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‘Africa continues to punch below her weight,’ says Prof PLO Lumumba at USB’s Academic Opening

Academic Opening
  • FEB 20 2019
  • Tags Academic Opening, Prof Lumumba, Keynote Speaker, Education

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“Although one can never deny that there are positive steps being made in various African countries to address her many problems, Africa continues to punch below her weight in critical areas of development,” Kenyan law and politics academic Prof Patrick Loch Otieno (PLO) Lumumba said at the University of Stellenbosch Business School’s Academic Opening on Thursday, 31 January 2019 where he was the keynote speaker.

The former director of the Kenyan anti-corruption commission said it is paradoxical that a continent that is so rich continues to wallow in poverty. He added that about 60 years ago, when many African countries gained independence, the clarion call was that Africa would use her resources to improve the quality of her peoples’ lives.

“…education was identified as key in equipping young Africans to help harness the continents’ resources for her benefit.”

“In this regard education was identified as key in equipping young Africans to help harness the continent’s resources for her benefit. We were clear what we wanted to achieve and that we needed good primary education, sound secondary education, and universities that will engage in research and transform our societies so that Africa could feed herself and Africans could participate in the world arena as equals to other civilisations,” he said.

“These were the early promises, but many countries lost the inspiration and enthusiasm. Given her human and natural resources, Africa ought to perform better,” he said. “One of the things that I’ve seen in the recent past as I travel across Africa, is the unspoken belief by different academics, politicians and business people that Africa’s problems will be solved from outside of Africa. How misguided can they be?”

“We must be able to create connections with the business industry and show them that we are capable of generating knowledge that is capable of transforming people’s minds.”

He emphasised the importance of universities across the continent contributing to practical solutions to Africa’s problems. “We must be able to create connections with the business industry and show them that we are capable of generating knowledge that is capable of transforming people’s minds.”

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