The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Indigenous Systems 5 Inch

The role of indigenous knowledges in development has not been examined enough. Indigenous knowledge systems tend to mean different things to different people, so does culture. Culture is undoubtedly critical for development but often underplayed or misunderstood. Development in Africa remains elusive. Those who are supposed to benefit from interventions aimed at improving wellbeing are often not involved in decision making regarding those interventions. Indigenous knowledges, cultures and indigenous languages are usually ignored when conceiving policies aimed at advancing development. This book – a collection of chapters on these issues – demonstrates the importance of indigenous knowledge systems in development. Indigenous knowledges play a role in development practice because of their capacity to generate transferable local skills and set energies in motion to reduce the prevailing inequalities on the continent. In an effort to resolve the enduring puzzle of development in Africa, the role of indigenous knowledges is thus affirmed as important. The book advocates for a paradigm shift in development thinking and practice that reinforces the use of indigenous knowledges as a first line of action in the process of development in Africa.

The book uses Africa as the centre of a thoughtful and wide-ranging discussion of the literature on the state of development and indigenous knowledge systems.

The acknowledgment of African indigenous knowledges in development practice is critical in the search for the most suitable approach to resolving Africa’s enduring development challenges. In this process the indigenous knowledges assert their relevance in an institutional configuration that tends to suppress indigenous knowledge systems. Local knowledge acts as a force that determines how development is conducted in specific localities. In this regard, the assumption that Western knowledge is superior to other knowledges and provides the only route to development is confronted by indigenous knowledges’ determinative capacity. In shaping the future development agenda for Africa, it is vital to integrate indigenous knowledges in the development process. It must be recognised that for the continent to meet its development challenges, especially the eradication of poverty, integration of indigenous knowledge is crucial. It is therefore important that indigenous knowledge systems are given space to play a role in peoples’ lives to ensure that development takes place on the African continent. It is encouraging that scholars are giving these issues due attention. Research on indigenous knowledge revival is essential to generate output to transform African development.

Endorsements

‘The publication of this book is a timely reminder that a plurality of epistemologies offers a substantive, democratic basis for resolving the myriad challenges that are contemporaneous with our digital age. Nevertheless, Africa’s unique contribution to this planetary discourse must be grounded in a critical appraisal of the knowledge resources available to that end – beginning with its own cultural accomplishments across space and time. In this vein, the contributors to this volume offer us a delightful set of transversal perspectives that explore the ethical, aesthetic, linguistic, scientific, technological, economic, and policy dimensions of human development from an African vantage point. Thus, indigeneity emerges as being mutually constituted with modernity as reflexive concepts that can help to restore a people’s sense of collective agency in the steady march toward a more just future.’

Dr Ogundiran Soumonni, Director of the Master of Management Programme in Innovation Studies, Wits Business School, South Africa

‘Africa has rich knowledge, spiritual and struggle heritage. There is much needed work to be done to value, recognise and share the knowledge that originated in Africa. This book is extremely timely in terms of addressing this critical issue. I fully support the contributions and recommend the book as a resource material for those committed to truly achieving Africa's sustainable development.’

Dr Emmanuel Ojo, Senior Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Product information

Format : 170mm x 245mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 420
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7983-0534-1
Publish Year : July 2021
Rights : World Rights

Preface

Foreword

Acknowledgements

Introduction

PART I: African Indigenous Systems

Chapter 1: Cultural and Linguistic Dilemmas in Africa’s Development Trajectory (Ibraheem Muheeb and Manji Diyal)

Chapter 2: The Development Sustainability of Indigenous Technologies in Africa (Jacob Ogunniyi)

Chapter 3: Rethinking African Indigenous Knowledge and Practices for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (Manji Diyal)

Chapter 4: Ethics and Culture: An Analysis of Moral Values of African Aesthetic Creativity (Modestus N. Onyeaghalaji)

Chapter 5: Culture Misrepresentation through Language Attitudes: A Study of Francophone Cameroonian Migrants in South Africa (Atabongwoung Gallous)

Chapter 6: Integrating Culture in an Urban Transformation Framework in South Africa (Ajebush Shafi, Mzo Sirayi and Mammo Muchie)

Chapter 7: The Ethics of Ubuntu and its Role in Fostering Justice for Development in South Africa (Mofihli Teleki and Serges Djoyou Kamga)

PART II: Africa’s Development

Chapter 8: Creative Industries: Foreign Direct Investment as the Driving Tool for Sustainable Development (Abisuga-Oyekunle Oluwayemisi and Mammo Muchie)

Chapter 9: Colonial Legacies, Africa’s International Relations and Agenda 2063 (Eric Niyitunga)

Chapter 10: The ‘Invisible Force’ in the Downfall of the African Standby Force (Francis Onditi)

Chapter 11: Africa’s Democratic Evolution: The Role of Flawed Elections, Incumbency and Third-Term Syndrome in Political Instability (Westen K. Shilaho)

Chapter 12: Africans and Africa: Cultural Nationalism and the Rebirth of Pan-Africanism (Temitope Fagunwo)

Chapter 13: Developing the African Dream: African Unity, a Prerequisite for African Development (Somikazi Tom)

Chapter 14: Free Trade in Africa: Macroeconomic Convergence, Possibilities and Prospects (Vusi Gumede)

Chapter 15: Transformation from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals: The Imperative of African Unity in Africa’s Development (Ajinde Oluwashakin and Ariyo Aboyade)

Conclusion

About the Compilers and Authors

Vusi Gumede

Vusi Gumede is a Professor and Dean for the Faculty of Economics, Development and Business Sciences at the University of Mpumalanga. He worked in the South African government for twelve years before joining the academic sector. He has been an Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg and a Professor at the University of South Africa. He is widely published, including fifteen books. He holds a PhD (2003) from the University of (KwaZulu) Natal.

Mammo Muchie

Mammo Muchie is a Professor and DST-NRF Research Chair in Innovation Studies at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the Tshwane University of Techn ology.

He has taught at the University of Economics in Prague as visiting professor, Jawarahal Nehru University in India, Tonji and Shanghai University in China; Honorary Professor Jiaxing University in China, Assistant Professor Amsterdam University, Visiting Professor Carleton College in the USA; Principal Lecturer Middlesex University, Professor Aalborg University; Part–time Lecturer, Cambridge University; Honorary Professor UNISA. Professor Mammo held various positions globally, including the Director of the Research Programme on Civil Society and African Integration at the then University of Kwa Zulu-Natal; board member at the North Western University, Chengdu, China. He has produced over 450 publications, including books, chapters in books, and articles in internationally accredited journals and entries in institutional publications. He holds a DPhil in Science, Technology, and Innovation for Development from the University of Sussex.

Ajebush Shafi

Ajebush initially trained as an Economist and after that, she holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Human Development from University of Maastricht in Netherlands, and a doctorate degree in Business Administration from Tshwane University in South Africa. Ajebush’s academic and research experience is built on multi-sectorial discipline, focused policy evaluation, science and technology policy analysis, innovation, development and finding various routes to create technological competencies in Africa, include designing public policy frameworks that make positive impacts on poor people. In her prior work experience, Ajebush has been directly involved in planning, activities implementation, building and maintaining relationships with donors and partners, identifying new funding opportunities to achieve project goals. She has scientific publications and rich experience in performing quantitative and qualitative research and analysing firms’ performance. Currently, Ajebush is part of the research team on catching-Up EU-horizon project and working on agro-processing global value chain research theme.

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