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The Council, at its meeting of 13th March 2008, approved the appointment of Professor Issa G. Shivji to the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Research Chair in Pan-African Studies of the University of Dar es Salaam.

Born in Kilosa, Tanzania in 1946, Professor Shivji was for 36 years a distinguished professor in Constitutional Law in the University of Dar es Salaam's Faculty of Law. He is a professor of international renown, having built his reputation through the publication of over 18 books, numerous articles and book chapters. He has received several national and international distinguished scholar awards, including an honorary doctorate from the University of East London, UK. Professor Shivji has devoted most of his life to addressing issues on the exploitation of Tanzanians through both the national and the international economic and legal orders.

The University Research Chair is envisaged to be motivated by interdisciplinary research, which will address the socio-economic, scientific and cultural problems facing the African Continent and the country, and which will stimulate thinking and debate that takes account of the continent's historical achievements and the international challenges facing it.

The functions of the Chair will be to develop and promote ideas in interdisciplinary basic research on broad development issues from a Pan-African perspective; to reinvigorate the University as a site of rigorous intellectual debate and discussions through varied activities including quality publications; and to create opportunities for debates on development directions.

The Chair will be officially launched on 15th April 2008, to coincide with the week of Mwalimu's birthday. The occasion will be marked by lectures, palavers, a book launch and exhibitions.

Pambazuka News and Fahamu staff extend their congratulations to Issa on this well deserved appointment.