oa Alternation - Indigenous African cultures and relevance to socio-economic progress and development: a critical review

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



This paper provides a critical review of a sample of scholarly literature on the role and the relevance (or lack thereof) of indigenous African cultures and value systems to progress and development. An interest to study and seek to understand the nature of the African cultures and/or value systems and their relationship and relevance to the economy grew in the period following the end of colonialism, a period in which intellectual energies were geared towards finding workable models and strategies for reconstruction and development of the formerly colonised African countries as well as for the ending of the legacy of colonial subjugation and exploitation. As Kwame Gyeke pointed out, the post-colonial era not only signified an end to ... the period of dictation, forcible imposition of a variety of alien values and institutions, ... (but also) a period of autonomous self-expressions on the part of the formerly colonized people, as well as of self-assertion, sober reflection on values and goals, and the gradual weaning away from the self-flagellating aspects of colonial mentality acquired through decades of coloniality (Gyeke 1997:25).

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