Renowned Kenyan academic Ali Mazrui has died in the US aged 81 after being ill for several months. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said Africa had been robbed of one of its greatest scholars.
Mazrui had been “towering” academic whose “intellectual contributions played a major role in shaping African scholarship”, he added.
He had been a professor at Binghamton University in New York at the time of his death.
His body will be flown to Kenya for burial, said Khelef Khalifa, chairman of Kenya’s Muslims for Human Rights group.
“His nephew, Alamin Mazrui, has confirmed that the professor’s wish was to be buried in Kenya,” he is quoted as saying.
Mazrui was a leading pan-Africanist whose academic research focused on African politics, north-south relations and political Islam. He had authored numerous books, including The Africans: A Triple Heritage and Christianity and Islam in Africa’s Political Experience: Piety, Passion and Power.
In 2005, the US journal Foreign Policy and British journal Prospect listed him as among the world’s top 100 public intellectuals. He is survived by his wife and six children.
Mazrui was born on February 24, 1933 in Mombasa, Kenya Mazrui studied in Columbia University, University of Oxford, University of Manchester, Nuffield College, Oxford.