News and Events > News > 2024 > CELEBRATING AFRICAN DIVERSITY
31 May 2024

The University of Mpumalanga has been celebrating Africa Day since 2015. This year, two renowned African academics delivered an Africa Day Lecture. Professor Mammo Muchie, DST-NRF Research Chair in Innovation Studies at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) spoke at the Siyabuswa Campus, and Professor Alinah K Segobye, Chief Executive Officer of Botswana's Human Resource Development Council delivered the address at the Mbombela.

UMP Vice-Chancellor, Professor Thoko Mayekiso said the institution celebrates and embraces its connectedness to the African continent.

“In our very own vision, we seek to be an African University leading in creating opportunities for sustainable development through innovation. We believe that it provides us with an excellent opportunity to advance our mission and impact our day-to-day business. We have established a tradition of celebrating Africa Day since 2015. We have been fortunate to be able to invite great scholars to reflect with us on our great continent.”

She further noted that the University's vision prompts and compels the UMP Community to have a keen interest in what happens on the continent and be passionate about playing a role in ensuring that Africa succeeds.

UMPProf Muchie said the Continent needs to address the crises in institutions, leadership, governance, and systems.

Speaking at Siyabuswa Campus, Professor Muchie said Africa is the originator of humans, knowledge, and civilization. The Continent needs to address the crises in institutions, leadership, governance, and systems.

“We have rich resources, but we are poor. No African should be poor. The resources we have are incredible. The DRC, which Frantz Fanon called the heart of Africa, has estimated resources of $24 trillion. That’s the combined gross national product of all of Europe and America. We are rich in resources. We should create an African Sovereign World Fund to make all of us millionaires.

Africa is a treasure trove. The real unmined gems are African concepts, ideas, values, ways of being, systems of knowledge, and epistemology. It is not material things that define Africa. The knowledge, the philosophy – all the things we should know, but don’t know because others have taken it. So many manuscripts from all over Africa have been taken. The Western world has taken a huge amount of resources from us.”

Professor Muchie introduced the philosophy of Ubuntu and called for a comprehensive rethinking and revitalization of African education and knowledge systems.

“Time now to use Ubuntu to undertake rethinking thinking, reframing framing, relearning learning, retransforming transformation, reperforming performance, and reforming reformation, redeveloping development, innovation, and reviving indigenous knowledge from kindergarten to tertiary university levels. Africa-philia must replace all the divisive forms that turn the African family into strangers. UMP Prof Segobye from Botswana delivered the keynote address at the Mbombela Campus.


Africa must overcome others' continued demands to maintain their claims to superiority. Africa can reject it by showing that there is no justification to continue any form of inferiority – by all Africans coming together and showing the necessity to recognise full equality. To build the cherished and rich value of Ubuntu, one in all and all in one.”

He further urged the younger generation to become the torchbearers of African unity, which is crucial for global humanizing.

“All Africans must learn to use their cognitive and emotional intelligence to shine and remain genuine, building unity by appreciating differences. The philosophy of Ubuntu teaches us to share and care as one human family, prioritizing African identity and unity,” he added.

“Africans must find their solutions to problems, converting crises into opportunities. Effective systems, governance, and leadership are crucial. Let this Africa Day be a resource for all Africans to learn and agree on providing African solutions to African problems.”

Speaking at the Mbombela Campus, Professor Segobye acknowledged the ongoing challenges while celebrating the strides made in democratization and innovative governance.

UMPThe University of Mpumalanga has been celebrating Africa Day since 2015.  

"We have witnessed democratization and innovative governance systems across the continent. For example, my own country (Botswana) integrates traditional leadership systems with democratic governance, ensuring access to justice through community platforms like the lekgotla."

She further discussed the transition from the OAU to the AU and noted its role in strengthening regional institutions and fostering unity. The development of "Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want" underscores the commitment to this unity, and further spoke on the importance of embedding a culture of peace and mutual respect in education.

"In our educational efforts, we must be intentional about embedding a culture of peace and mutual respect. UNESCO's programmes promoting a culture of peace are critical, especially in conflict-ridden regions. While technology can enhance learning, we must be mindful of preserving the intangible nuances of our languages and cultures."

UMPCelebrating Africa Day has afforded the UMP Community to have a keen interest in what happens on the Continent.  

Professor Segobye concluded by calling for ethical research practices that benefit local communities and safeguard indigenous knowledge.

"Our responsibility is to nurture our heritage, be ethical in our technological advancements, and safeguard our cultural resources for future generations. By doing so, we can harness African heritage for unity and renaissance, paving the way for a liberated and prosperous future."

The day ended with students’ representations of Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Botswana, Cameroon, and Chad.

Story by Lisa Thabethe. Pictures supplied.