PROF. ABDALLA BUJRA: SHORT BIO - March 2008
Prof. Abdalla Bujra, is a Kenyan national.He comes from Lamu, born in 1938, went to Lamu primary school, Mombasa Secondary school then joined University of London where he did a BA in African Studies and later obtained his Doctoral degree (PhD) in Sociology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. As an academic and scholar, Prof. Bujra has taught in various universities around the world. His teaching expertise includes supervising senior researchers and graduate students (PhD and MA) in academic institutions. He has also participated in and managed several major High level Pan-African Panels and Committees linked to the AU as well as Pan-African Independent Research Organisations.
Here are some of the main activities and institutions with which Professor Bujra was actively involved as well as some of his major publications:-
A. Pan-African and National Activities: OAU/AU and Governments
1. Professor Bujra was recently (July 2007) appointed, by the AU President Kaufor of Ghana, as a member of the High Level Panel to Audit the AU. The Audit Report has since been discussed by the Executive Council and the Assembly of the AU.
2. In 2005 Prof. Bujra was a Member of the NEPAD Steering Committee formed to prepare and establish “The Africa Forum of Former Heads of States” – presently Chaired by former President of Mozambique President Chisano.
3. Between 1998-2000, Professor Bujra was assigned to the OAU in Addis Ababa to serve as CEO to the International Panel of Eminent Personalities (IPEP) which was mandated to investigate the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. IPEP was set up by the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the OAU.
4. In 1991 Professor Bujra was appointed as a UNDP Expert in Human Resources to establish and develop the UN Long Term Perspective Studies (LTPS) Programme for Africa. The programme was based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
5. In 1990 Professor Bujra was appointed by President Moi, to be a member of the Presidential Committee on Employment in Kenya. The Committee Report was published in 1991.
B. International, African and National Research and Academic Activities
6. Prof. Bujra is one of the founders of the Dakar based CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Economic and Social Research in Africa) . He became the first fulltime Executive Secretary of CODESRIA from 1975 to 1988. During his period in office and as part of mobilizing the African Social Science Community he conceptualized, initiated, and contributed substantively to 50 conferences/seminars/workshops in different countries and on many different development themes - such as industrialization, rural development, economic integration, technology, population, democracy etc. As part of the process of mobilization and research, he established Pan -African as well as national research groups. He also set up CODICE – the CODESRIA documentation center. He started the now famous CODESRIA journal, Africa Development and other CODESRIA publications – especially books.
7. During the 1970s and 1980s Professor Bujra was a member of various professional bodies such as the Joint Committee of the Four Regional Social Science Organization – CODESRIA (for Africa), CLACSO (Latin America), AIDAP (Asia & pacific) and EADI (Europe), the Africa Committee of the American Social Science Research Council, the Paris based International Social Science Council (ISSC) of UNESCO and the Social Science Committee of the Tanzanian National Scientific Research Council. He was elected and served for two terms in all the three Committees.
8. In 1986 he was a visiting scholar at the Christien Michelson Institute and the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Bergen in Norway.
9. In 1990 Prof. Bujra served as the first Executive Secretary of the newly established “Management of Science and Technology for Development in Africa” (MANSCI) Chaired by General Olusigun Obasanjo, but based in Nairobi.
10. In 1991 he was a Visiting Professor at the Global Institute of Cultural Studies, at Binghamton, NY State (State University of Binghamton)
11. In 1992, along with President Mbeki’s father and Samir Amin, Professor Bujra was honored with the CODESRIA award of a Distinguished African Social Scientist in Institution Building.
12. Prof. Bujra has served as a team leader in research initiatives in Africa during the last 30 years, during which period he has actively participated and led international workshops, seminars and conferences in Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East, India and South East Asia.
13. In 1995 he became the founding Director of the Development Policy Management Forum (DPMF) a pan-African NGO hosted at the UNCEA in Addis Ababa but moved to Nairobi in 2006. He continues to be the Executive Director of DPMF.
14. Prof. Bujra is currently Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Nairobi based ACEG’s (African Center for Economic Growth);
C. Main Publications
15. Between 2002-2004 Professor Bujra Chaired a Committee of distinguished Kenyan scholars which supervised a Ford Foundation funded research on Governance in Kenya. The project was facilitated by the Nairobi based ACEG. The result of the research has been published (2005) in a book, “Democratic Transition in Kenya: the struggle from Liberal to Social Democracy”. Professor Bujra is the edited and also a contributor.
16. He has published extensively on issues related to governance and development in Africa. Prof. Bujra is the author of a book on “The Politics of Stratification in a South Arabian Town” (Oxford University Press, 1971); he has co-authored and edited several books among them, “Africa and the Future,” a special number of (ADB) - African Development Bank’s journal (1995), “Leadership, Civil Society and Democratization in Eastern and Southern Africa 2002” (2 Volumes ), “Perspectives on the OAU/AU and Conflict Management in Africa” (2004). His latest edited book is on Kenya “ Kenya’s Democratic Transition: The Struggle from Liberal to Social Democracy” (2005). Further he has contributed to numerous publications in the form of articles (in journals), reports, occasional working papers and chapters in books.