Prof Ali Mazrui was known for making penetrating comparisons of seemingly unrelated individuals, things and groups. It is fair to say that he was also a great classifier in general; nothing was unclassifiable for Mazrui whether it was racism, sexism, Africanity or slavery.
In order to understand the broader significance of President Barack Obama’s July 2015 visit to Ethiopia more fully, we must put it in a historical perspective, argues Professor Seifudein Adem, associate director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, United States. Tracing back the history of Ethio-American relationship is one step in that direction.
Mazrui’s scholarship is vast thematically and theoretically, but above all, challenges positivist conceptions of hegemonic, universal and objective truths. His early work revealed the political, social and cultural function and limitations in established knowledge; later, Mazrui actively challenged and undermined constructed truths.
Chinese officials work hand in glove with Africa’s dictators during the day and dine and wine with them at night. American officials criticize African dictators during the day and dine and wine with them at night. So, how does Africa ensure its interests are served?
Much has been written on the subject of Africa’s economic engagement with China. There are those who can be characterized as Sino-optimists versus the Sino-pessimists with the Sino-pragmatists in between. But is it really the case that if one is leftist, one is also likely to be a Sino-optimist?
Whether China’s growing presence in Africa is cause for celebration or caution is a matter that has left analysts scratching their heads in the past decade or so. Perspectives range from Sino-optimism, to Sino-pragmatism to Sino-pessimism