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The Afrikan Multiversity

A Grassroots People's Space and Centre for Reflection and Indigenous Scholarship for The Renewal from Within of Afrikan Communities and Inter-Civilizations Dialogue


Some Indigenous Space for Reflection, Inquiry, Studies, Research Education, Training and Monitoring At the Highest Level of Quality and Sophistication

* After the harvest, the mother selects out of the harvest the best of the seeds for careful safe keeping for planting the next season. Thereafter, permission is granted to eat the rest. In the Lusoga language at the Source of the Nile in Uganda, Mpambo means the best and most potent seeds kept aside for propagation

What It Is

"Multiversity" is a space to affirm, promote, advocate and advance the multiplicity of thought and knowledges as a necessity to vitalize the world's knowledges, as well as human knowledge as a whole. It is a concrete valorization, celebration, application and popularization of pluralism at the intellectual level, and at the level of thought and knowledge.

Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity is a grassroots people's space for community wise men and women, philosophers and sages, particularly the ones who do not speak or think in "hard currency languages", and Western-trained Afrikan scholars who wish to reconnect with their indigenous roots, to revive and advance the tradition of Indigenous Afrikan Scholarship, with the view such that higher education becomes a mass phenomenon of people's culture.


i) To liberate and rekindle the Afrikan spirit.

ii) To catalyze and promote endogenous initiatives rooted in Afrikan thought and knowledge base, so as to enhance people's collective sense of self-respect, independence, honour and self-sacrifice.

iii) To provide an appropriate popular space, centre and network for the most gifted persons in indigenous knowledge and skills, at the highest level of quality and sophistication, to advance and deepen their thought, knowledge, skills and techniques, replicate and improve on themselves.

iv) To articulate new syntheses between Afrikan indigenous knowledge on the one hand, and on the other, modern, Western and other knowledges.

v) To stimulate and build energies and capacities for systematic and participatory processes to manage and anticipate cultural reform and innovation.

vi) To articulate new, participatory civic forms and processes for sustainable community governance, rooted in Afrikan indigenous democracy.

vii) To interface and connect with other peoples outside the Afrika Region, their thought and knowledges.

The Goal

A civil leadership of Afrikan communities imbued with an inquiring and innovative mind, the sense and spirit of independence, honour, community service, self-sacrifice and adventure.

The Vision

A sovereign, self-articulating, self-organizing, self-directing and self-managing Afrikan Civil Society.

Whose Initiative?

Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity is the initial collective child of the intellectual labours of several hundred Afrikan scholars, social leaders and activists in a series of strategic reflections, formal, informal and non-formal consultations, over a period of eight years (starting 1990), with the solidarity of scholars, social leaders, activists, friends and well-wishers from all the continents of the world. The people who have participated come from all levels of walks of life, from the private and public sectors, as well as from civil society. They are persons who have been active at the local, national, regional and global levels; at the policy, technical or operational level. They belong to a multiplicity of political and ideological backgrounds and persuation; but are united in their belief and search for an Afrika with the capacity to determine her destiny in the post-cold war era. Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity captures and crystalizes several thousand hours of reflection rooted in people's popular practice, experience, memory, hopes and aspirations.

The collective intellectual labours continue; and each day are strengthened by the purifying fire of practice and networking.

We hold These Truths and Beliefs Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity emerged at a time when increasingly more people believe that it is the resurgence of civil society and its active and sustained initiatives that will generate the additional critical energies for sustainable solutions to some of the contemporary, strategic global challenges. Mpambo is born out of the struggles of the Afrikan peoples to address the widening crisis they face. It is conceptualized as AN ORGANIZATION OF A NEW TYPE:

I) Rooted in the REALIZATION that dynamic home-grown intellectual viability and sovereignty is the fountainhead of a people's sustainable development and empowerment.

ii) Based on the UNDERSTANDING that without being deep in our own culture, philosophy and knowledge, we cannot understand, nor appreciate, let alone be deep, in other people's culture, philosophy and knowledge.

iii) Founded on the firm belief that neither indigenous knowledge and skills by themselves, nor modern Western knowledge and skills, by themselves, can be adequate to resolve the strategic problems which t he world faces today. For this reason, Mpambo has set itself the task of articulating a new synthesis between Afrikan indigenous knowledge on the one hand and other indigenous knowledges, oriental, middle east, mediterranean and other knowledges.

iv) Seeking to solidly root itself in the people's indigenous thought, knowledge base and culture. Culture not as a romantic frozen jail, but culture as a dynamic foundation and inspiration for a people's thirst and search for a purposeful, all-round move forward.

v) Founded yet again on the realization that neither the state, nor the private sector, nor civil society, each on their own, can find deep and durable solutions to the problems we face today. The hope for such solutions lies in the combined and coordinated efforts of these three sectors. For that reason therefore, Mpambo shall work for the articulation of new, imaginative and synergetic collaborative partnerships between the state, the private sector and civil society.

Further, Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity is premised on the following firm beliefs:

i) Knowledge is concrete, to solve concrete and specific problems, in a specific and concrete eco-cultural reality.

ii) There are as many eco-cultural knowledges as there are eco-cultural regions.

iii) The existence and thriving of broad spectrum of thought and knowledge is as important for the vibrance of each of the knowledges, and human knowledge as a whole, as biodiversity is essential for the vitality of each of the species, and nature as a whole.

iv) We cannot know what is modern without knowing what is indigenous.

v) In His infinite wisdom and mercy, God made persons of average intelligence, fools and geniuses, and evenly distributed them in the South and North, East and West. All peoples and Regions of the world, therefore, have the necessary home-grown brain firepower to spearhead the resolution of their own problems.


Who are The Wise?

A person is wise when, by standing on the shoulders of the wise in their community before them, they become so knowledgeable and skilled in one or more aspects of human endeavour that they are compelling experts in the understanding of reality, as well as the understanding and solving of social and technical problems. Their outlook, understanding of issues, the position they take, etc. is not coloured by, comprised or interfered with by the partisan interest of self, family, friends or clan. In thought, intent and deed the wise are driven by the good of the community in perpetuity. Moreover, community does not mean only the living and the yet unborn, but the dead too. Community does not mean the people only, but nature as whole, in wholesome perpetuity. The wise are not parasitic. Indeed being engaged in productive activity to support a good livelihood for oneself and family is the starting point of wisdom.

Core Roles and Functions

As a space, cente and network, Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity, has essentially five roles and functions:


i) To provide an appropriate institutional space for Afrikan wise men and women, philosophers and sages who want to improve their knowledge in matters which are on the frontiers/cutting edge of knowledge in their respective areas of specialization and/or interest, through reflection and research at a high level of quality and sophistication, as well as want interaction with their peers, and with their complementary Western and Western-trained counterparts. This is a research role and function.

Education and Training

ii) To create the space and opportunities for those who want to acquire socially necesary knowledge and skills from the experts to do so effectively. This is an education and training role and function for the experts to replicate and improve on themselves.

Knowledge Bank

iii) To create and build a knowledge bank and pedagogy on the basis of which community education and training can be articulated and managed.

Collect, document, preserve, share

iv) To collect, document, preserve, share and disseminate information, knowledge and wisdom generated by Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity.


v) To network with other organizations involved in similar or related work, as well as articulate partnerships and joint initiatives with them.

The Scientific Basis for the Multiversity

The wisdom and appropriateness of a multiversity is vindicated by current preoccupation with issues of recovering and preserving indigenous seeds and plants, and the whole question of bio-diversity. Indeed, genetic and seed banks have been set up.

Many of the seeds and plants for which banks have been set up are an embodiment of, and testimony to, indigenous scientific research and breakthroughs.

If to face the future with a bit more confidence we need seed and genetic banks, it is quite clear we would enhance our confidence even further if we maintained live indigenous knowledge banks.

Guiding Principle

The key concept and guiding principle behind Mpambo is dialogue, synthesis, collaboration, partnership, synergy and cross-fertilization, across sectors, knowledges, cultures and civilizations; and ultimately make a contribution to the creation of a New Humane World Order of Inter-Civilizations Dialogue and Solidarity.

The Programme

In motion, evolution and action, Mpambo's programme focuses on the following thematic areas: indigenous pedagogy; spirituality; raising a new crop of contemporary leaders, and leaders for tomorrow; popular community governance; new collaborative partnerships between the state, private sector and civil society; indigenous methods, techniques and processes of conflict identification, prevention, management and resolution; roles, responsibilities and relationships in family and communities of, between and among men, women, boys and girls; indigenous foods and indigenous agricultural science; health; games and sports; music, dance and drama.


Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity has four categories of members:


The Fellowship category of members is open to persons who profess the Mpambo Philosophy and who in the process have distinguished themselves. In addition they are persons who are actively engaged in the application and advancement of the MULTIVERSITY ideals. They come together in Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity, to strengthen their own work; to share and enrich their experience; to engage in joint-initiatives; and to generally spread and advance the Mpambo ideals.


The Associates category of membership is open to persons who support Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity and its programme strongly enough to be able, willing and available to undertake specific initiatives or assignments in the furtherance of the mandate of The Multiversity.


The category of partners is open to institutions which support Mpambo or whose mandate and work is relevant or related to Mpambo's mandate and programme. They are organizations which on an on-going or periodic basis will benefit from, and on that basis articulate mutually empowering joint initiatives and networking.


These are men and women of means, fame and power who allow their names to be associated with Mpambo. They are encouraged to identify and mobilize resources for Mpambo.

The Board

Sithembiso Nyoni, MP

Paulo Wangoola

David Nyende

Jack Githae

Chair, International Advisory Council
Budd Hall

For more Information contact:

Nabyama* Paulo Wangoola,
Director, Mpambo, The Afrikan Multiversity,
P.O. Box 7314 Kampala
Tel: +256(0) 77 489081
Email: mpambo@yahoo.com

* In indigenous governance NABYAMA means one who is entrusted with all the strategic secrets of the community; one who has demonstrated that they will not divulge community secrets, use them for personal or sectional gain; one who uses community secrets and privy information and knowledge for the protection, defense and advancement of the community.


An Afrikan World Conference
on Building NEW Futures

June 8 - 11, 2004 - Jinja, Uganda

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