Karim F Hirji

Image source: This is Africa

Philanthropy, of various forms and origin, occupies a central, well-accepted position in the nations of Africa today. Invoking an historic confrontation between the supporters and opponents of Rag Day at the University of Dar es Salaam, this article presents a radical critique of such philanthropy. Though it occurred in 1968, the contrasting attitudes towards charity it depicts are of primary importance for the realisation of genuine social and economic progress in Africa today.

Pan African Resistance Solidarity Flag

On 1 September of this year, at the Bugando Hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania, a nobody in particular joined his ancestors. Few – family, friends and home villagers – will note, let alone mourn, his passing. Yet, to me, Naijuka Kashiwaki was a real somebody.

Credit:The PIE News
The picture is for illustration purposes only

In this paper, the author argues that Professor Mahmood Mamdani’s essay, “The African University”, though timely, has significant flaws along several fronts including being a simplistic version of history, having major errors of fact and omissions, making unwarranted generalisation, and using unreal and extreme dichotomies among other flaws. 

Retired Professor Hirji, a book addict, has bought copies with frayed, half-torn or missing pages. He has on occasion received via mail a book other than the one ordered. But buying a fake book? Only in Dar es Salaam!

Prof Cliffe, first chair of the Department of Development Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam and founder-editor of the Review of African Political Economy, was a socialist, sympathetic to Mwalimu Nyerere’s policies, and a supporter of the total liberation of Africa from external domination