The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival creates a space for reflections on Africa’s past, present and future development. The event honours the memory of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Tanzania’s founding father and leading Pan-Africanist, with a series of lectures, debates, exhibitions and artistic performances that explore his political philosophy and thoughts on education, unity and development.
The 11th festival was organised under the theme Pan-Africanism and the Quest for Unity, Democratisation and Development: The State, Markets and Knowledge Society, from 22nd –24th May 2019. Similar to previous years, the festival was organised under the auspices of the Mwalimu Nyerere Chair of Pan-African Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).
The festival was supported by UONGOZI Institute, Bank of Tanzania, Haki Elimu and CRDB Bank. The Institute’s participation came from a desire to draw lessons from Mwalimu Nyerere’s life that may be instructive to Africa’s current and future generation of leaders working to achieve sustainable development for the continent.
The event was graced by H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Distinguished Nyerere Lecturer. Those present included academics and experts from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and the United States of America.
Speaking at the opening ceremony H.E. Jakaya Kikwete acknowledged the efforts made by regional institutions and African countries to stimulate development and better governance across the continent while noting that challenges still present.
“There is no doubt that some significant strides have been made in good governance in Africa, compared to what the situation was in the past decade,” he expressed.
He also noted that extreme poverty is still a challenge to most of the African countries.
He said, “Sadly, 27 out of 30 poorest countries in the world are in Africa,” adding, “In the United Nations Human Development Report, throughout all indicators, most African countries, if not all, have the lowest scores.”
The former President also expressed his optimism in the area of unity, stating that there has been robust cooperation among the African states, particularly across economic and diplomatic fronts, at bilateral and regional levels.
In his remarks, Professor William Anangisye, Vice Chancellor of UDSM, underlined that those present gathered, “Not only out of intellectual curiosity but more profoundly in search for a better destiny for humanity, especially in Africa.”
During the opening ceremony, Professor Rwekaza Mukandala, former Vice Chancellor of UDSM, was installed as Mwalimu Nyerere Chair in Pan-African Studies.