The global celebrations on Wednesday marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination happened in the background of a third moment of African thought in Kigali, Rwanda. Prof Gilbert Khadiagala of the University of the Witwatersrand identifies two moments of African thought. The first was African Pan-Africanism and African integration. Pan-Africanist ideas formed the incipient knowledge about how Africans could organise themselves without colonial strings. Embracing various strains of cultural revivalism such as Negritude, the Back-to-Africa Movement and African personality, Pan-Africanism dovetailed with sociologist Karl Mannheim’s notion of utopia, the dreams that form the groundwork for transformation. The second moment is the African Renaissance and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. Thabo Mbeki’s African Renaissance, according to Khadiagala, reflected the seismic transformations in the South African milieu. In the new SA, with a Bill of Right...

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