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Uganda’s Law Lecturer says Pan-African approach is the way for Africa



Professor Sylvia Tamale A Uganda law lecturer, has called for an integrated Pan-African approach to drive the continent’s out of it’s current challenges it faces.

The academic and human rights activist said unless a radical approach was adopted, the neo-liberal strategies embedded in Africa’s economy would further sink the continent and make it remain under-developed for a long period.

Taking her term at the second edition of the Anton Wilhelm Amo Lecture at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Professor Sylvia Tamale, who is a also a former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Makerere University, Uganda, mentioned some of the neo-liberal strategies impacting negatively on Africa’s economy as structural adjustment, poverty reduction policies and wealth-creaton programmes.

A successful de-colonial link from the colonial development modernizing models will only be achieved through a Pan-African led radical movement.

“Africa can learn from the Latin America experience and revert to its indigenous ways of becoming human beings and stop obsessing about material improvement to really understand that you cannot have a good life if people around you are not living well,” she added.

The lecture series seek to promote the dissemination of the ideas of Anton Wilhelm Amo, a Ghanaian- German philosopher and lecturer, and also enquire into what it means to be an African in European society.

The topic for this year’s lecture was: “Decolonising Knowledge Production in Africa.”

It was chaired by the Director of the Institute of African Studies (IAS), University of Ghana, Professor Samuel Ntewusu.

Among the dignitaries present at the lecture was the German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull.

The lecture series are an initiative of the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa ( MIASA) in collaboration with the Institute of African Studies (IAS) and the Department of Philosophy and Classics of the University of Ghana.

They are named after the 18th century philosopher from present day Ghana who taught at the universities of Halle and Jena in Germany.


Professor Sylvia Tamale further said Africa needed an educational system that tested indigenous knowledge embedded with its context.

She said those who controlled language controlled reality, and for that reason there was the need to teach the younger generation in their respective local dialects.

We must heed to calls of African scholars to re-centre indigenous ways of knowing and de-colonise methodologies derived from oral traditions.

As the epicenter of colonial indoctrination, the African university needs to be reinvented as a subversive, anti- imperialist, anti- sexist, anti- capitalist and non-elitist space,” she added.


The Director of the Institute of African Studies, Professor Samuel Ntewusu, said the characteristic features of the colonial narrative of Africa’s past were still found in writing and verbal expressions.

He said new generations were exposed to the wrongful use of terms such as `tribe` and `paganism`, including technological inventions and innovations in African knowledge systems.

He said such major misapprehensions originally served the purpose of colonialism rather than science.

De-colonialism in Africa is not a topic of interest to me,as the chair in this hall alone, but individuals, institutions, inter-governmental entities, students and the private sector in general,” he said.



For his part, the German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull said Ghana was a significant partner of Germany, referring to the economic development cooperation between the two countries.

He said the Ghana Beyond And Agenda could become feasible with further collaboration in areas such as science and research, adding that his country was ready to offer the necessary support he said……. Story by Bugbila Moadow.

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