Title of paper

Kenyan and Ethiopian Sages on Good Governance and Conflict Resolution

Presenter's country

United States

Start Date

August 2014

End Date

August 2014

Submission type

Presentation

Abstract

Kenyan and Ethiopian Sages on Good Governance and Conflict Resolution H. Odera Oruka, a Professor of Philosophy at University of Nairobi, started a project (1974-1995) of interviewing Kenyan wise elders on topics of philosophy in general as well as applied ethics questions. One topic he covered was good governance. He interviewed Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (former Vice President of Kenya and Presidential candidate) at length in 1982 and again in 1992 on the topic of good governance. Oruka claimed that Oginga Odinga was a person committed to ethical and truthful behavior in his political roles. Odinga's philosophy was that politics should not be about power and prestige but rather about serving the masses. Few people so far have analyzed Oruka's interviews with Odinga. I will argue that they are full of insights for the present moment. I will also draw upon insights regarding the topic of good governance found in other interviews I have undertaken with both Kenyans and Ethiopians. As Bekele Gutema articulates, sages have helpful insights regarding conflict resolution. I will share insights on this topic of conflict resolution and its intersection with good governance.

Keywords

Ethics, Political Philosophy, Kenya, Ethiopia, Oginga Odinga, Odera Oruka, sage philosophy, governance, Africa

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Aug 15th, 2:00 PM Aug 15th, 3:00 PM

Kenyan and Ethiopian Sages on Good Governance and Conflict Resolution

Kenyan and Ethiopian Sages on Good Governance and Conflict Resolution H. Odera Oruka, a Professor of Philosophy at University of Nairobi, started a project (1974-1995) of interviewing Kenyan wise elders on topics of philosophy in general as well as applied ethics questions. One topic he covered was good governance. He interviewed Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (former Vice President of Kenya and Presidential candidate) at length in 1982 and again in 1992 on the topic of good governance. Oruka claimed that Oginga Odinga was a person committed to ethical and truthful behavior in his political roles. Odinga's philosophy was that politics should not be about power and prestige but rather about serving the masses. Few people so far have analyzed Oruka's interviews with Odinga. I will argue that they are full of insights for the present moment. I will also draw upon insights regarding the topic of good governance found in other interviews I have undertaken with both Kenyans and Ethiopians. As Bekele Gutema articulates, sages have helpful insights regarding conflict resolution. I will share insights on this topic of conflict resolution and its intersection with good governance.