Also the IUS at Nairobi for the EoC

Also the IUS at Nairobi for the EoC

Sustaining a Virtuous Circle for Development



For the second consecutive year, a course on Economy of Communion was held at the end of July at the Catholic University of Oriental Africa which is located in Nairobi, Kenya (CUEA).  Students came from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.


The tight schedule foresaw two weeks of lessons, and exercises, entrusted to Vittorio Pelligra, professor of Political Economy at the IUS, and at the University of Cagliari, and Simona di Ciaccio, who teaches Theories of Economic Development at the IUS: “First of all, at the centre, we felt the necessity to get to know one another reciprocally – wrote Simona di Ciaccio – because, such an original research itinerary could risk running into the ground in front of cultural differences and context.  Having overcome the hesitancy of one who knows he is facing a big challenge, the experience made by the students has been extraordinarily rich since the beginning of the course. The participation of the students to the lessons was positive, passionate and constructive. 



The EoC was understood in depth: “...it is the vehicle for human development in Africa” ; and another student, with the expressivity typical of African peoples, affirmed that the aim of the EoC is not to give a fish, nor to teach to fish, but to fish ‘together’.”
Adds Pelligra: “A fundamental point has been to try to understand why the EoC model could work here. It is, in fact, a way of doing economy which brings out the best that resides in every human being. In each one of us there is much more gratuity, disinterest, faith and ability to cooperate than what economic theory would have us know.  The entire course has been a journey in discovering this ‘surplus’  and what could be the conditions  which would facilitate it or would not allow it to emerge. 


Overmore, the fact of finding ourselves there, in Africa, in Nairobi, facing the poverty of milllions of people, reminded us of the failure of some rules, considered untill yesterday to be immutable, on which we have been tempted to build progress and wellbeing for only part of humanity.  The course has been then, an occasion for a collective ‘examination of conscience’ and to observe, for example, the surprising syntony between the fundamental principles of the EoC and the relational vision of the “ubuntu” philosophy, originating in this place.”


A student has decided to do his/her thesis on the EoC and will work until at CUEA be added a permanent course on the EoC.  After finishing the degree, he/she would like to continue their studies at Sophia; to this end, beginning already to study Italian and to seek a scholarship to be able to register.  Two young people (with degrees in computer and business and economy) have decided to open a small, online publicity business, adding to their mission statement, the commitment to give a   part of the profits to form scholarships for young people like themselves, contributing in this way to build a ‘virtuous cirlce’ for development.


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