It is with great sadness and a deep sense of loss that the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, CODESRIA, announces the passing away of Professor Thandika Mkandawire on March 27, 2020. Thandika as he was fondly known was a brilliant economist and prodigious scholar whose works on African political economy challenged dominant ways of seeing the African continent on a wide range of issues that included structural adjustment and economic reform, democratic politics, neopatrimonialism and insurgent violence. Thandika was a very dedicated member of CODESRIA. He led the Council as its Executive Secretary from 1985 to 1996 and continued to play important roles in the life of the organization after moving on to head UNRISD and later taking on a distinguished professorship at the London School of Economics. From 2015-2016, he led the internal review of CODESRIA’s governance and membership whose recommendations underpin an ambitious process of reform that the Council is undertaking. On April 11-13, 2016 CODESRIA organized a conference in Lilongwe, Malawi with the theme “Thinking African, Epistemological Issues: Celebrating the Life and Work of Thandika Mkandawire” in his honor.
Thandika will be sorely missed by the CODESRIA community and the entire African social science community. His brilliance was matched by his humility, wit and willingness to mentor new generations of scholars. CODESRIA extends its sincere condolences to Thandika’s family. CODESRIA will announce its plans for celebrating the life and ideas of Thandika in the days ahead. May his soul rest in perfect peace.