Makerere to uphold Prof. Mazrui’s legacy



In  the photo below - The Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, shares a light moment with the late Prof. Ali Mazrui at Serena Kampala Hotel. This was the last time he visited Makerere and agreed to his name being used in perpetuity by the University.


Prof Kirumira with Prof. MazruiThough he was Kenyan, Prof. Ali Mazrui deserves the plaudits for being a pioneer educationist who opened the door for thriving African intellectualism. His sharp wit and disposition to original thinking are what prompted Makerere to grant him full professorship in 1965 at the age of just 32. One of his contemporaries, also his seventh successor as Dean of Makerere University’s Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, says Makerere University will continue to remember the great works of Prof. Mazrui through the Mazruiana projects (the Ali Mazrui Chair and Endowment Fund), that were launched in 2009.

The Ali Mazrui Chair at Makerere is in honour of the exemplary record of his accomplishments that began at the University in 1963. Professor Mazrui received that honour on August 11, 2009, at Makerere University, during a colourful ceremony which, was officiated by H.E. Yoweri Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, represented by Professor Apollo Nsibambi, then, Prime Minister of Uganda. The function attracted diplomats and scholars.

The Chair and scholarship endowment is intended to attract future occupants of exceptional distinction in the hope that any new holder would repeat Professor Mazrui 's illustrious record of  the past. The Chair at Makerere will support national and internationally credentialed research  professors and lecturers in teaching, research, new innovations and knowledge exchange plus those engaged in writing and publishing.

Professor Ali Mazrui proposed the agenda of his chair at Makerere to focus on African's Triple Heritage; a subject where he wrote a book, done a television series and taught classes at two universities, and lectured across continents. He further added that it may be easier to promote this project as it will be focusing on the Indigenous African Civilization; Islamic civilization and Western Civilization. 

The Makerere-Mazruiana Project, which will cost $15m (Shs33b), but will help generate much more resources, is an example of how all universities can raise funds through partnership with the private sector.

 Prof. Mazrui died on Monday 13th October, 2014 in Binghamton, New York, in the United States. He was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Mombasa, Kenya on Sunday, 19th October, 2014. Prof. Mazrui was a leading Pan-Africanist whose academic research focused on African politics, North-South relations and political Islam. He authored numerous books, including The Africans: A Triple Heritage and Christianity and Islam in Africa's Political Experience: Piety, Passion and Power.

Prof Mazrui laid a firm foundation for Makerere University’s Department of Political Science where he served as head of department and Professor. He was also the first African Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University. During his tenure he introduced courses in international relations and law which have since gone a long way in making the Department of Political Science and Public Administration more relevant to local and international issues.

For details on the Mazruiana projects, see link below.

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