Arthur Guseni Oliver Mutambara, a Zimbabwean political figure and scholar has served as the President of a faction of the Movement for Democratic Change since February 2006, a position previously held by secretary general Welshman Ncube. The Movement for Democratic Change split in 2005 after a dispute over whether or not to participate in Zimbabwean parliamentary election. Born May 25, 1966, Mutambara was a strong voice in the Zimbabwean student movement in 1988 and 1989, leading anti-government protests at the University of Zimbabwe, which led to his eventual arrest and detention. He continued his education as a Rhodes scholar at Merton College, Oxford in the United Kingdom, obtaining a Ph.D. in Robotics and Mechatronics. In his field he had taught at a number of universities in the United States including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has published three books on engineering including: Design and Analysis of Control Systems, Decentralized Estimation, and Control for Multisensor Systems and Mechatronics and Robotics. Additionally, he has served as a professor of Business Strategy and as a consultant for the management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Since September 2003 he has worked as the Managing Director and CEO of Africa Technology and Business Institute.
I think my background in Zimbabwe, my history in Zimbabwe, shapes my understanding of the world. You know growing up under the illegal regime of _____ as a young person; and witnessing the struggle to liberate Zimbabwe; and then the witnessing of the independence of our country in 1980; and then going to school in an independent Zimbabwe; and then witnessing the deterioration of the nation and the African government . . . the corruption and the dictatorship of _____ in the ‘80s and ‘90s, particularly my experiences as a student in _____ in Zimbabwe. And then beyond that, then leaving the country to go to school at Oxford. And so my history and experiences in Zimbabwe is what shapes my understanding of the world, and understanding of the challenges that we face in this world; and also my understanding of the solutions to the problems.
I was so fond of history, and English, and the arts; but I deliberately decided to study the sciences and mathematics so that I would be the Renaissance man. I’ll still do history, I’ll still do English, I’ll still do current affairs because I was very passionate about those things; but I will pursue . . . I’ll then pursue engineering and science so that at the end of the day, I’ll end up understanding politics, philosophy and economics. And then at the same time understanding broader science, engineering and mathematics. So I decided deliberately to craft the life of Renaissance man.
Recorded On: 7/5/07