News & events


Moral Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Culture, Economics, Conflict and AIDS

24 May 2011
12:15 - 14:00

Date :

24 May 2011

Time :

12:15 – 14:00


  • Dr Sharlene Swartz is a sociologist and research director at the Human Sciences Research Council
  • Professor Mogobe Ramose is a philosopher at the University of South Africa
  • Tawanda Makusha is a PhD intern at the HSRC

The seminar will discuss the new book (originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Moral Education) edited by Sharlene Swartz and Monica Taylor and published by Routledge (2011). 


The term ‘moral’ has had a chequered history in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly due to the legacy of colonialism and Apartheid (in South Africa). In contrast to moral education as a vehicle of cultural imperialism and social control, this volume shows moral education to be concerned with both private and public morality, with communal and national relationships between human beings, as well as between people and their environment. 

Drawing on distinctive perspectives from philosophy, economics, sociology and education Moral education in sub-Saharan Africa challenges prevailing and dominant Global North frameworks on moral education by showing how an African perspective may be employed to address seemingly intractable problems such as the legacies of ethnic conflict, genocide, Apartheid, poverty and HIV/AIDS.  It has global implications, not just, but especially, where moral education is undertaken in pluralist contexts and in the presence of economic disparity. 

The audio presentation for the seminar is available for download



12.30 – 12.45:   Welcome and Introduction – Dr. Sharlene Swartz, Re-Envisioning Moral Education  

12.45 – 13.00:   Prof.  Mogobe Ramose – The Death of Democracy and the Resurrection of Timocracy

13.00 – 13.15:   Tawanda Makusha  – The Moral Tensions of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa (written with Julia DeKadt and Prof Linda Richter)

13.15 – 13.30:   Dr Sharlene Swartz  – Recent Work in African Ethics

13.30 – 13.45:   Questions and Discussion


13.45 – 14.00:   Refreshments

Limited complimentary copies will be available in all three HSRC venues.


Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Vuyokazi Ngxubaza, Tel +27 (0) 21 466 8004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or  Cell: +27 (0) 82 050 8453

Durban: First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel +27 (0) 31 242 5400, cell: +27 (0) 83 788 2786 or

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: +27 (0) 12 302 2811, e-mail: