Thandika Mkandawire

Thandika Mkandawire (10 October 1940 – 27 March 2020)[1] was a Malawian economist and public intellectual who was a Chair of African Development and professor of African Development at the London School of Economics.[2][3][4] He is a widely published scholar on the social sciences in Africa.[5] His research focused in development theory and economic and social policy.

Personal life[edit]

He was born in Malawi, studied at Zomba Catholic Secondary School, and then moved abroad for university.[6]


Mkandawire received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Economics at Ohio State University. Mkandawire worked as a professor at the Universities of Stockholm and Zimbabwe. He later served as a Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa CODESRIA.[7] He was on the board of the Social Science Research Council.[8] Thandika Mkandawire was awarded honorary degrees by the University of Helsinki, University of Ghana and York University. He was Chair and Professor of African Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was Olof Palme Professor for Peace with the Swedish Institute for Future Studies.


Thandika Mkandawire died in Stockholm on 27 March 2020, aged 79, from an illness following a stroke in January.[9]


  • Mkandawire, Thandika ed. 2004 Social Policy in a Development Context. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Mkandawire, Thandika, 2007. “Targeting and Universalism in Poverty Reduction,” in Policy Matters: Economic and Social Policies to sustain equitable development. Jose Antonio Ocampo, Jomo K. Sundaram, and Sarbuland Khan eds. Hyderabad/London/Penang: Orient/Longmans/Zed Books/TWN.
  • Mkandawire, Thandika, 2011. “Institutional Monocropping and Monotasking in Africa,” in Good Growth and Governance in Africa: Rethinking Development Strategies -Akbar Noman, Kwesi Botchwey, Howard Stein, and Joseph E. Stiglitz. ISBN 9780199698561.
  • Mkandawire, Thandika, 2005 African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development. Zed Books.[10]


  1. ^ “Thandika Mkandawire dies: Tributes pour on accomplished Malawian scholar”Nyasa Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  2. ^ “The death of Mandela marks the triumphant end of Africa’s liberation struggle, argues Thandika Mkandawire”Africa is a Country. 2013-12-08. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  3. ^ Coughlan, Sean (2011-03-22). “Left out of the loop”BBC News. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  4. ^ “Thandika Mkandawire”The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  5. ^ “Thandika Mkandawire”The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  6. ^ “An awakening giant”The Economist. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  7. ^ Science, London School of Economics and Political. “People”London School of Economics and Political Science. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  8. ^ “Board of Directors | About | Social Science Research Council (SSRC) | Brooklyn, NY, USA”Social Science Research Council. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  9. ^ “Thandika Mkandawire dies: Tributes pour on accomplished Malawian scholar” Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  10. ^ “Home – ZED Books”ZED Books. Retrieved 2017-11-16.

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