AAI Mourns Alumnus & Trailblazer in the field of Economics, Dr. Thandika Mkandawire
On March 27, 2020, the Africa-America Institute lost a trailblazer and innovator in the field of Economics, Professor Thandika Mkandawire. Thandika participated in AAI’s African Scholarship of American Universities (ASPAU) program at Ohio State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degree in Economics in 1966. Born in Zimbabwe, Mkandawire spent most of his formative years in Zimbabwe before arriving in Malawi at the age of thirteen to participate in the nationalist struggle for independence until his subsequent exile to Sweden.
In 1978, Thandika helped found the Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), a Dakar-based organization that provided a platform for radical African scholars. Thandika was also the former Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the first person to take on the new position of Chair in African Development at the London School of Economics (LSE). In 2014, the Africa-America Institute bestowed Thandika with its Distinguished Alumni Award.