Valentin Yves Mudimbe, born in 1941 in Likasi, Zaire, is one of the most famous authors of Africa. After receiving his PhD in Romance Philology, he took up a professorship of linguistics and comparative grammar of the Indo-European languages at the University of Zaire.
In 1980 he transfered to Stanford University, California, where he teaches literature and African Studies. Apart from his work as a professor, scientist and editor of the Encyclopedia of African Religions and Philosophers Mudimbe is the author of numerous theoretical-philosophical and literary works. In them, he examines the conflict between African tradition and European influence. As a leading intellectual Mudimbe describes the process of dissolution and destruction of Africa, caused by colonization, missionary work and development aid. His major publications include The Invention of Africa (1988) and The Idea of Africa (1994).