Item description for African Renaissance, November/December 2006 by (Patrick) Adibe Jideofor...
In the September/October 2006 issue of the journal, we focused on Somalia, a failed state, and posed number fundamental questions: why did Somalia fail as a state? Should the failed state be reconstituted as one nation or should different nations be allowed to emerge from the ashes of the collapsed state? What are the challenges facing the state reconstitution efforts? And what are the implications of all these for the current democracy and development projects in Africa? In this issue we focus on African culture/philosophy and its possible relationship with the current crises of governance and development in the continent. While we are aware of the limitations of a unicausal mode of analysis, we nonetheless feel that the issue of African culture/ philosophy has not been given adequate attention in the analyses of the current crises in which the continent is enmeshed. Our interest is to find answers to some crucial questions: Are the current crises of governance and development in the continent facilitated by African culture and philosophy of life? Or are they the result of lack of, or insufficient incorporation of these into the models of development and governance imported into the continent from outside? Are these imported models of governance and development culturally and philosophically neutral? Garba Diallo believes that the current governance and development crises in Africa have their roots in the colonial origin of African states, arguing that not only have the imposed models not worked, but that they were actually not meant to work. He contends that "remedies will be sought by reaching back to an indigenous, pre-colonial form of African political philosophy" and prescribes the indigenous South African notion of ubuntu, which describes the essence of being human through other human beings, as worthy of examination. For him, through Ubuntu, "a uniquely African contribution to the concept of the global village will be more visible and recognised." He also notes that in Rwanda, the government and people are tapping into the indigenous Gacca community court process to deal with the aftermath of the 1994 genocide. Bhekinkosi Moyo argues that there is "there is a tension between African culture and modern conceptions of development, democracy and governance," and that this tension "is not so much about what is best but about 'cultural ownership'". He argues that there is a clash between 'African cultural methodologies' and what have increasingly become conceptions of 'modernity' such as globalization, democratization, human rights, privatization, economic integration and trade, and noted that this clash is often resolved in favour of modernity. Focusing on parliamentary democracy in Africa, he contends that the critical question is how parliaments in Africa be strengthened in such a way that they have meaning to Africans. He believes that parliamentary "democracy has not developed deep roots in Africa simply because it has not been 'Africanised'", and argues that in most African countries, "because parliaments are disconnected from the citizens, there is generally confusion on what the role of a parliamentarian is." Gerrie Stewart notes that while Africa made impressive strides in eradicating all forms of colonialism, neo-colonialism and racism from the continent, it has failed to "develop and foster a political culture that could fill the massive void that was left by years of oppressive policies." For him therefore "Africa's political culture has posed severe challenges to the continent's development". Uzochukwu J Njoku reflects on assassinations and destructions in Nigeria's political culture and argues that "high profile assassinations and the killings of innocent citizens in Nigeria are products of a political history, which has continued to broaden its frontiers and has (in the course of time) become a culture and modus vivendi." He contends that
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.21" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.26" Weight: 0.41 lbs.
Release Date Nov 30, 2006
Publisher Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd
ISBN 1905068662 ISBN13 9781905068661
Availability 128 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 16, 2017 03:27.
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