Salute to a giant African academic | News | Africa


OBITUARY

Samir Amin (1931-2018)

Samir Amin’s celebrated life was perhaps among the most trying but also rewarding of his generation’s left intelligentsia. After his death in Paris on Sunday, a wider awareness of his extraordinary contribution to applied theory is rising.

Amin spent a privileged youth in Egypt as the child of two medics, and attended university in Paris where his PhD offered a scathing analysis of underdevelopment in low-income countries.
He returned home, but having acquired a better understanding of the limits of Egypt’s then president Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalism (and as an anti-Stalinist communist), Amin was forced into exile in 1960. He soon won credibility for his tireless United Nations economic planning duties in West Africa, especially Mali.

By 1970, he was…

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