Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) Fifth Pan African Conference of the PWPA
Sponsored by PWPA International and the World University Federation (WUF)
Heia Safari Ranch, Johannesburg, South Africa, January 13th - 16th, 1999
Summary of Proceedings and Johannesburg Proposals and Resolutions
Twenty-one scholars drawn from all parts of the African continent as well as a representative from PWPA International, Gordon L. Anderson, and WUF, Marcelo Alonso, participated in the conference. Sixteen papers were presented by scholars drawn from various African universities and two more presentations were made; one from the PWPA International representative and the other from the representative of the WUF,
The key points raised in the paper presentations can be summarized as follows:
Education is the most agent of human resource development; scholars must teach students how to think critically and value human labor, including manual labor.
1-2 Paper 2 Prof. Yapo (Ivory Coast)
History of education as a system in the Ivory Coast demonstrates pitfalls of colonial education and the need for an African Renaissance as pioneered by Sedar Senghor, Cheikh Ata Diop, etc.
African Renaissance originates from work by Pan Africanist leaders like Senghor and Nkrumah; political and economic integration is a prerequisite for African progress; need now is for change of strategy: integration through co-production the new strategy, regional economic communities like ECOWAS the first practical steps in this direction.
Africa is lagging behind in key areas; producing more sisal than it needs to do while producing much less maize than it needs to; need for changes in education to emphasize science and technology topics and to take advantage of advances in information technology.
Need for greater agricultural research and formation and strengthening of research networks; African Renaissance must mean to revolutionize agricultural production in Africa.
1.6 Paper 6 Prof. Imajdil (Morocco)
African politics need to change; African leaders have to improve on their governance practices, but world institutions have got to help Africa more especially with respect to the debt burden.
PWPA concerns trace themselves to concerns of its founder, Rev. Moon, which stress the need to focus on values and finding a moral complement to the humanitarian work of the United Nations Organization; material progress not anchored in noble spiritual values often collapse eventually. Spiritual values need not be religion specific.
Tremendous advances taking place in information science and technology; to survive societies and peoples have to change education systems to take advantage of these IT advances; need for telecafes to popularize and make IT advances accessible to the masses in town and villages; universities have to network to facilitate informatization.
1.9 Extra Paper Prof. Kiguwa (Ugandan but in South Africa at University of Venda)
Attempt at a comprehensive definition of African Renaissance; traced back to writings of Senghor and Nkrumah, etc.
Education key to human socialization for a future of our dreams; need for universities to reach out to primary and secondary schools; need for establishment of cultural centres especially in villages; cultural centres be provided with computers to link them to universities and global information networks.
1.11 Paper 8 Prof. Dossou-Yovo (Benin)
African politics need to be more democratic; values of tolerance, transparency and respect of constitutionality need to be nurtured; examination of the political history of Benin offers positive lessons especially regarding the positive example shown by Mr. Kerekou.
Africa needs to organize itself adequately to meet the challenges posed by advances in information technology; our libraries and universities need to pioneer work in popularizing knowledge through exploitation of IT.
Notion of an African Renaissance a running thread in the speeches of South African Vice President Mbeki; African post-independence leaders in 1960s and 1970s also proclaimed similar philosophies like humanism, ujamau, African socialism, etc.; need to be critical least these are pronounced as mere platitudes even if useful as mobilizing slogans.
The philosophy of the African Renaissance a ANC political mobilization platform; difficulties relating the slogan with pragmatic macro-economic programmes such as GEAR and RDP which seem to be inspired more by IMF-World Bank neo-liberal globalization paradigms.
African Renaissance thinking finds echo in some policies pursued by Iddi Amin in Uganda in spite of the human rights abuses which characterized this regime; Africans desire restoration of their pre-colonial glory and true independence, especially Ugandans in Ruwanda; current leadership by Yoweri Museveni seeking to promote African Renaissance through constitutional reforms and privatization policies. Africans have to have a sense of self-respect and self-worth.
In the promotion of the African Renaissace care has to be taken not promote all traditional cultural values; need for some cultural practices being abandoned and allowing women more freedom than they enjoy at the moment; this is so especially in the light of the role some cultural practices seem to play in increasing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Africa.
1.17 paper 14 Prof. Adjangba (Togo)
Overall Africa has not faired well in the promotion of democratic practices; need for promotion better political succession and accountability systems political values have to change in favor of transparency , tolerance, inclusiveness and accountability.
African Renaissance is possible with improvement in food security situation in Africa; need to learn from other peoples such as UK and USA; need for greater expenditure on agricultural research and establishment of research networks; also need to refuse to take advice from IMF and World Bank which is not favorable such as abolishing subsidies and importing food items instead of growing them ourselves.
There was broad agreement on the following points:
At the end of the conference participants unanimously agreed to the following resolutions and three practical proposals.
3.1 Johannesburg Resolutions
consultation with the participants, a report for WUF, preferable within the next three
Prepared by Profs. Nxumalo, Alonso, and Lwaitama and adopted by all participants.
Johannesburg, 16th January 1999