1st Edition

The Challenge of Africa

By K. A. Busia Copyright 1962

    In the mid-twentieth century, the challenges raised by Africa’s emergence into the modern world touched on every aspect of national and international life. One of the most significant was raised by Africa’s quest for her own culture, encompassing not only the heritage of her distant and mysterious past, but also the most recent developments in her history. In The Challenge of Africa, originally published in 1962, reissued here with a new introduction, the foremost African sociologist of the time offers a constructive, humanitarian, and genuinely democratic approach to the problems Africa faced in this search.

    Professor Busia discusses the political, educational, and economic challenges inherent in the very nature of modern African nationalism. But, he argues, the basic challenge is moral: to maintain and adapt the social and spiritual heritage that Africa has preserved throughout her history. It is in the light of this challenge that he analyses the moral problems posed by Africa’s entry into the modern international community: the demand for the resolution of the race-relations problem, the insistence that the injustice of colonial systems be erased, the challenge to provide right and just governments for the peoples of Africa, the claim to cultural freedom. In the international context, African nationalism not only represents moral indignation against injustice and wrong; it is also a claim for equality. All nations must share in building a peaceful world community, and this requires the cooperation of all races. Lastly, Professor Busia contends, if East and West joined together to serve the needs of Africa, they might, in cooperation, rediscover their own brotherhood and so save humanity.

    A Note on K. A. Busia on Africa: An Anniversary Set.  New Introduction. Preface.  Part I: The Challenge of Culture  1. Introduction  2. Treatment of the Sick and Funeral Rites in Akan Culture  3. Akan Values and the Wider Context of African Cultures  Part II: The Challenge of Colonial Experience  4. The Invasion of Technology  5. The Impact of European Government and Administration  6. The Challenge of Education  Part III: The Challenge of Common Humanity and Morality  7. This Dark Skin  8. The Challenge of Morality  Part IV: The Challenge of Responsible Emancipation  9. Whither Development?  10. African Cultures and the Challenge of Industrialization  11. The Challenge of Nationalism.


    At the time of original publication K. A. Busia had published a number of specialized works on Africa; this was his first volume addressed to the general reader. A former member of the Ghanaian legislature and leader of the parliamentary opposition, he had been in voluntary exile from his native land since 1959. He was Visiting Professor of Sociology at El Colegio de Mexico in 1962.