It is with a deep sense of loss and sadness that CODESRIA wishes to announce the passing on of the Congolese scholar and stateman Professor Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba. Wamba-dia-Wamba was a brilliant political theorist noted for his ground-breaking work on democracy, social movements and emancipative politics in Africa. He taught in many universities including the University of Dar es Salaam, Harvard University, Boston College, and Brandeis University.
Prof. Wamba-dia-Wamba was a scholar who sought to actualize his ideas through participation and intervention in major political processes. He was an active participant in the civil rights movement in the US where he studied. He was imprisoned and exiled from his country due to his thought and activism. He was later to lead one of the rebel groups- Rally for Congolese Democracy- during what is often described as the Second Congo War in the 1990s and then served as a senator in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Wamba-dia-Wamba was an influential member of and an active participant in the activities of CODESRIA. He published a lot with CODESRIA. His edited volume with Mahmood Mamdani, published by CODESRIA in 1985- African Studies in Social Movements and Democracy- remains a classic. He also served as the President of the Council from 1992-1995. Wamba-dia-Wamba will be sorely missed for his erudition that was often masked by his remarkably unassuming character. CODESRIA along with the entire African scholarly community in the Social Sciences and Humanities extend its condolences to the family of Wamba-dia-Wamba. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
CODESRIA will issue a longer tribute in honour of Prof. Wamba-dia-Wamba in soon.