August 8th 2017
It is with such extreme shock and sadness that we at CODESRIA have learned of the passing away of Dr. Abdul Raufu Mustapha. Dr. Mustapha was a Professor of African Politics at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. According to family sources, Dr. Mustapha, 63, died today Tuesday, 8th August 2017 in London after months of a courageous battle against stomach cancer. His wife, Kate and two children, Asma’u and Seyi, survive him.
Dr. Mustapha who hails from Ilorin, Kwara State studied Political Science at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria before proceeding to Oxford University where he earned his doctorate and lectured until his death. His impressive body of work spanned critical issues such as the politics of rural societies in Africa, ethnicity and identity politics and the politics of democratisation in Africa. He was a consummate scholar, one whose intellectual engagements had a wide multi-disciplinary framework and whose towering presence in African academic networks was notable and worth emulating. He drew from a rich tradition of academic mentorship but he was himself also an admirable mentor to young academics. This is how we remember him at CODESRIA; his availability to young academics during major CODESRIA meetings was notable.
Dr. Mustapha made critical contributions to CODESRIA’s work and growth. He was Director of the 2002 CODESRIA Governance Institute. From 2009 to 2011, he was a member of CODESRIA’s Scientific Committee. More recently, he was a member of the internal review committee on CODESRIA’s Intellectual Agenda whose report was submitted in July 2016. In December 2016, he participated in CODESRIA’s strategic planning workshop that agreed its current 5-year research agenda. In that workshop, Dr. Mustapha’s sharp insights into the state of Africa’s social sciences and its future in a changing global context were on full display and much appreciated. This was an intellectual at the height of his powers- clear, direct and with a full appreciation of the intellectual and political currents within the global knowledge production complex. None of us in this meeting had any inkling that this would be the last time we would have the privilege of Dr. Mustafa’s presence.
Though he has passed on, his rich intellectual legacy will remain relevant, widely discussed, cherished and avidly utilized. This is because Dr. Mustapha’s work captured the lived experiences of Africans in diverse ways. A good many of his publications have not only been conceptually rigorous and path-breaking, they have also proven to have a long shelf life.
As we mourn the passing on of our colleague and comrade, we will also continue to celebrate that he lived a life of integrity, excellence and promise. On behalf of the Executive Committee, the Executive Secretariat and on our own behalf, we extend the entire CODESRIA community’s condolences to his partner, Dr. Kate Meagher, their children and the larger family and thank them very much for sharing their son, husband and father with us. We at CODESRIA are privileged that he prioritized us.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Prof. Dzodzi TSIKATA,
Dr. Godwin R. MURUNGA
Executive Secretary, CODESRIA