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The Humanities Conference 2003

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The Quest for New Directions in Humanities in Africa: Ethnic Conflicts and Human Rights Violation in Africa

Olunga Ayot.

Humanities embrace the most outstanding distinguishing features that recognize the essence, sanctity, and the very existence of human life. Humanism comprises not only educational and cultural components, but it is also programmatic in its human centred approach. Humanist movement places emphasis on the need for a guideline that would help an individual to live a rich and creative life in this world. It incorporates in its movement the desire for literary styles, friendship, citizenship, love, bravery, statesmanship, beauty, excellence, and every other aspects of the human discipline that would invariably lead to the enrichment of human life in general. That the historical events and cultural developments in the African continent have not embraced these noble aspects of human existence is abundantly clear. Therefore this presentation recognizes the dire need for new directions in humanities in Africa, especially with regards to human rights violation in the continent.
Conclusively, the paper suggests that with the assistance of the world community, and new directions in humanities, it hoped that African leaders and policymakers as well as the inhabitants of the continent will be willing to explore new ways to deal with the vicious cycle of injustice and ethnic conflicts, and challenging issues that have had both political, economic and social impact on the family and larger social groups. That attempts will be made to find ways for an alternative approach to the pursuit of justice, for justice delayed is justice denied.


Olunga Ayot  (United States)
Associate Professor of History
History Department
North Park University

Theodora Ayot, earned B.A at Hiram College {Ohio) in 1968, M.A. at the University of Nairobi (Kenya) in 1983, and Ph.D. at Kenyatta University (Kenya) in 1992. From 1970 to 1980 taught African History and European History and chaired two History Departments in high schools. Between 1980 and 1995, was a Senior Lecturer at the Kenya Polytecnic and Kenyatta University. In 1995-1996, held a visiting appointment at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Research Grants and cosultancies include work with USAID, the Ford Foundation and, UNICEF, UNSO, and the Royal Netherlands in Nairobi, Kenya. From 1996 to the present is Associate Professor of History at North Park University in Chicago, USA.

  • Ethnic Conflict in Africa

(30 min Conference Paper, English)