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Exploring Gadaa: A Pillar of African Philosophy

This panel delves into the intricate tapestry of Gadaa, an indigenous socio-political system of the Oromo people in Ethiopia, and its profound implications for African philosophy. Gadaa represents a holistic way of life, encompassing governance, ethics, spirituality, and social organization, deeply embedded in the collective consciousness of the Oromo society. Drawing from interdisciplinary perspectives including anthropology, philosophy, and history, this panel aims to unravel the philosophical underpinnings of Gadaa and its relevance in contemporary African discourse.
The panelists will examine how Gadaa embodies key philosophical concepts such as communalism, egalitarianism, and intergenerational knowledge transfer. They will explore the ontological and epistemological foundations of Gadaa, shedding light on its cosmological worldview and its implications for understanding human existence and social order. Furthermore, the panel will discuss the role of Gadaa in shaping Oromo identity and its resistance against external forces of colonialism and cultural hegemony.
Through critical analysis and dialogue, this panel seeks to deepen our understanding of Gadaa as a living philosophy, challenging conventional Western-centric notions of philosophy and emphasizing the importance of indigenous knowledge systems in shaping Africa’s intellectual landscape. Ultimately, this exploration of Gadaa contributes to broader conversations on decolonizing African thought and reclaiming indigenous philosophies as essential frameworks for understanding the complexities of African societies.

Please send your abstract to tafenug@gmail.com by March 14th.