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Prof Mammo Muchie

Futurist Profile


Professor Mammo Muchie

DST/NRF Rated Research Professor

SARChI Research Professor: Tshwane University of Technology
Adjunct Prof: Adama Science and Technology University
Senior Research Associate: TMDC, Oxford University

Read more about Prof Muchie and his view on being a futurist


You identify yourself as an African futures thinker or practitioner. How would you describe to the woman or man on the street what it is that you do in this regard?

Pan-Africanist: I would like African futures to be realised through Africa emerging to be its own leader by rejecting the colonial states by a free and united African people with the vision of the African renaissance.

How many years have you worked as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

I have been a Pan-Africanist throughout my life starting in high school. I am more a Pan-Africanist practitioner than a thinker.

In which countries or places have you had working experience as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

Starting from Ethiopia as a teenager singing Harmbe Africa, Africa One country to the USA with the student organisations for African unity and the Ethiopian student movement that also opposed vigorously apartheid, and activism in the UK and now in South Africa by motivating the series of conference on the Scramble for Africa which is now the 4th Conference on African Unity for Renaissance combined with the All African Futures Forum.

In what languages have you undertaken futures / foresight related work or research?

English and Amharic

What is it that motivates you to work or participate in the foresight / future studies / related field

The burning desire to see Africa fully free with full dignity and self-worth to utilise its' own rich resources and build the wellbeing of the people and never again be in a state of coloniality but emerge as its own leader.

What goal/s would you most like to reach with your work as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

To see Africa united and emerging to have its own right to make its futures without others disrupting its long journey to freedom.

Who or what most influenced your thinking as a futures thinker / practitioner, and how?

Kwame Nkrumah, Franz Fanon and the ancestors who created Ubuntu, Ma’at, Ethiopianism philosophy, pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance; indeed the philosophy that will save the world was created by Africans; nothing is more important to making futures than to excavate and promote this philosophy to make world futures by creating a world re-order that removes the current organised hypocrisy that is clouding the global trajectory of the human race.

I also recommend we do not just read Thabo Mbeki's 'I am an African', let us be it, do it and not just say it. Being African and human as our first identity will make us all to anchor of African freedom and independence with unity by contributing to all humanity. Let us overcome the particularism of ethnicity, race, language and reach out to the universality of our humanity by promoting our common African identity and destiny first and foremost and use the African Unity for Renaissance and All African Futures efforts to reach all Africans across the world.

What is your main disciplinary background? (i.e. your primary training / qualification)

I started in university with physics and maths and have finalised my DPhil in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. Much of my academic research is in innovation and development; the futures aspect is more my role as a part of the African organic intellectual or intelligentsia.

How do other people describe you and how do you describe yourself?

Others describe me as… With his heart always for Africa

I describe myself as… driven



What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

  • “Do not predict the future, Make it” - Mammo Muchie
  • “The future depends on what you do today.” - Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” - Malcolm X
  • "And thus would our contemporary intelligentsia draw inspiration from the African intellectuals of the 19thcentury to give birth to a new Ethiopianism that would enable Africa to claim the 21st century." - Thabo Mbeki, 2010
  • “No one will free Africa, but Africans. Africans themselves must do the long walk however difficult to the free future and not depend on anyone else.” - Mammo Muchie

How would you describe the state of African futures thinking right now?

If we judge the way African states continue to postpone African unity, it does not bode well for African Futures. There should be a re-thinking of African Futures and I think the All African Futures Forum is very good to re-orient the futures research for Africa’s free future!

What is, in your opinion, the main barrier to uptake of futures knowledge by African institutions and organisations?

I think the best way to promote Futures knowledge is to include in any learning on futures the public-private-civil society-academic-media and real exhibitions to show case futures in success, failure and other varieties. This approach is the best way to make Future knowledge to diffuse and spread.

If you were to give advice to someone who wants a career in African foresight / future studies, what would you say to him or her?

Learn by practising, and from practice to knowledge and from knowledge to practice, amend and learn, never fail to always be a student, no interruption and continuous learning.

What are your recommended readings for every African futures thinker / practitioner?

I suggest we read more Fanon and Nkrumah for Africans for the simple reason that what they said is still unfulfilled: Africa must unite or perish (Nkrumah), and Fanon, I do not want to dissociate myself for the futures proposed to my sisters and brothers. We still have not reached these goals. I suggest we keep re-reading them.

What are your recommendations for other favourite futures resources: websites, newsfeeds, mailing lists, associations, etc.?

Perhaps what we have started at the Network of Ethiopian Scholars:



With former president Dr. Thabo Mbeki at the 4th Africa


Unity for Renaissance Conference


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