1st Edition

Academic Freedom in Africa The Struggle Rages On

Edited By Yamikani Ndasauka, Garton Kamchedzera Copyright 2025
    322 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    322 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book leaves no stone unturned in its comprehensive examination of the complex challenges surrounding academic freedom in Africa.

    Drawing on diverse perspectives and methodologies, it delves into the historical, philosophical, legal, and socio-political dimensions shaping academic freedom across the continent. The authors grapple with colonial legacies, tensions between Western and African notions of intellectual liberty, government authoritarianism, and institutional constraints that hinder open discourse and the pursuit of knowledge. The book highlights systemic obstacles and promising avenues for progress through case studies, comparative analysis, and empirical research, such as constitutional reforms, scholar activism, and regional networks. This thought-provoking volume offers critical insights into the state of academic freedom in Africa, emphasising the necessity of supporting African voices and agencies in the quest for meaningful intellectual autonomy.

    Academic Freedom in Africa is an essential read for students, scholars, policymakers, and anyone concerned with the future of higher education and democracy on the continent.

    List of figures

    List of contributors


    Foreword by Blessings Chinsinga

    Editorial by Yamikani Ndasauka and Garton Kamchedzera


    Chapter 1. The Quest for Academic Freedom in Africa

    Yamikani Ndasauka


    Part 1. State Actors, Democracy and Academic Freedom 

    Chapter 2. Navigating Between Liberal and Communitarian Perspectives of Academic Freedom in Africa

    Simon Makwinja, Grivas Kayange and Lawrence Mpekansambo

    Chapter 3. Academic Freedom and Democracy in Africa

    Hajer Kratou and Liisa Laakso

    Chapter 4. Geopolitics and the Challenge of Academic Freedom in Africa

    Uchenna Azubuike Ezeogu and Chinweuba, Gregory Emeka

    Chapter 5. Theme-Rheme analysis and ideological representations in Malawian and Zambian online news reporting of Academic Freedom sagas

    Mtende Wezi Nthara

    Chapter 6. Questioning Academic Freedom Invocation in The Glenda Gray Controversy

    Seán M. Muller


    Part 2. Education Reforms vis-a-vis Academic freedom

    Chapter 7. The Tensions, Contradictions, and Paradoxes of 'Entrepreneurial University' Reforms and Academic Freedom

    Happy Mickson Kayuni

    Chapter 8. Problematising Academic Freedom in Nigerian Universities

    Lucky O. Akaruese

    Chapter 9. African Indigenous Pedagogies as a Key Driver for Academic Freedom

    Patrick Juma and Jerry Rutsateb

    Chapter 10. Conviviality in Journalism Studies and Academic Freedom

    Mwaona Nyirongo

    Chapter 11. Professionalism and the Discourse of Academic Freedom in Higher Education Institutions: Evidence from Malawi and Japan

    Foster Gondwe and Masayasu Sakaguchi

    Chapter 12. A Dilemma Regarding Academic Freedom and Public Accountability in Higher Education

    Thaddeus Metz


    Part 3. Reflections on Malawi's 2011 Academic Freedom Movement 

    Chapter 13. Police Handling of Academic Freedom Impasse and Students with Disabilities in Malawi

    Elizabeth T. Kamchedzera

    Chapter 14: The Academic Freedom Struggle as a Test of Employee Commitment at the University of Malawi

    Tiyesere Mercy Chikapa- Jamali

    Chapter 15. Metaphorisation of Colour Red During the Academic Freedom Saga in Malawi

    Timwa Lipenga

    Chapter 16. Rhetorical Analysis of Slogans in the Struggle for Academic Freedom in Malawi

    Anthony Mavuto Gunde

    Chapter 17. Battle Lines in Africa’s Struggle on Academic Freedom

    Garton Kamchedzera



    Yamikani Ndasauka is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Malawi. He holds visiting and senior research positions at the Centre for Philosophy of Epidemiology, Medicine and Public Health at Durham University and the University of Johannesburg.

    Garton Kamchedzera is an Associate Professor at the University of Malawi. He has been Dean for three terms (199-2001, 2001-2003, and 2016-2018) at the Faculty of Law, University of Malawi. As a legal educationist and scholar, he has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the Universities of Malawi, Cambridge, Warwick, and Ghent. As a researcher and legal and development consultant, he has also researched, consulted, and trained judicial and other public and private officials. He was guest editor for the East African Law Journal and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law and Social Justice.