Malawian accomplished scholar Thandika Mkandawire has died after an illness in Stockholm, Sweden after a sudden setback following a stroke he suffered in January this year, his family has confirmed.
Mkandawire was professor of African Development at the London School of Economics.
A former Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development , Mkandawire was the first person to take on the new position of Chair in African Development at the London School of Economics.
A Swedish national of Malawian origin, Mkandawire was an economist with many years’ experience in the promotion of comparative research on development issues.
Leading international academics and Malawians expressed their sorrow of the scholar with the finest of intellects and, above all, a thoroughly decent man.
“He was a brilliant and creative thinker, a generator of great ideas, and, above all, a wonderful human being. We will all miss him dearly,” the London School of Economics International Development tweeted.
The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) also paid tribute to Mkandawire on its website.
“Thandika was fondly known as 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,” CODESRIA said.
James Woods-Nkhutabasa who was mentored by Thandika Mkandawire and been in constant communication from a young age said the passing of Thandika is a major loss to all, “but we need remember the legacy he left.”
He said: “Thandika guided me on my path from high school, university and career – he was one of the reasons I decided to pursue postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.”
A UK-based Malawian commentator on social media, Mzondi Lungu mourned the death of the accomplished economist, saying “ we met in London on a number of social events, you were always passionate about African development. May your soul rest in peace.”
In a Facebook post, former presidential aide Bright Malopa described Mkandawire’s death as a loss, saying he will forever remain alive through his academic works.
Malopa in tribute to Mkandawire, wrote: “ A humble man with a scholastic memory of an elephant who more finely horned easy topics into intellectual capital through research and scholary works of global repute.”
Responding to Malopa’s Facebook post, Maloto Nyirenda said Mkandawire was “an inspiration figure to our generations.
Mkandawire published broadly on the social sciences in Africa and on problems of policy-making, adjustment and democratisation; also served as Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen and has taught at the Universities of Stockholm and Zimbabwe.
He held the Olof Palme Professor for Peace with the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm.
Mkandawire studied economics at Ohio State University and the University of Stockholm. He holds a Doctorate in Letters from Rhodes University.
He did his Secondary studies at Zomba Catholic Secondary School.
The family said details of the funeral arrangements will be communicated in due course.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :