n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Heritage resources as vehicles for Africa's rural economic development




Some of the economies of the world are currently under severe strain. For their survival, these economies within nation states are therefore compelled to explore new avenues to generate revenue. It is in this context that I perceive and conceive of indigenous heritage as an economic resource essential for local rural development. Accordingly, it should be treated as an integral part of national development plans and strategies. The challenge though is to link heritage to practical, sustainable and mutually beneficial economic development programmes. To this end local communities and developers should work together in the pursuit of common goals and interests, enabled by indigenous knowledge systems and contemporary information and communication technologies (ICT). The argument in this article is that Africa has a major under development challenge and with 'nature based' tourism properly administered and developed there could be economic dividends and attendant social benefits. The article cites success stories from similar initiatives that have profoundly transformed some rural communities into economic hubs.


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