REPORT ON THE PUBLIC LECTURE ‘CHALLENGES IN THE PAN AFRICAN MOVEMENT IN THE 21ST CENTURY’ BY PROF. HORACE CAMPBELL OF SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY ON MONDAY, JULY 25, 2016. AT MULTI-PURPOSE HALL 8.4.4 BUILDING.
This event was a collaboration between University of Nairobi’s, Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (IDIS) and Fahamu Networks for Social Justice, a Pan-Africanist organization. Dr. Anyona, a member of IDIS academic staff acted as the master of ceremony. She welcomed the guests and took the opportunity to give an oversight of the public lecture. She then welcomed the Director IDIS to give her remarks.
Director, Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (IDIS) Prof. Amb. Maria Nzomo noted that Pan Africanism is an important topic in the International Relations of African States and their regional bodies. She emphasized on the importance of Pan Africanism in Africa and challenged the audience to explore the problems that hinder regional integration in Africa. In particular the Director emphasized on the need to nurture African academic perception of International relations. She briefly touched on the recently concluded conference on celebrating Prof. Ali Mazrui who was recognized for his great achievements as a Pan Africanist. The Director thanked IDIS students especially the student leaders for mobilizing themselves to attend the lecturer. She noted that the lecture is a good opportunity for the students to learn firsthand from a distinguished scholar in the field of International relations. After giving her remarks she introduced the College Principal and a representative of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Enos Njeru,
Speaking on behalf of The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi. Prof. Njeru noted that, the University of Nairobi is one of the leading universities in Africa; and it cannot be left behind in continental efforts to advance the Pan-African agenda. The University offers relevant courses that are multidisciplinary in nature which have greatly contributed to capacity building in Africa. The University teaches students and staff to embrace the Pan-African spirit and to educate the public wherever they may go after graduating from the institution. He emphasized on the fact that Africans need to work harder to unite so that they can be strong enough to compete with the rest of the world. The Principal finally took the opportunity to introduced Prof. Horace Campbell to give his lecture.
The renowned Pan-Africanist International Scholar and expert of International Studies and Global Governance, begun by thanking IDIS and University of Nairobi for hosting him. He recognized Prof. Nzomo great achievements not only as a scholar but also as a distinguished practitioner who has represented her country exemplary in the international stage. He spoke passionately about the Pan-African movement and the great contributors towards the movement. Prof. Horace named outstanding personalities like the late Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta, the late Dedan Kimathi, the late Wangari Maathai, the late Ali Mazrui, the late Tom Mboya, the late Pio Gama Pinto, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o among others who have made remarkable contributions toward the Pan African movement in Kenya.
Prof. Campbell noted that, challenges that face the Pan African movement in the 21st Century are life, health, peace and restoration of the natural environment. He challenged Kenyans to look at its assets on a Pan-African scale. He mentioned demographic strength, skills and knowledge of African people; he argued that the colonial powers introduced an education system that divided the people of Africa. However, he pointed out that universities can reorganize the curriculum and design a new approach to deal with Africa as one. After his lecture a few minutes were dedicated to a question and answer session where panelist got the opportunity to engage with the audience. Some of the issues tackled included how to make Africa institutions and leaders more accountable. The question of practicability of the Pan African dream was equally discussed at length.
In conclusion, the session closed with a small tribute to Fahamu as they celebrated their 50 years of existence.