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

  1. Summary of Proceedings

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:

  1. Paper 1 Prof. Nsubuga (Uganda)

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.

  1. Paper 3 Prof. Fall (Senegal) (Cheikh Ata Drop University)

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.

  1. Paper 4 Prof. Pokhariyal (Kenya)

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.

  1. Prof. Oluyemi (Nigeria)

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.

  1. PWPA International Presentation, Prof. Gordon L. Anderson

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.

  1. WUF Presentation Prof. Marcelo Alonso

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.

  1. Paper 7 Dr. Levaitamo (Tanzania)

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.

  1. Paper 9 Prof. Lungu (Zambia)

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.

  1. Paper 10 Prof. Musambadine (Zambian, now teaching in Namibia)

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.

  1. Paper 11 Prof. Matheba (South Africa)

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.

  1. Paper 12 Prof. Kakooza (Uganda)

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.

  1. Paper 13 Prof. Mufune (Namibia)

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.

  1. Paper 15 Prof. Fianu (Ghana)

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.

 

  1. KEY AREAS OF AGREEMENT BY PARTICIPANTS

There was broad agreement on the following points:

  1. The world is changing very fast and the need to promote peace is obvious to all; Africa is lagging behind in material advancement and it needs to change very fast if its people are to survive let alone prosper like everyone else; the African Renaissance must involve material advancement for the greatest number of Africans
  2. Education is very important in the promotion of peace and universities have to play a catalytic role in promotion of agricultural research and nurturing of democratic values; advances in information technology have to be popularized by universities.
  3. Universities have to network among each other and with villages and urban neighborhoods in outreach programs to cater for the popularization of the advances in information technology.
  4. Universities have to network in pursuing further research on topics of crucial importance to the promotion the African Renaissance such as regionalism and globalization.
  5. The WUF can facilitate discussion towards the development of a satisfactory definition of religion and universal values as those which form the basic themes that guide WUF work;, etc. Harmony, purity, peace and unity. The potential for divisiveness which religious beliefs have has to be overcome without avoiding the discussion of the importance of religious sensibilities in inculcating good human values.
  6. Formal education for women must be promoted with greater vigor. Former Tanzania President Julius Nyerere once observed that "the development of any country can be measured by the level of development of its women folk."
  7. Cultural practices which hinder the progress of women must gradually be abandoned . In the wake of HIV/AID pandemic practices allowing for multiple sexual partnerships have to be discouraged.
  8. Pre-school education and informal education through establishment of cultural centres and telecafes, for example, need to be given greater emphasis than before. The new values generated in the promotion of the African Renaissance must be inculcated as early as possible in peoplesí lives. Universities have to play an on-going role in this process.
  1. JOHANNESBURG RESOLUTIONS AND PROPOSAL

At the end of the conference participants unanimously agreed to the following resolutions and three practical proposals.

3.1 Johannesburg Resolutions

    1. Participants expressed support of WUF goals as they may help implementing the African Renaissance goals.
    2. Participants recognized the responsibility of African education systems in general and of African Universities in particular to inculcate in the students basic values and principles, such as honesty, responsibility, respect laws, etc. that will help them function in a contemporary society.
    3. Participants recognized the desirability of strong inter-university cooperation and complementarity that will facilitate exchange of courses, distance education, tele-courses, etc.
    4. Participants recognized the desirability of establishing in Africa regional university networks, taking advantage of IT and internet to facilitate the complementarity expressed in 3 above.
    5. Participants recognized the social responsibility of African universities to contribute to the goals of African Renaissance by improving education at all levels, with special emphasis on education in rural areas, for which IT is an essential component.
    6. In relation to the point above, participants recognized that African universities may contribute to design and implement national informatization strategies.
  1. Johannesburg Proposals
    1. To explore what should be done and how WUF can serve as a facilitator or catalyzer in relation to the above points a committee composed of Profs. C.B.M. Lungo (Zambia), Nouel Dossou-Yovo (Benin) and G.P. Pokhariyal (Kenya) is charged with the task of preparing in
    2. consultation with the participants, a report for WUF, preferable within the next three

      months.

    3. Prof. Ely Fall offered to coordinate the development a concrete proposal relating to the establishment of a network of West African Universities initially aiming at the holding of conference and related activities on an agreed theme supported by WUF.
    4. PWPA Zambia offered to host the 6th Pan African PWPA conference in three years time and the offer was acknowledged. PWPA International was asked to follow the offer up and inform participants accordingly.

Prepared by Profs. Nxumalo, Alonso, and Lwaitama and adopted by all participants.

Johannesburg, 16th January 1999