The project of inventing the future of Africa in the world raises multiple issues, challenges and questions that will be dealt with by this panel. In what way does this project, understood as a preoccupation of the early 21st century, differ from and is similar to grand plans for social transformation that characterized the work of early pan-Africanists at the dawn of independence across the continent? Does this activity represent a return to the future? Should the future be essentially imagined as one or as a plurality? What are the foundational principles on which the society to come should be grounded? What are the unique contributions of various disciplines to imagining and constructing this future and what roles do interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work stand to play in this process? What are the epistemological challenges and opportunities inherent in processes of imagining and thinking the future?
Chair/Président: Mahmood Mamdani, Columbia University & Makerere Institute of Social Research; former President of CODESRIA
Speakers/Intervenants: Adam Habib, University of Witwatersrand, (South Africa); Adebayo Olukoshi, former Executive Secretary of CODESRIA; Yang Guang, Institute of West Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Benjamin Soares, Afrika-Studiecentrum/African Studies Centre (The Netherlands)