Ubuntu: Collaboration for African Development

Ubuntu is an Nguni term that roughly translates to “human connectedness through kindness” and “humanity to others”. The phrase took on a humanist meaning during Southern Africa’s transition to majority rule in the 1980s and acted as a rallying cry for Africanization and for the creation of global international and Pan-African communities in the Internet era.

This notion is a cornerstone of development on the continent, calling for institutional collaboration. This year’s conference will attract students and professionals to identify how education, governance, entrepreneurship and the entertainment industry overlap and work together for development on the continent. Our panels and break out sessions will address the role of women in government, educational reform, the Afropolitan’s influence on the entertainment industry and innovation-driven entrepreneurship on the continent.

Liberian Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee defines Ubuntu as, “I am what I am because of who we all are.” In essence, we become the greatest versions of ourselves and define our own identities through connection with and support of others. Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu as “a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that one belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured and oppressed.” From Tutu’s definition, we may recognize the greater aims of developing the African continent and promoting peace amongst all Africans for, regardless of nationality, sexuality or religion, all humans are all interconnected.

We grow together. Peace and development are achieved through the unifying of multiple sectors for a common objective, and this year’s conference will more clearly identify the progress that has been made and the obstacles still to overcome. 

 

u·bun·tu

/ˌo͝oˈbo͝on(t)o͞o/

noun

General Definiton: Nguni term that roughly translates to “human connectedness through kindness” and “humanity to others”.

Nelson Mandela: In the old days when we were young, a traveller through a country would stop at a village, and he didn’t have to ask for food or water; once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. 

Leymah Gbowee: I am because you are.

Archbishop Desmond Tutua proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that one belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured and oppressed.

Bill Clinton: So Ubuntu — for us it means that the world is too small, our wisdom too limited, our time here too short, to waste any more of it in winning fleeting victories at other people’s expense. We have to now find a way to triumph together.