Bandung Spirit offers solutions to 21st-century global ills

By Mammo Muchie and Yan Hui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, April 27, 2015
Adjust font size:

A revitalized Bandung spirit is much needed. It would see all leading Global South members — such as China and India from Asia, Ethiopia, Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria from Africa and Cuba and Brazil from Latin America — and all others from all parts of the world, come together on equal terms to share and care. It can inspire the world to move in the most civilized and cultured trajectory ever, offering everyone something to gain.

There is no doubt that the Bandung Conference attempted to put an alternative to Western- or former-Soviet Union dominated world order or disorder, but without succeeding to create a new world order founded on new principles and humane civilization.

But the Bandung spirit must live on and the challenge today is to construct a fully inclusive world order in which no one dominates, all are included; the weak supported, the strong restrained; and all participants have a voice.

Not end of history

There is a need to re-learn the significance of Bandung Conference in order to construct a new global architecture by creating a post-Western dominated world where all civilizations and identities converge. Reviving the Bandung spirit on its diamond jubilee will go a long way toward re-thinking and re-learning the ups and downs the world has been going through.

The world has not entered the end of history; it is in fact at the beginning of history. The world does not need to be and should not be a clash of civilizations. On the contrary it needs a new unified project to achieve a new world re-order.

Education that combines the Bandung spirit of 60 years ago with the African unity for renaissance project of more than 50 years is much needed to create a world re-order free from injustice.

We have had annual education conferences to remove the legacies of colonialism that dis-formed African-ness; to remove fragmentation and psychic dislocation by trying to promote the Pan-African unity for renaissance project identity.

The recent outbreak of Afrophobia is strange as support for the African unity for renaissance project from South Africa has been consistent and inspiring. We were very proud of raising funds entirely from South African partners. The output from the series of Africa unity for renaissance conferences should be shared so that awareness and education can reach all Africans who should not only work for a united and prosperous Africa, but also for a new world order inspired by the Bandung spirit and Africa's own rich values of Ubuntu.

May 25 is Africa Liberation Day. We encourage all African states to make it an African education day by combining the Bandung spirit with the objective of realizing fully the African unity and renaissance project.

A world re-order is needed to save the planet. Epistemological disobedience to the current domination and a new epistemology for creating a new Bandung spirit to create a new world re-order is urgent. We conclude with a poem from Chairman Mao Zedong:

"So many deeds cry out to be done

And always urgently

The World rolls on

Ten thousand years are too long

Seize the day, seize the hour

The four seas are rising, clouds and water raging

The five continents are rocking, wind and thunder roaring

Our force is irresistible

Away with all pests!"

Mammo Muchie is DST/NRF Research Professor of Innovation and Development, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa; Senior Research Associate, Tongji University Sustainable Development and New-Type Urbanization Think-Tank; Senior Research Associate, TMDC, Oxford University,UK; Adjunct Professor in ASTU and University of Gondar, Ethiopia, and Visiting Professor Shanghai University, China.( )

Yan Hui is Guest associate researcher, Tongji University Sustainable Development and New-Type Urbanization Think-Tank, and Lecturer of the School of Management, Shanghai University,

Shanghai Daily condensed the article.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
   Previous   1   2  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from