Samir Amin the African, Global Giant, and Epitome of uBuntu in Tireless Pursuit of the ‘Highest Level of Human Civilization’

In: Bandung
N’Dri Thérèse Assié-LumumbaProfessor, Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, USA
Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

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This article is the English version of a presentation delivered at the international symposium that was held on February 10–12, 2020, in Dakar (Senegal) in honor and memory of Professor Samir Amin. In what could be read as an autoethnography of more than four decades of observation and evolution the intellectual journey has been enriched from the status and experiences as students to adult academics with critical perspectives shaped the uBuntu-inspired life vision of Samir Amin. The journey of this global giant evolved with extraordinary consistency from childhood questioning social inequality to the global arena as the ultimate advocate of the marginalized everywhere. He inspired generations with his unsurpassed prolific knowledge production, his intellectual rigor and his humanity. The article also recognizes the role of his comrade and spouse, Isabelle Eynard Amin. Samir Amin’s unwavering commitment to the struggle to create a new world of equality and respect of our common humanity to achieve the highest level of human civilization. Beside the economy as the substructure articulated in Marxist analysis, formal education, as part of the superstructure, plays a more critical role than conceived by the classical Marxist and dependency theory as a critical tool for colonial and neo-colonial control. Indeed, formal education also contains the seed for possible social transformation.

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