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The Role of Philosophy in Africa (Nairobi, 2017)

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The Role of Philosophy in Africa: Context, Traditions, Challenges and Prospects

Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, 20-22 of April, 2017.

[Program] [Abstracts] [Photos] [Videos]

[Prof. Justus MBAE, Prof. Dismas A. MASOLO, Prof. Joseph AGBAKOBA]

There has been tremendous evolution in systematized human knowledge since its beginning in early philosophical speculation about the nature of being. Philosophy gradually became the foundation of diverse theoretical and applied disciplines, including humanities, natural and physical science, mathematics, sociology, psychology, and anthropology. Subsequent specialization of philosophy has facilitated not only clearer definitions and understanding of nature, but also the search for ideals for human existence. In addition, Philosophy remains the watchdog of both theoretical and applied sciences today. In the twentieth century, philosophy was considered to be the tool for clarification of misunderstandings of the world through the analysis and systemization of language. However, there were debates about whether philosophy existed in Africa until the Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka offered clarification through a delineation of six trends in Philosophy. Nevertheless, the following questions about philosophy in Africa still linger: What is the role and value of philosophy in contemporary Africa? What is the relationship between philosophy and understanding within African culture?  Answers to these questions albeit not yet satisfactory have been attempted. A key aspect of the discourse on philosophy in Africa, however, entails the tendency to attribute the title 'Philosopher' to people trained in Philosophy, while ignoring other rational and critical thinkers. Such African philosophers have been left with nothing to do but be critics of the highest brow. Perceived inapplicability of philosophy is further underpinned by a resounding public 'stink eye'. While philosophy has been condemned many times in the past, the discipline has always found a role to play. What will be its role in Africa in the 21st Century? In consideration of the above questions, the Directorate of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Training (DRIGT), and the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in collaboration with COMIUCAP (Conférence Mondiale des Institutions Universitaires Catholiques de Philosophie − World Conference of Catholic University Institutions of Philosophy) are organizing an International Conference with the goal of seriously contributing towards a renewed discernment of the Role of Philosophy in Africa.

Interested scholars, researchers and practitioners are hereby invited to submit abstracts to be considered for paper presentation under any of the following sub-themes: 1. Context of Philosophy in Africa with particular reference to past, present and future trends, language of philosophy, dogma and the teaching of philosophy. 2. Philosophical traditions in Africa and traditional African Culture focusing on: theoretical approaches, interdisciplinary collaboration, cross-cultural communication and intercultural relations, training philosophers, values, and socio-economic development. 3. The role of philosophy in addressing theoretical, research methodology, societal, human rights, peace building, gender, constitutionalism, governance & integrity, and Environmental challenges. 4. Prospects of Philosophy in Africa with regard to production of knowledge in areas such as cultural studies, politics, comparative religion, morality, technology and development, economics, language, education, law, and medicine, among others.

The Program of the Conference is available here.

Convener:
The Catholic University of Eastern Africa // P.O. Box 62157-00200 // City Square // Nairobi, Kenya
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it // This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it // This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel: 254-020-8891601-6 ext 1175, 1176, or 117
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Scientific Board: Prof. João J. Vila-Chã (Pontificia Università Gregoriana) ● Prof. Joseph Agbakoba (Nigeria) ● Dr. Stephen Okello (Kenya) Prof. Christine Wanjiru Gichure (Kenya) ● Prof. Josephat Obi Oguejiofor (Nigeria) ● Prof. Ernest K. M. Beyaraza (Uganda) ● Prof. Joseph Kiruki Kahiga (Kenya) ● Prof. Justus Gitari Mbae (Kenya) ● Prof. Nathanaël Yaovi Soede (Ivory Coast).

Local Organizing Committee: Dr. Stephen Okello (Chairperson) ● Prof. Aloys Ayako (Director, RIGT) ● Dr. Bibiana Ngundo (Coordinator) ● Dr. Albert Mundele (Coordinator) ● Ms. Faith Amwayi (Secretery) Dr. Benson Mulemi ● Dr. John Muhenda ● Mr. Stephen Mailu ● Ms. Jane Nambiri ● Dr. George Ndemo ● Dr. John Nyambega ● Dr. Simon Njuguna ● Mr. Festus Musau Mr. Francis Kamau.

Submissions: Please, send abstracts of between 250-500 words (12 point Times New Roman, Single Spaced in APA referencing style). The abstract should include full contact details (title, name, address, email-address, and telephone) as well as institutional affiliation and be sent before January 15, 2017 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . A first version of the final paper (3000-6000 words) is to be sent by March 31, 2017.

Registration Fees:
● Participants from East African Communities and Organizations US$ 60 (Ksh 5,000).
● Rest of Africa US$ 100.
● Rest of the World – Europe, North America, Asia, etc US$ 150.
● Students – US$ 10
● Exhibition and Advertising Stand – US$ 200.

For information regarding Accomodation in the vicinity of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, please, send a send a message to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as soon as possible but before March 15, 2017.

Participants from outside Africa can make their payments here. In order to get updated information on the V World Congress of COMIUCAP in Bogotá, Colombia (4-9 of July, 2017), please, click here.