Global Development Institute Blog

We are delighted to announce a day-long symposium on 17th October to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 5th Pan-African Congress which was held in Manchester. Organised by our Africa Research Group, the event will bring together researchers to discuss 75 Years after the 5th Pan-African Congress: Decolonising Africa’s Development Agenda’

The 1945 Pan-African Congress was held in Manchester and brought together intellectuals and activists such as W.E.B Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Jomo Kenyatta. The Congress was a springboard for these key figures in connecting with each other and developing new national strategies towards hastening decolonisation.

The symposium is inspired by the collegiate and collaborative spirit of the original event and will bring together researchers whose research is focused on Africa. The event will feature panel discussions, lectures from experts and a 3-minute thesis competition. Speakers include Dr Amani Abou-Zeid of the African Union, Dr Samuel Maimbo of the World Bank and Prof Diana Mitlin who is CEO of a new  £32m research project on African Cities. 

It will take place online from 10-3pm on 17th October and is open to anyone. Unfortunately, there is a limit on attendees so tickets are allocated on a first come first serve basis.

This symposium is part of a series of events, including conversations with Kwame Anthony AppiahLemn Sissay and Afua Hirsch, which will run across the Manchester universities from the 15-18th October.

3-minute thesis competition

The competition is for PhD candidates whose research is focused on Africa. The competition is open to students at The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and Salford University. Applications to take part close at 9am on Monday 12th October. Find out more.

Programme for the day

Time Activity Speaker(s)
10:00 – 10:05 Welcome remarks and programme outline Dr Admos Chimhowu, The University of Manchester,
10:05 – 10:15 Opening Remarks and introduction of Guest Speaker HE Dr Amani Abou-Zeid Prof Khalid Nadvi, The University of Manchester
10:15 –10:50 Africa: 75 years after the Manchester Pan-African Congress HE Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, African Union
10:50 – 11:30 Challenges of Africa’s Economies and Prospects for post Covid-19 Recovery Dr Samuel Maimbo, World Bank
11:30 – 12:15 3-minute thesis competition –

Varieties of PGR research on Africa



Prof David Hulme, The University of Manchester

Prof Tanja R. Müller, The University of Manchester

Dr Osman Ouattara, The University of Manchester

Emma Kelly

12:15 – 12:30 Break Break
12:30 – 13:15 Panel 1: De-colonising Africa’s Development: The Challenge Prof Aminu Mamman, The University of Manchester

Sally Ncube, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

Prof Paul Mativenga, The University of Manchester

13:15-13:45 Citizens Driving Africa’s Development Prof Diana Mitlin, The University of Manchester
13:45 – 14:00 Major Limb loss in Uganda and research in Kenya on Covid-19 prevention Prof Mahesh Nirmalan, The University of Manchester
14:00 – 14:10 Break Break
14:10 – 14:55 Panel 2: Politics of Covid-19 in Africa Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng, University of Manchester Students’ Union

Tatenda Zuze

Hala A. Maize

14:55-15:00 Closing Remarks Dr Admos Chimhowu, The University of Manchester


Dr Admos Chimhowu is a Senior Lecturer at the Global Development Institute. His research focuses on land reform, sustainable development and national planning. He is Director of Methods North West and Deputy Associate Dean for Post-graduate research for the Faculty of Humanities.

Prof Khalid Nadvi is the Managing Director of the Global Development Institute. His research focuses on issues relating to trade and industrial development. He recently led an ESRC funded large grant study on ‘Rising Powers, Labour Standards and Governance of Global Production’.

Dr Amani Abou-Zeid is currently the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, ICT and Tourism. She is an international development expert with more than 30 years’ experience and has a held roles at the United Nations Development Programme and African Development Bank. She has received the Order of Ouissam Alaouite from HM King Mohamed VI of Morocco, been selected as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Africa, identified as a World Young Leader by the European Union, and recently named Commissioner by the prestigious top global influencers group ‘ICT for Sustainable Development’. Amani is an alumna of The University of Manchester having studied for her PhD at the Global Development Institute

Dr Samuel Munzele Maimbo is the Director of the International Development Association (IDA) Resource Mobilization and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Corporate Finance department at the World Bank. Prior to this, he was Senior Advisor in the Office of the Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer. Samuel studied for his PhD at The University of Manchester.

Prof Aminu Mamman is a Professor of Management and International Development at the Global Development Institute. He is currently leading a project on ‘Leading and managing organizations in Africa: A philosophical and practical perspective.’

Sally Ncube is the Director of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.

Prof Paul Mativenga is Chair in Multiscale & Sustainable Manufacturing at The University of Manchester. His research focuses on Manufacturing Technologies with a specific emphasis on South Africa.

Prof Diana Mitlin is Professor of Global Urbanism in the Global Development Institute and also Principal Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development. She is CEO of the new £32m African Cities Research Consortium.

Prof Mahesh Nirmalan is Professor of Undergraduate Medical Education and Training.  He is currently researching major Limb loss in Uganda and Covid-19 prevention in Kenya.

Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng is the first international student to be elected as the General Secretary of The University of Manchester Students’ Union. Kwame is an alumnus of the Global Development Institue having studied for an MSc in International Development: Globalisation Trade and Industry.

Tatenda Zuze has an MSc in International Development: Globalisation, Trade and Industry from the Global Development Institute.

Hala A. Maizer has an MSc in International Development: Poverty, Conflict and Reconstruction from the Global Development Institute.

Image shows Fifth Pan-African Congress delegates, 1945. Copyright Manchester Archives Plus.