Professor Amadou Mahtar Mbow’s Centennial: A High-Level Panel at WARC: Amadou Mahtar Mbow and the Re-Writing of African History

Professor Amadou Mahtar Mbow’s 100 years were celebrated on March 20th at the Museum of Back Civilizations in Dakar. On the occasion, many distinguished personalities in areas as diverse as academia, culture, the arts, politics, international relations, the United Nations system etc… attended the event in Dakar or joined in the virtual conversation which was engaged on that day for many hours from morning to early afternoon. Following that celebration, the organizing committee made the decision to subsequently hold a series of events over the following weeks and months to further promote the ideas and causes upheld and defended by Professor Mbow, a former Minister of Education in Senegal and former Director General of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO).

It is in that context that a high-level panel was held at WARC on Saturday, May 8th in the afternoon to discuss the topic « Amadou Mahtar Mbow and the Re-Writing of African History ». It should be recalled that Mbow started his teaching career as a primary school teacher, then a secondary school teacher of history and geography before being a university don. It is because of such a background and also in his capacity as Director of the world body in charge of education, science and culture, UNESCO, that he commissioned the writing of the General History of Africa.

As a scholar, a high-level government decision maker, a progressive and panafricanist mind, Mbow engaged in many initiatives to address the teaching of history in african schools in order to correct the colonial misinterpretations and misrepresentations of african past and present realities.

The high-level panel was chaired by the distinguished history professor Abdoulaye Bathily (UCAD) surrounded by other eminent dons: Professor Boubacar Barry (History, UCAD), Professor Rokhaya Fall (History, UCAD), Professor Boubacar « Buuba » Diop (Classics and History, UCAD) and Professor Thierno Moctar Bah (History, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon).

The event was attended by 20 physically present in the WARC conference room and over 316 virtual participants.