Prof. Mamdani to be honoured among Africa’s best
Publish Date: Feb 08, 2012
Prof. Mamdani to be honoured among Africa’s best
  • mail
  • img

By Francis Kagolo                                                 

Renowned scholar, Prof. Mahmood Mamadani, is one of the six African personalities to receive honorary degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal for his outstanding contribution in the academia.

KwaZulu-Natal, based in South Africa, is the 8th best university in Africa, according to Webometrics rankings released last week.

Mamdani, currently the director of Makerere university institute of social research (MISR), was chosen for his “outstanding academic record as a scholar,” the university said in a statement.

He is slated to get the award in April alongside the “Princess of Africa”, musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka, birdman Hugh Chittenden and Zuleikha Mayat, the woman synonymous with the cookbook Indian Delights.

The sixth is Thudiso Gcabashe, a community worker in South Africa, who has distinguished herself through contributions to youth development and society at large, in religion, poverty alleviation and community health.

Prof. Mamdani, once described as “perhaps the greatest living African scholar” would be “recognized for his contribution in reclaiming Africa’s contribution to the global knowledge project and in knowledge generation in and out of Africa”, the university said.

Mamdani, a Ugandan of Indian origin, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1974 and specializes in African history and politics. His book, Politics and Class Formation, is considered one of the most informative and authoritative political treatise on Uganda.


He is a professor of government in the department of anthropology and political science and the school of international and public affairs at Columbia University, where he was also director of the Institute of African Studies from 1999 to 2004.

He has taught at the University of Dar-es-Salaam (1973–79), Makerere University (1980–93), and University of Cape Town (1996–99) and was the founding director of Centre for Basic Research (CBR) in Kampala, Uganda (1987–96).

He first joined Makerere in 1972. When former president Idi Amin turned against Asians, he left and took up a post of senior lecturer at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

He returned to Makerere in 1980 after Amin had been toppled. But he got into trouble with the Obote II regime that attempted to expel him for publishing articles critical of the government’s policies.

At Makerere, Mamdani published widely and rose from a junior position of political science teaching assistant to become an associate professor in 1984.

He left Makerere in 1993 to set up and head the Centre for Basic Research in Kampala, before joining Columbia University in New York where he has been serving till 2010 when he was appointed MISR director.

In 2007, he published a book, Scholars in the Market Place, which caused unease within Makerere University’s administration.

The book criticized the commercialization of university education in Uganda and the lack of academic research and publications by professors. He accused the university of duplicating courses for the sake of generating revenues from private students.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
S. Sudan peace deal at
South Sudan's repeatedly broken peace deal is at a "critical stage", the African Union has warned, calling on rival forces to honour commitments amid fears it is close to collapse....
Pope prays for strife-torn Burundi
Pope Francis prayed for peace in the troubled central African nation of Burundi on Saturday and an end to months of strife that has sparked fears of renewed civil war....
Singh Katongole barred from contesting for MP
COURT has issued an interim order restraining Singh Katongole from contesting as the NRM Member of Parliament flag bearer for Rubaga North constituency...
Uganda Martyrs are inspirational - Pope Francis
POPE Francis paid homage to the 45 Uganda Martyrs at the newly renovated Catholic shrine in Namugongo, with emphasis on extending help to the needy...
450 traffic officers reprimanded over bribes
THE director of Traffic and Road Safety, Dr. Steven Kasiima has revealed that over 450 traffic officials were reassigned to other departments for misconduct and allegedly soliciting bribes from motorists...
Obey, Kunya pinned on NSSF pension scam
MARTIN Onya the acting commissioner in the department of compensations, Ministry of Public Service, has pinned Christopher Obey and Kiwanuka Kunsa on the misappropriation of the sh88b...
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter