NEWS: Africa & Knowledge Seminar - Prof Ajei on development and the quest for modernity in Africa

The next Africa & Knowledge seminar will be held on the 23rd of September 2021, from 15h00-16h30 SAST (GMT+2) online. Prof Martin Ajei will be speaking on "Development and the quest for modernity in Africa".


Prof Ajei is Associate Professor of philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Classics at the University of Ghana. His academic research focus and interests include African philosophy, applied ethics, political philosophy, and philosophies of liberation.


Please click here to RSVP, or email Anele.Mngadi@Mandela.ac.za


Speaker Biography

Martin Odei Ajei is Associate Professor of philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Classics at the University of Ghana. He obtained a D. Litt et Phil. in philosophy from University of South Africa, an M. Phil from University of Ghana and a B.A (Hons) from University of Stockholm, Sweden. His academic research focus and interests include African philosophy, applied ethics, political philosophy, and philosophies of liberation. For the past decade, these interests have narrowed to elaborating a Ghanaian tradition of philosophy, and to bringing African and Western normative theorists into intellectual contact with each other in order to counteract parochial theorizing in Western ethical and political thinking.


Prof Ajei’s objectives in joining African and Western normative theorizing are twofold: first, to uncover flaws in the presumption of liberal universalism and in the marginalization of African intellectual perspectives; and second, to enrich global theorizing through inclusion of African intellectual perspectives. In the latter task, he has persistently engaged with proclamations of the universal validity of global normative theorizing that recur in Western normative political thinking. Prof Ajei works to call attention to the fact that the language of the theorists’ philosophical analysis is exclusively liberal and that the relevant sites of their debate are predominantly Western. Further, he argues for balance in the historically inherited image of African backwardness that inform such debate.


He is author of over twenty peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and of two books: The Paranormal: An Inquiry into Akan Metaphysics and Epistemology, and Africa’s Development: The Imperatives on Indigenous Knowledge and Values. He is also editor of an anthology of philosophical commentary on Kwame Nkrumah’s philosophy: Disentangling Consciencism: Essays on Kwame Nkrumah’s Philosophy. He is currently Fellow of the German Reference Center for Ethics in the Life Sciences, University of Bonn; and preparing his third book: Empathetic Humanism: A Legon Tradition of African Philosophy.

The Africa and Knowledge Seminar Series is a collaboration between the Emengini Institute for Comparative Global Studies, and the Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation, the Centre for Philosophy in Africa, and the Faculty of Humanities at Nelson Mandela University.