The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) has learnt with great shock and sadness of the passing of Professor Thandika Mkandawire.
An accomplished scholar, researcher and teacher, Prof Mkandawire was one of the shining stars in the firmament of African intellectual pursuits. Born in Malawi, his career spanned many geographies and disciplines, displaying a profound understanding of the African and global political economy. Prof Mkandawire eschewed the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake and sought always to complement his probing analysis of African societies with bold propositions on how the continent can lift itself from the legacies and path-dependencies of the colonial era.
We are proud as the Mapungubwe Institute and its partners to have been among the beneficiaries of his erudition and wisdom. In particular, we are truly honoured that he delivered the inaugural Mapungubwe Annual Lecture in 2012. His profound thoughts on the theme, Building the African state in the age of globalisation – the role of social compacts and lessons for South Africa, remain an enduring source of knowledge and inspiration as South Africa climbs out of the quagmire of debilitating neopatrimonialism and state capture.
In this hour of grief, MISTRA draws solace from the conviction that Professor Thandika Mkandawire will continue to inspire intellectuals and practitioners alike in the cause of improving the human condition in Africa and further afield.
We express our profound condolences to his family and all his colleagues around the world.
Deaths of Professors; Harry Garuba, Thandika Mkandawire, Euphrase Kezilahabi and Ken Walibora Waliaula: Cruel Impeachment to Africa’s Course of Self-Determination by Alexander Opicho
Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) conveys condolences on the passing of Professor Thandika Mkandawire
Prof. Thandika Mkandawire’s Remarks at the 15th CODESRIA General Assembly
Thandika Mkandawire has passed on!
It is with great sadness and a deep sense of loss that the Council for the Development of Social Science in Africa, CODESRIA, announces the passing away of Professor Thandika Mkandawire on March 27, 2020. Thandika as he was fondly known was a brilliant economist and prodigious scholar whose works on African political economy challenged dominant ways of seeing the African continent on a wide range of issues that included structural adjustment and economic reform, democratic politics, neopatrimonialism and insurgent violence. Thandika was a very dedicated member of CODESRIA. He led the Council as its Executive Secretary from 1985 to 1996 and continued to play important roles in the life of the organization after moving on to head UNRISD and later taking on a distinguished professorship at the London School of Economics. From 2015-2016, he led the internal review of CODESRIA’s governance and membership whose recommendations underpin an ambitious process of reform that the Council is undertaking. On April 11-13, 2016 CODESRIA organized a conference in Lilongwe, Malawi with the theme “Thinking African, Epistemological Issues: Celebrating the Life and Work of Thandika Mkandawire” in his honor. Thandika will be sorely missed by the CODESRIA community and the entire African social science community. His brilliance was matched by his humility, wit and willingness to mentor new generations of scholars. CODESRIA extends its sincere condolences to Thandika’s family. CODESRIA will announce its plans for celebrating the life and ideas of Thandika in the days ahead. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Below is a link to an interview that our colleague Kate Meagher conducted with the late Prof. Thandika Mkandawire. The interview was published under the title “Reflections of an Engaged Economist: An Interview with Thandika Mkandawire,” in Development and Change, vol. 50 no. 2, 2019, pp. 511-541. More…
Je n’aime pas les oraisons funèbres. Elles annoncent, avec brutalité et désespoir, la disparition d’un être cher qui a marqué son temps et laissé une marque. Elles s’évertuent à tracer une histoire, exhumer une contribution remarquable, pour attester de sa clôture, même si l’on clame la continuité. Nonobstant nos efforts, l’oraison funèbre signale la mort ; elle enterre la personne pour n’en laisser qu’une trace et obturer une vie. More…
I do not like funeral orations. They announce, with brutality and despair, the disappearance of a loved one who has marked his time and left a mark. They strive to tell a story, to unearth a remarkable contribution, to bear witness to its closure, even if we claim continuity. Notwithstanding our efforts, funeral orations signal death; they bury a person and leave only a trace and seal a life. More…