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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PANEL DISCUSSION TO INTRODUCE A NEW BOOK ON AFRICA'S LIBERATION: THE LEGACY OF NYERERE TODAY-SOMA BOOK CAFE 4:30 PM

The new book on Africa's Liberation: The Legacy of Nyerere has arrived in Dar es Salaam. It was launched by Comrade Dr. Marcelino Dos Santos under the Chairmanship of Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim at Nkrumah Hall, UDSM. As planned earlier, a panel discussion featuring its contributing authors will be held at Soma Book Cafe today, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 from 4: 30 PM, that is, 16:30 Hours. Find below a speech that was delivered as part of the launching.
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INTRODUCING A NEW BOOK ON AFRICA’S LIBERATION: THE LEGACY OF NYERERE

It is indeed a great honour to introduce to you a new book on Africa’s Liberation: The Legacy of Nyerere. This publication is but a modest tribute to Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. It revisits his revolutionary ideas which continue to inspire all those who still wish Africa well.

The process of publishing the book has truly been a collaborative pan-African initiative. Authors from the continent and beyond have contributed chapters that address issues that were close to Mwalimu’s heart and mind – issues that still concerns all of us today. This augurs well with Mwalimu’s wakeup call for Africa to embrace ‘Maximum Collective Self-Reliance’. Even the name of the publisher attests to this: Pambazuka Press. This Kiswahili name means dawn-awake!

In this book you will engage with the multidimensional thought and practice of Mwalimu. You will get a glimpse of his attempts to finely balance the protection of human rights and the dispensation of justice which do not necessarily go together. Our leading human rights theorists and activists, Helen Kijo-Bisimba and Chris Maina Peter, have taken up that challenge of presenting this controversial subject in a balanced way. Their chapter helps us to understand how and why Mwalimu did “whatever” he “did that could be interpreted as violating human rights.”

Mwalimu was not just a politician. He was also an intellectual. That combination produces what the late Haroub Othman refers to as ‘an intellectual in power.’ His chapter highlights how Mwalimu juggled with power that is often claimed to corrupt. How did he escape unscathed?

Those who worked closely with Mwalimu in the international arena reminisce on his global impact. Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, tell us of Mwalimu’s wins and losses in the diplomatic battles. A former Deputy Secretary General of the then Organisation of African Unity, Mohammed Sahnoun, also recount the victories and setbacks that Mwalimu and the Frontline States encountered in the course of liberating Africa.

Time will fail me to talk of the inspiring interviews that Mwalimu gave to Nawal El Saadawi and Ana Camacho; Of the powerful question that Neema Ndunguru’s poem ‘But Dear Mwalimu’ poses; and of other chapters that attempts to capture the many faces of Mwalimu – Mwalimu the Artist, Mwalimu the Educator, Mwalimu the Economist, Mwalimu the Historians and so forth.

So, I urge you to read the book for yourself for therein is the unearthed treasure that awakes Africa!

Read. Reflect. React.

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Comradely,
Chambi

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