Mahmood Mamdani – An intellectual leader in African higher education
The role of senior academics in leading higher education is more difficult to define than that of vice-chancellors. But some intellectuals are arguably so prominent that they inspire change and development – and such is the case with Professor Mahmood Mamdani, internationally renowned commentator on African history, politics and society.
Once voted the world’s ninth most important public intellectual by the US’s Foreign Policy and the UK’s Prospect magazines, he is today director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research at Makerere University in Uganda’s capital Kampala. He is also Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University in New York.
Mamdani spoke to University World News in his office at Makarere, where he has headed up the social research institute since 2010 and is currently working with its first batch of PhD candidates. …
…Mamdani was born in 1946, a third-generation Ugandan citizen of Indian descent. He grew up in Kampala during the final years of the British protectorate over Uganda, which gained independence in 1962, and finished school that year.
He received a grant from the United States government – part of an independence gift of 23 scholarships that America gave Uganda – and studied at the University of Pittsburgh before obtaining a masters degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Read Prof. Mamdani’s complete profile