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68 entries.
Siphokazi Magadla Siphokazi Magadla from Makhanda, South Africa wrote on 16th April 2020 at 10:16 am:
Hamba kahle, Mkhonto! I was introduced to your work by my former teacher, Prof Jimi Adesina, who would tell us that you are "the smartest man in Africa!" Thank you the gifts of your intellect and for have been the teacher of our teachers. Although some of us would never meet you in person, through your thinking, the respect and love with which our elders hold you, give us a piece of the person that you were. Rest in power, Mwalimu.
Moses Khisa Moses Khisa from Raleigh, North Carolina wrote on 16th April 2020 at 5:02 am:
Thandika has left behind indelible foot-marks. Many of us have immeasurably benefited from his enormous scholarly work and his distinguished service to mother continent. We'll greatly miss his sharp intellect, kind demeanor, dedicated service, and unique humaneness . Wishing him peace on the other side.
Ndiaye Fatim Ndiaye Fatim from Dakar wrote on 15th April 2020 at 8:19 pm:
C'est avec une immense tristesse que j ai appris le décès de Thandika. la communauté scientifique a perdu un Grand intellectuel qui a beaucoup œuvré pour la science. Nous avons cheminé avec lui pendant longtemps au CODESRIA ou il s est beaucoup donné. Nous avons beaucoup appris de lui, de son humanisme et de sa joie de vivre.Il était a l écoute du personnel local qu il défendait.On ne l oubliera jamais.Que Dieu le tout puissant l acceuille dans son paradis
Adieu Thandika le sénégalais.
Radha Upadhyaya Radha Upadhyaya from Nairobi wrote on 15th April 2020 at 2:33 pm:
While I never got to meet the Professor, I was greatly inspired by his writing including his work on financial reform in SSA.

I quoted the line below by him in my Phd and to date I continue to try to ensure that I work towards changing this irony.

“A major irony of African development history is that the theories and models employed have largely come from outside the continent. No other region of the world has been so dominated by external ideas and models.” Mkandawire and Soludo (1999)
Mshai Mwangola Mshai Mwangola from Nairobi wrote on 15th April 2020 at 1:41 pm:
Today we formally farewell Professor Thandika Mkandawire as his physical body is laid to rest. His prodigious body of intellectual work remains with us, and for that, I am immensely grateful.
As many others, especially my colleagues in CODESRIA, I have been greatly influenced by Thandika, both directly as an individual, and indirectly as a member of the fourth generation of post-colonial academics nurtured by CODESRIA. I have cited his work - my very first publication on "nurturing the fourth generation" was indeed built on his own thinking, cited in this official tribute by CODESRIA's Executive Secretary, Godwin Murunga. I cannot remember how many times I have quoted his pithy, profound, memorable one-liners, especially to my peers and students, whether it be reminding us that we must be careful in negotiating the "networks" of relationships we enter into as African intellectuals, or in understanding what it means to "run as others walk" as we figure out how to meet our historical mission as the different generations engaged in intellectual work. I have used the "confession" he made with regard to his conversion to embracing feminist theories as an introduction to students on epistemic communities, as thinking, debating, engaging communities where the emphasis is not so much to defend positions but to grow together in thinking together. I have returned to his reflections on development and on SAPs to bolster my understanding of the contexts in which I work.
But perhaps my favourite memory of Thandika dates back to my first "real" encounter with him at my very first CODESRIA General Assembly. I have to admit that I was somewhat awed to be in that space with so many of intellectual giants whose names were familiar in bibliographies I was then reading as a graduate student. I was waiting for some friends in the lobby of the hotel, I think the plan was to go out for dinner. Thandika was "presiding" over a group sitting at some chairs in the lobby, engaged in some happy debate on something I can no longer remember. He spotted me standing by myself, called me to join them, mentioning a comment I had made in a session and saying he thought I had made a good point, and seamlessly integrated me into the group. If I remember correctly, when the friend I was waiting for came to the lobby, he insisted that she join us for a while before we went on our way. I learned an important thing about mentoring as a way of life and not an assigned task that day that I have carried through my own understanding and practice of nurturing and being nurtured by colleagues who share a space that I am in.
Farewell Mwalimu. You will be greatly missed - but oh, how so richly blessed we were as a community to have you!

What Thandika Mkandawire taught me about African development - by Teniola Tayo

I first heard Thandika Mkandawire’s name from my friend, Vivian, a fireball Tanzanian woman who shows more daring…
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In Memoriam | Thandika Mkandawire

In Memoriam: Thandika Mkandawire (1940-2020) Development Economist, Pan-Africanist and Mentor Thandika Mkandawire, who passed away in Stockholm on…
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Entretien pour la revue Roape avec le directeur de l’IDEA, Adebayo Olukoshi, sur la contribution de l’économiste malawite…
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Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) conveys condolences on the passing of Professor Thandika Mkandawire

Pretoria, Wednesday 1 April 2020 – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) extends it condolences to the family,…
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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.

Reflections of an Engaged Economist: An Interview with Thandika Mkandawire

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…

Thandika Mkandawire the Boss – By Mamadou Diouf

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…