Issa G Shivji

Neo-liberalism has had a devastating impact on higher education in Africa, writes Issa Shivji in our lead editorial this week. "The public intellectual, whose vocation is to comment, protest, caricaturize, satirize, analyse, and publicize the life around him or her is rapidly becoming history, which history, by the way, has no historian to record," states Shivji as he charts the history of East African discourse and the impact of neo-liberalism on intellectual life.

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Tony Blair urges his people to show the same compassion to the African victims of, what he calls, ‘man-made disaster’, that they have shown to Asian victims of natural disaster.

The small question though is: which man has been responsible for Africa’s man-made disaster? We shall not go too far back into history. Let’s just look at the last two decades and only two major wars – economic and military – which have devastated the continent.

The continent is the most war-torn more

In his speech to a seminar of political leaders held in Zanzibar on 19th February this year, President Mkapa made a very fundamental point which needs to be deeply thought over and widely debated. In his view, the whole Tanzanian society and people need a muafaka or national consensus. He expressed his apprehension that the political and economic reforms that have taken place over the last twenty years have loosened national ties, unity and brotherhood/sisterhood (udugu) in our society and more

The Argument

We have become so used to the rhetoric of the “global village” that talking about African nationalism sounds anachronistic and outdated. But that is exactly what I wish to address. In this paper, I will explore the “National Question” in Africa and its erstwhile expression, nationalism, in three sections. First, I will discuss the rise of post-Second World War nationalism and its true essence, if you like. Then, I will address the debunking of nationalism in the post-cold more

Human rights are often presented as claims or entitlements. It is also said that rights belong to individuals. Both these ideas arise from a philosophical perspective, which assumes that human beings exist as isolated individuals who make claims or possess entitlements in isolation.

An exactly opposite philosophical perspective tells us that human beings are social beings, not individual beings. Society is a web of relations - social, economic, cultural and political - which have more

The 60s and 70s were the age of liberation and revolution in Africa. It was the age of the late Abdulrahman Babu, Amilcar Cabral, Frantz Fanon, Walter Rodney and many others. For us in Dar es Salaam and many other areas of the world, it was a time of intellectual ferment, and insurrection of ideas.

But things have changed. Today, many academics have metamorphosed from intellectual researchers of yesterday to policy consultants of today. The truth of course is that we are neither more