SPECIAL APPEARANCE — WAMBA DIA WAMBA
Prof. Wamba spoke at the BPAF March meeting, about some current projects and possibilities with BPAF. Prof. Wamba returned to Boston briefly, after an absence of 10 years. He was born in the westernmost province of the former Belgian Congo. After early schooling under Belgian colonialism, he finished college in the U.S., receiving a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Western Michigan University (1968) and a master’s degree in business administration from the Claremont Graduate School in California (1972). He taught Africana Studies at Brandeis University, Harvard University, and Boston College. In 1980, Wamba became a professor of history at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Wamba is also a prominent academic and political theorist. He was elected president of the leading social science organization for African intellectuals, the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA). His articles have appeared in an array of publications, including Journal of Historical Sociology, Zmag, Pambazuka News, and other journals.
Once decolonization began in Africa, Wamba rose to leadership among his activist intellectual peers in Africa and around the world. He was elected president of Africa’s leading social science organization for intellectuals, the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA). He also served as a close advisor to the late President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania in his 1994 efforts to address the genocide in Central Africa. In 1997, Wamba was named a recipient of the Prince Claus Award for Culture and Development which cited his “scholarly contribution to the development of African philosophy and for sparking off the philosophical debate on social and political themes in Africa.”
After Laurent Kabila was installed as President under considerable controversy, Professor Wamba was unanimously elected head of the liberation organization called Rally for Congolese Democracy. Following the Inter-Congolese Dialogue that ended the war, Wamba became a prominent member of the new government serving as a member of the national Senate and worked on drafting a new constitution to guide the process of building peace and democracy.
(for edit review)