Obituary – Prof Sam Moyo

November 22, 2015

Professor Sam Moyo is no more. He died on November 21 following a tragic road accident the day before in New Delhi, India. Sam was there to participate in a conference on Labor Issues in the Global South. His death robs Africa of a towering intellectual giant. 

 At TrustAfrica we are pained beyond words. We join our voices with people from around the world to mourn the tragic loss of this icon. For decades, Sam has been an important presence on the African intellectual scene. He played important roles, including as president of CODESRIA and as the head of the Africa Institute of Agrarian Studies (AIAS) – an institution he founded and worked tirelessly to build into a thought leader on land issues and economic transformation in Africa.

Sam Moyo was a truly versatile intellectual. He rendered outstanding service to the cause of expanding the frontiers of knowledge on some of the most pertinent development issues in Africa. Until the very end when he presented his last paper on Labor Issues in the African Periphery in New Delhi, Sam devoted his life to helping strengthen the intellectual foundations for practical policy action for Africa’s development.

Despite his towering intellect, Sam was simple and down to earth. Perhaps it is this fine combination of towering intellectual prowess and human warmth that makes it so hard to say good-bye to Prof. He was a part of us, a great companion to share a drink with, and earned our profound love and respect. He was a mentor to many young intellectuals who sat by his feet thirsting for knowledge. And he gave with a generous spirit.

There are no fitting words to bid farewell to Sam. They say great men don’t die. They depart. Sam has departed. His was one of the most remarkable stories of deep intellectual convictions, an indefatigable passion, and a generous spirit. Sam epitomized a total commitment to intellectual rigor and to passing on the traditions to the next generation of African scholars.

Even as we say farewell to this icon, we need to think of a befitting remembrance to the memory and legacy of Prof Moyo to recognize his imperishable contribution on the African intellectual scene. At TrustAfrica, we were working with Prof Moyo and AIAS on in-depth research on “The political economy of agriculture and illicit financial flows in Southern Africa.” May his works continue to inspire many to work for Africa’s development.

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