1st Edition

Decolonization, Development and Knowledge in Africa Turning Over a New Leaf

By Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni Copyright 2020
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    This provocative book is anchored on the insurgent and resurgent spirit of decolonization of the twenty-first century. The author calls upon Africa to turn over a new leaf in the domains of politics, economy, and knowledge as it frees itself from imperial global designs and global coloniality.

    With a focus on Africa and its Diaspora, the author calls for a radical turning over of a new leaf, predicated on decolonial turn and epistemic freedom. The key themes subjected to decolonial analysis include: (1) decolonization/decoloniality – articulating the meaning and contribution of the decolonial turn; (2) subjectivity/identity – examining the problem of Blackness (identity) as external and internal invention; (3) the Bandung spirit of decolonization as an embodiment of resistance and possibilities, development and self-improvement; (4) development and self-improvement – of African political economy, as entangled in the colonial matrix of power, and the African Renaissance, as weakened by undecolonized political and economic thought; and (5) knowledge – the role of African humanities in the struggle for epistemic freedom.

    This groundbreaking volume opens the intellectual canvas on the challenges and possibilities of African futures. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of Politics and International Relations, Development, Sociology, African Studies, Black Studies, Education, History Postcolonial Studies, and the emerging field of Decolonial Studies.

    1.      Introduction: Beyond the European game

    2.      The Decolonial Turn

    3.      The Bandung Spirit

    4.      The Problem of Blackness

    5.      African Political Economy

    6.      African Renaissance

    7.      African Humanities

    8.      Conclusion: Turning Over A New Leaf


    Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni is Professor/Chair of Epistemologies of the Global South with Emphasis in Africa at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. He formerly worked as Research Professor and Director of Scholarship in the Department of Leadership and Transformation (DLT) in the Principal and Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and was 2019 Visiting Professor at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) at the University of Johannesburg. He is a leading decolonial theorist and historian with over 100 publications including eight sole-authored and nine edited books. His most recently published book is Epistemic Freedom in Africa: Deprovincialization and Decolonization (Routledge, 2018).

    "Frequently, discussions about decoloniality are delinked from discussions on development studies and questions of political-economy. Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni bridges these literatures to produce an original intervention in African Studies and Postcolonial/Decolonial Studies with important implications to Latin America and Asia. The many contributions this book offers are of interest to many fields of scholarship. This is a must to read from the most important decolonial thinker in Africa today!"  —  Ramon Grosfoguel, University of California at Berkeley, USA

    "This is a thoughtful agenda-setting contribution by a leading, passionate, committed voice, to the resilient issue of unequal encounters and dogmatic propensities in the production and circulation of meaning and value, which has received far less emancipatory scholarly attention beyond proliferating spurious rhetoric and prescriptive lip service."  —  Francis B. Nyamnjoh, University of Cape Town, South Africa

    ‘‘Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni’s is an important contribution to the current struggles for decolonization. At the forefront of his endeavor lies epistemology; to rethink thinking itself and make way for a new humanity. The book is a radical rupture with the mediocrity of Eurocentric knowledge institutionalized in the westernized universities across our world, and with the internal colonialism and cultural schizophrenia it produces in the global south. Solidly rooted in Africa, the book engages in a truly global decolonizing endeavor: that of working towards humanization, re-memberment, unity and action.’’  —  Julia Suárez-Krabbe, Roskilde University, Denmark

    "Ndlovu-Gatsheni builds on and synthesizes his munificent work on African de-colonial studies. In a systematizing, almost pedagogical effort, he combines Pan-Africanist thought and the Latin American modernity/coloniality school, showing synergies, notwithstanding their different genealogies. As a scholar-activist proudly asserting a normative approach, he embodies a "writer in politics" (Ngugi wa Thiong’o 1981), siding with the "wretched of the earth"—those actively striving for ground in public debates."Valentina Brogna, Université Saint-Louis—Bruxelles, Belgium, writing in International Studies Review

    "The focus on complex and deep historical processes of colonialism/coloniality, and engagement with topical theoretical discussions within the fields of political economy, global politics, decolonial studies, development studies and African studies, is complemented by constant reference to past and contemporary decolonial struggles… Ndlovu-Gatsheni is able to produce powerful analyses of the colonial in Africa by bringing Latin American scholars into conversation with African writers who do not explicitly use ‘coloniality’."Felix Mantz, Queen Mary University of London, UK, writing in Review of African Political Economy

    "Ndlovu-Gatsheni makes a compelling case for why and how "a new leaf"… must begin with producing new knowledge and working out new concepts from Africa – not as a point of geography, but as an ontological position rooted in African ways of knowing the world, a framing inclusive of African Diaspora and Black people globally. The book is a call for epistemic freedom and a direct challenge to Eurocentric epistemologies that claim the ground of objectivity and universality… Decolonization, Development and Knowledge in Africa: Turning Over a New Leaf gives wide-ranging, thorough and illuminating treatises on big waves in African and global history."Kamna Patel, University College London, UK, writing in the European Journal of Risk Regulation (2023), 1–4