba dia Wamba? 

Pater:

I am so delighted going through your thoughts and your view of Afrikan approaches on matters of Philosophy and thoughts. Your thoughts seek to understand Ontological and Epistemological approach of Afrika in various questions.

If I was to be seen in your thoughts I would have advised that for you to understand better this question hereby in thoughts I would have asked you to engage in "HOW KNOWLEDGE HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND DISSEMINATED IN VARIOUS SOCIETY AND THE WORLD AT LARGE" this would give you a right approach of ontological and epistemological usage in various! It isn't that Afrika does not engage in Ontological and Epistemological analysis but rather there is a one sided side of the story about knowledge Production and Philosophies!

Asking yourself why you are not seeing such approaches and Afrikan Philosophies, Afrikan Philosophers and thinkers apart of the mentioned in the usage of non Afrikan ways other than Ubuntu, is the step towards recognizing that you have been all time through trading on only one sided of the story of knowledge and philosophical approaches!
For more than 10 years, under the Directorship of the late Prof. Dan Wadada Nabudere, the Marcus Garvey Pan Afrikan Institute, now Marcus Garvey University in Mbale Uganda, reviewed a very similar question but in a manner that is concerned with re tracing the source of knowledge, how it is produced and disseminated basing on Afrikan Cosmology! A new approach was devised named “AFRIKOLOGY, TRANSDICIPLINARITY AND WHOLENESS”.  A paper was also published in the Journal of African Renaissance Studies, Pretoria by Nabudere, D. W[2005] titled 'Towards an Afrikology of knowledge production and African Regeneration'.

This new approach being a science of knowledge production that maximizes Afrikan cosmology aimed at explaining scientifically knowledge production that has roots in African Cosmology. This due to uncertainty and acrimony in the way we understand the world and the way human beings understand each other as manifested in the way knowledge is being organised and managed today.

“It becomes so important to trace the role the ancient Africans played in laying the ground for the institutions of knowledge creation and its application to human needs. In this way, we shall then be able to see how Afrikology as an all-inclusive epistemology based on the cosmologies emanating from the Cradle of Humankind, can play in rejuvenating the Universal knowledge, which our ancestors first put in place in their growing spread around the world.” Nabudere D. W [2007]

Its role is to retrace this humanistic tradition in order to rid our world of those hierarchies of life that Greek philosophers, especially Plato, introduced from their one-sided understanding of knowledge from the Cradle of Humankind, which has increasingly created the kind of fragmentation in our consciousness that imperils our very existence as a civilised human society.
“We are confronted with an ever more urgent need to find a new morality: a new means of humanising man in society, a new civilisation, or else shake ourselves finally to pieces” [Davidson, 1969:67]. 

I am certain if you go through Afrikology you will definitely understand that it has been a fact in all these philosophies you are trading with but it has been not the truth for far too long. The earlier you discover this in your heart the better you will be able to fit in this world of deception when it comes to knowledge transfer, curriculum development and a sense of human living. 

The truth is that there Afrika has been cut off from many issues that describe black and white of Knowledge and how the world has benefited from the Afrikan cosmologies! You have heard of the saying “know thyself” go read the Pharaoh of Afrikan Antiquity (Cheik Anta Diop) Diop, C. A [1974]: African Origins of Civilization: Myths and Reality, Lawrence Hill Chicago, Diop, C. A [1980]: Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology, Lawrence Hill Books, Chicago you will understand that even that saying was not from Plato as many believe and know! Anyway remember there is a saying which is not so famous; wisdom is not acquired by reading of books but of men!

Imruh:

Today I returned to this mail and its subject, not with answers, but as part of a contemplation of the environment within which the 'quest' for the African onthologies and epistemologies might take place.
I am sure you are aware of current incidents in which African academics are making headlines (for the wrong reasons). There is the Stella Nyanzi-Mahmood Mamdani 'performance' at Makerere, of which I can only ponder how any academic dispute could arrive where it did...

The other that I note is sparked by a mail I received via you, about another Professor, Ibrahim Abdullah at Fourah Bay College (FBC) in Sierra Leone. The case which the petition highlighted, from my understanding, seems to raise some big question about the state of institutions of 'higher' learning and knowledge, and if they really can facilitate any real quest. 

Again, my understanding, there is a war against academic freedom, but the battle lines are so infantile and superficial, it is ridiculous. At FBC it seems, Ibrahim Abdullah has pissed off many, maybe by his personality, but more it seems, because he challenges or is challenging how history should be taught and/or understood. In a country where there are less than thirty professors, and as one report reminds, '... Nearly all departments at FBC have lacked running academic journals for several years now...'; where are the grounds for a dispute based on what has been call 'envious hostility'?

Whether or not this is an accurate term, is left to be judged. However, the academic dispute wrapped up in this situation seems to be at its core, about 'attitudes and epistemology about African' (http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/from-creoledom-to-kriodom-a-rejoinder). In my understanding, Ibrahim Abdullah seems to be saying (among other things) that there is no such thing as colonial and post-colonial history. There is instead Temne/Thaimne and other Sierra Leone ethnic histories. This of course, and 'the question of ethnicity within the context of Sierra Leone historiography' (http://awoko.org/2014/06/17/sierra-leone-news-from-creoledom-to-kriodom-a-critical-investigation-of-kriolists-claim/), has political resonances (in a country recovering from an atrocious civil war), even as the academic potential is lost in the mist....

So returning to the contemplation of the envisaged 'quest', not only is there the question of the facilitating environment, but equally, in service of what is this quest suppose to pursued? Maybe, at least in the Sierra Leone case, it not simply that 'Nationalism should Trump Ethnicity' (C. Magbaily Fyle in Research in Sierra Leone Studies (RISLS): Weave Vol 1 No 2, 2013), but that a dynamic Pan-African agenda is needed to take academic inquiry away from a need for 'positive spin', towards a more open and critically engaged debate. Here hopefully the need to sack and lock out would not be part of resource bank.

As you can see, I have referred to a few papers. These require more serious critical attention, but I have used them as a backdrop to consider the meaning of the situation indicated by the two incidents (Sierra Leone and Uganda) which suggest bad news in the prevailing state of academic affairs.

Yunus:

Good thread and good ideas but indeed complex ones. I cannot offer any solace but we must bear in mind that we live in the global world even before the term globalization was created. So we cannot take a purist/nativist position of finding something purely African in the sense that it has not been contaminated by other ideas. Mamdani asks how long does someone or something need to stay in Africa to be African?

But I think, we can start from African archives and libraries--in Mudimbe's sense--to find some of the epistemological and theoretical paradigms to address todays complex issues. If I may suggest, one way to start to take very seriously the life, experience and actions of fellow Africans not simply as data but explanatory models about our social and empirical worlds. 
One book that I would like to recommend, it is an anthropological text on the Kaguru Modes of Thought, I found this text illuminating and charting a way for us to take African ideas seriously as useful analytical and theoretical concepts. I think, it will be great if we start employing middle level theories and concepts developed from our own experiences and testing them out to see how they hold in comparison with other theoretical ideas such as derive from Foucault or Hegel etc. I am will be watching out for your reactions and further reflections.

Karibu kwenye ulingo wa kutafakari kuhusu tunapotoka,tulipo,tuendako na namna ambavyo tutafika huko tuendako/Welcome to a platform for reflecting on where we are coming from, where we are, where we are going and how we will get there

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