What African intellectuals owe the continent in the New Cold War era

Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta (second right) and African leaders follow proceedings during the opening ceremony of the 26th African Union Heads of State and Government Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Metaphorically, in the ongoing global debate on democracy African scholars must distinguish between a dog and a hot dog.
  • In Africa, democracy must be aligned to the Nobel Prize-winning idea that ‘development is freedom”.

My read this week was Ronald J Daniels’s new title, What Universities Owe Democracy (2021), which my vendor, Njoroge Waweru, insisted was “a must-read for scholars of democracy”. The gist of the book by the President of Johns Hopkins University is that American colleges and universities are being tested like never before in the new “contest between liberal and illiberal ways of thought”.


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