Tradition, Culture and Development in Africa
Historical Lessons for Modern Development Planning
The fact that Africa continues to lag behind all regions of the world on every indicator of development is hardly contentious. However, there is fierce debate on why this should be the case, despite national and international efforts to reverse this situation. While this book does not attempt to answer this question per se, it addresses a largely ignored, but important issue, which might provide some insights into the matter. This issue is the link between culture/tradition and socio-economic development in Africa. By weaving a common thread through these concepts, this book breaks new ground in the discourse on development. It highlights the differences between Euro-centric culture, which is rooted in capitalist ideology and Protestant ethic, and traditional African culture, where concepts such as capital accumulation, entrepreneurial attitudes and material wealth are not of top priority. In doing so, it dispels popular myths, stereotypes and distortions, as well as discounting misleading accounts about major aspects of African culture and traditional practices.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; The culture-development nexus; African accomplishments before the European encounter; Colonialism, Christianity and the erosion of African culture; The traditional African family; Traditional land tenure systems; Women, sexuality and property inheritance; Traditional African administrative systems; Traditional resource mobilization strategies; Traditional healthcare and healing strategies; Traditional architecture and housing; Development implications of tradition; References; Index.
Ambe J. Njoh is Professor in the Department of Government and International Affairs, University of South Florida, USA.
’In this volume, Dr Njoh has expertly captured the essence of African history and cultures and their centrality in Africa’s development. Scholars of development and international studies - especially African studies, would find the fresh look and perspectives on development in Africa offered in this book to be very useful. It is thought provoking, engaging and offers a platform to interrogate ideas of development in Africa.’ Valentine U. James, Fayetteville State University, USA 'The book is strongly recommended for all students interested in African development planning.' Cultural Geographies