Mamphela Ramphele (South Africa)
Details regarding Dr. Ramphele's keynote address will be available later; biographical details are listed below.
Biographical Details : Mamphela Ramphele, M.D.
Mamphela Ramphele was born near Pietersburg (now Polokwane) in what is now Limpopo province. She completed her schooling at Setotolwane High School in 1966 and subsequently enrolled for pre-medical courses at the University of the North. In 1968 Ramphele was accepted into the University of Natal’s Medical School (then the only university that allowed black students to enroll without prior permission from the government), where she qualified as a medical doctor in 1972.
While at university she became increasingly involved in student politics and anti-apartheid activism and was one of the founders of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), along with Steve Biko. As a member of the BCM, she was especially involved in organizing and working with communtity development programmes. Due to her political activities, she was internally banished by the apartheid government to the town of Tzaneen from 1977 to 1984.
Continuing her academic studies, Dr. Ramphele received a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town, a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Administration from the University of South Africa as well as diplomas in Tropical Health & Hygiene and Public Health from the University of the Witwatersrand. Ramphele has also authored and edited a number of books.
Dr. Ramphele joined the University of Cape Town as a research fellow in 1986 and was appointed as one of its Deputy Vice-Chancellors in 1991. She was appointed to the post of Vice-Chancellor of the university in September 1996, thereby becoming the first black woman to hold such a position at a South African university.
In 2000, Dr. Ramphele became one of the four Managing Directors of the World Bank. She is tasked with overseeing the strategic positioning and operations of the World Bank Institute as well as the Vice-Presidency of External Affairs. She is the first South African to hold this position.
Dr. Ramphele has served as a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, as the director of the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa (IDASA) and as a board member of the Anglo-American Corporation and Transnet.
Honorary degrees and awards
Dr. Ramphele has received eighteen honorary degrees and numerous awards, including:
• An Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hunter College of the City of New York in 1984.
• An Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Tufts University in May 1991.
• An Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Natal.
• The Medal of Distinction from Barnard College in the United States.
• Dr. Ramphele ia also a former fellow of the Bunting Institute and was elected as an honourary member of the Alpha and Iota chapters of Phi Beta Kappa at Radcliffe and Harvard Colleges.
• Uprooting Poverty: The South African Challenge, 1989, Co-author. This book draws together research conducted by the second Carnegie inquiry into poverty and development in South Africa and received the 1990 Noma award, an annual prize given to African writers and scholars whose work is published in Africa.
• Bounds of Possibility: The Legacy of Steve Biko, 1991, Co-editor.
• Restoring the Land, 1992, Editor This publication deals with the ecological challenges facing post-apartheid South Africa.
• A Bed called Home, 1993, Author. This book was based on Ramphele's PhD thesis in Social Anthropology, "The Politics of Space," and deals with life in the migrant labour hostels of Cape Town.
• Mamphela Ramphele - A Life, 1995, Author.
• Across Boundaries: The Jouney of a South African Woman Leader, 1996, Author.