Philosophy and Religious Studies Conferences

"Re-Learning to be Human for Global Times: Beyond Liberal Democracy: The Quest for Indigenous African Models of Democracy for the 21st Century

Date & Time: From 2017-05-22
To 2017-05-23
Description of Conference



The process of democratisation in post-colonial African states has met with various challenges. Two of the most outstanding are that civilian governments subvert liberal democratic constitutions through their self-serving constitutional amendements, while military regimes completely dismiss the authority of constitutions.


Growing evidence indicates that the second generation of liberal democratic constitutions, which emerged on the continent during the last two decades of the twentieth century, are also being subverted through similar processes.


Thus, a number of scholars now speak about “the failure of democracy in Africa,” while others point out that what has failed in Africa is liberal democracy rather than democracy as such. The latter group holds that liberal democracy, with its emphasis on the preeminence of the liberties of the individual above communal responsibilities, is alien to the continent and is, therefore, doomed to fail as often as it is tried.


This two-day conference, organized by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Nairobi and the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP), will evaluate democratisation in Africa. It will focus on the following three questions:


1.  Is democracy universally applicable, or does it require adaptation to cultural realities?

2. To what extent has the adoption of Western liberal models of democracy hindered democratisation in post-colonial African states?

3. How can indigenous African political thought be utilised in the endeavour to design models of democracy that are suited to the socio-cultural realities of post-colonial African states?


The conference program, and more information about the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy can be accessed here


The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Nairobi, and the Department of Philosophy, University of Witwatersrand, SA, to Co-host a Conference on African Philosophy, 9-11 September, 2015

Date & Time: From 2015-09-09
To 2015-09-11
Description of Conference

African philosophy has come a long way. The progress it has made in the
decades following the debate about its existence or non-existence, nature
and substance has been, to say the least, quite impressive.

The Department of Philosophy, the University of Witwatersrand and the
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Nairobi are
pleased to announce that they will jointly be hosting a conference on
African philosophy.

The conference aims at taking stock of the strides made in African
philosophy as well as its future. The general theme for the conference will
be: African Philosophy: Past, Present and Future. It is scheduled to take
place at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg from Wednesday 9 -
Friday 11 September, 2015

Link African Philosophy: Past, Present and Future

The Odera Oruka Symposium, Tuesday, 19th to Thursday 21st, November, 2013 at the Goethe Auditorium, Nairobi, in conjunction with the Goethe Institute, German Cultural Centre

Date & Time: From 2013-11-19
To 2013-11-21
Description of Conference

Call for Papers

by:Reginald M.J. Oduor, Ph.D.
For the Symposium Organising Committee


A Regional Symposium on Human Rights and Global Poverty

Date & Time: From 2011-09-28
To 2011-09-30
Description of Conference

Symposium held at Lake Naivasha Country club, Nairobi September 28th - 30th, 2011 Organized by the Centre for Human Rights and Peace, University of Nairobi, in collaboration with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo This Symposium addressd experiences, opportunities and constraints on human rights and rights-based approaches to poverty eradication in Kenya, and selected cases from other East African countries. The main purpose was to produce and exchange original research on human rights and poverty reduction with the aim of disseminating such findings through international publications. Poverty means “deficiency in necessary properties or desirable qualities” and it is thus not limited to being in a state of need or lack of means of subsistence (situations which determine the extent of financial need of a person / group). Being impoverished is more than lacking financial means. It is inadequacy, destitution and deprivation of economic, political, and social and human resources. This broader perspective shows that poverty is multidimensional. The Center for Human Rights and Peace at the University of Nairobi organized the symposium on Poverty as a Human Rights Violation? calling upon Social Science and Law Scholars in Kenya and East Africa to expand their realm of poverty research and discourse in order to truly evaluate the situation of poverty in our region from human rights perspectives. Contributors were invited to develop papers, bearing in mind the past historical injustices, individual government policies, the regional cooperation efforts, the economic situation, the role of religion, civil society, the political context, and how the current system maintains the advantages of the privileged to favor status quo. The Symposium aimed at raising a research based public discourse on poverty as a serious and composite human rights problem in Kenya and East Africa in general; and as an obstacle to building peace and prosperity within and among groups. By making empirical and analytical links between human rights and poverty, the thematic foci of the conference revolved around the following set of issues;  Indicators of poverty in Kenya and other East African countries;  National policies and measures for the eradication of poverty in the region;  Regional efforts to tackle poverty and inequality;  Participatory approaches to poverty eradication;  Poverty production and how power influence actors who mobilize against poverty;  Gender based inequalities;  Poverty and vulnerable populations (Children, Refugees, Pastoralists communities etc.);  Urban and Rural poverty;  Access to land and land right education 2