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Resignifying the Universal: Critical Commentary on the Postcolonial African Identity and Development
Adeshina Afolayan
Human Affairs , 2009, DOI: 10.2478/v10023-009-0050-8
Abstract: The dimension of the debate on the relation between the universal and the particular in African philosophy has been skewed in favour of the universalists who argued that the condition for the possibility of an African conception of philosophy cannot be achieved outside the "universal' idea of the philosophical enterprise. In this sense, the ethno-philosophical project and its attempt to rescue the idea of an African past necessary for the reconstruction of an African postcolonial identity and development becomes a futile one. A recent commentator even argues that works concerning African identity are now totally irrelevant and misguided. In this essay, I will be arguing, on the contrary, that the universalist's argument, much like its critique of ethno-philosophical reason, mistakes the nature, significance and necessity of such a resistance (rather than original) identity that the ethno-philosophical project promises. I will also argue that the fabrication of such an identity facilitates the avoidance of an uncritical submersion in the universal as well as a proper conception of an African development. This, furthermore, is the only avenue by which the imperialistic ontological space of universal humanism, in which most universalistic claims are rooted, can be made more polygonal and mutually beneficial for alternative cultural particulars.
Appraisal of African Identity for Sustainable Development  [PDF]
Michael Chugozie Anyaehie
Open Journal of Philosophy (OJPP) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.31A025

Africa is the poorest continent in the world despite her huge human and material resources. She is at the periphery of global development. Some people attribute the African predicament to her experience of slavery and colonialism which distorted her identity and disoriented her values. But she is not the only continent that was colonised. Other colonised continents are already finding their bearing in global development. What is that unique factor about African identity that hinders her from having her own stake in global development? This paper argues that Africa’s stable and rich natural environment which does not coerce her to struggle for survival makes Africa docile and complacent. This psychological disposition makes her to take her survival for granted and to liveonthe providence of her environment without conscientious effort to conquer and drive it to enhance her state of life. The search for African identity should not focus on just exhuming her past culture and lamenting her experiences, but on discovering the latent prowess of Africa that will help her to positively and effectively confront her existential challenges. Colonialism and neo-colonialism are parts of Africa’s existential challenges which she has to tackle to define her identity. For sustainable development, Africa has to wake upfromher slumber of eulogising her cultural heritage and blaming othersforher predicament, and brace up to critically, constructively and pragmatically evaluate her past, confront her current challenges and take responsibility for the effect of her actions and inactions.

A Philosophical Examination of the Traditional Yoruba Notion of Education and its Relevance to the Contemporary African Quest for Development
AK Fayemi, OC Macaulay-Adeyelure
Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya , 2009,
Abstract: This paper undertakes a philosophical investigation of the implications of the traditional Yoruba understanding of education for the contemporary African quest for development. The paper argues that the Yoruba conception of education is marked by the underlying philosophical principles of functionalism, moralism and progressivism. These principles, the paper contends, are of great relevance to the quest of contemporary African societies for education that will serve as a catalyst for development.
Religion and Societal Development: A Philosophical Appraisal of African Situation
CC Obi
UJAH: Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities , 2012,
Abstract: Religion can serve as a strong force in boosting societal development and can as well retard it. This, for me, is as a result of man’s inability to discover his place and role in existence as a being with responsibility and sequel to this, he always fails to contribute his own quota in solving a myriad of problems surrounded him and the society at large rather, usually waits for divine intervention believing that manna will fall from heaven with little or no effort of his own. This is more prevalent among the Africans. This work will employ the philosophical methods of hermeneutics and analysis in proffering answer to questions like: how can religion help in fostering societal development? What are the limitations of this help? How does man come in the issue of societal development? What are his roles in this regard? This work is an effort to stress that extreme religiousness of Africans is among the factors retarding development in Africa but that does not mean that the work condemns the practice of religion among Africans for it is also part of its aims to establish some of the roles religion can play to facilitate progress in Africa.
Racial Identity Development and Psychological Coping Strategies of Undergraduate and Graduate African American Males  [PDF]
Eric Bridges
Journal of African American Males in Education , 2011,
Abstract: African American men face many socio-cultural, academic, and negative stressors that generate stress experiences and identity conflicts. These stressors, in turn, may lead to psychological pressures that negatively affect relationships that African American men have with African American women, children, other African American men, and the African American community. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that racial identity has on the development of psychological healthy coping strategies among African American males at a predominantly White university in the southeastern United States. The goal of the study was to see what factors helped young African American men at this institution succeed academically.
Enhancing African Development through Freedom: An Assessment of Dukor’s Philosophical Basis of African Freedom  [PDF]
Chuka A. Okoye
Open Journal of Philosophy (OJPP) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.31A026

The African continent has long suffered serious developmental relapse in a continually developing world. Lots of thinkers indeed term most of these African states“failed states”. One sees that that while many other nations of the world develop and as such interact conveniently in this global village, most African nations come merely as beggars in the global village having nothing to offer but begging for an opportunity for consumption. These nations therefore remain stagnated and continually retrogressive in all aspects of human life. Where in lies the cause of these problems? Dukor opines that the problem is a re-echoing aftermath of the western deplorable actions against these Africans. Indeed Dukor concludes that there is no real honesty in the opportunities all member states have to take part in the process of global development. Africa seems to be cheated. This work does not seem to fully agree with Dukor that the western hegemony ALONE is the cause. This work submits that the complacency of most Africans equally play the role in their underdevelopment.

The Need for a Paradigm Shift in Philosophy, Music and African Studies: A Trilogical Identification of Three Conceptual Relevancies in State Tertiary Education  [PDF]
Kingston Chukwunonyelum Ani Casimir, Orajaka Sussan Nwakego, Emmanuel Umezinwa
Open Journal of Political Science (OJPS) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/ojps.2015.52016
Abstract: The need for a paradigm shift in African development blueprint is also a call for reform of certain critical aspects of education in Africa. In the main stream African studies, this need may be defined as the Africanization of the contents of Africa’s inherited modern educational system. Presently, there is an urgent need for a paradigm shift in the study and practice of music as an integral agenda of African studies and African philosophy. Current educational reforms in both African studies and general education have continued to demand for this shift in the curriculum contents of mainstream African studies that have to do with the philosophy of music education. The trilology of music, philosophy and African studies are the identified three conceptual relevant disciplines where this call should be concentrated and worked out in good time. In essence, this article is a call for state tertiary institutions to “Africanize” music as a discipline, as an art and as a curriculum, using the philosophical analysis derived from the core principles of African studies. Philosophy will help the search for the Africanization of music education by giving it a safe human value base in African philosophy. We have argued in this paper that Western concepts of philosophy and aesthetic education currently taught in the 1950s failed to reflect the human values that are African and this failure and the need to reform their existing content informed the emergence of the centers of African research, renewal and studies known as Institutes of African studies in different Universities in Africa and Europe. Aesthetically speaking, music has a psychological role in culture, arts and the education of indigenous communities in Africa. Aesthetically, musical education based upon Western values alien to Africa has negative implications for the modern musical educational policies, curriculum and practice for the modern African state. From the analytical perspectives of both African Philosophy and African studies, we are able to argue and establish what should constitute the dynamics of new musical paradigm shift in Africa and to define the relevancy of music education to the African educational system, using analytical situation drawn from Nigeria examples in the study.
(Mis)-understanding Nation and Identity: Re-imagining Sport in the Future of African Development
FB Lukalo
African Journal of International Affairs , 2005,
Abstract: Athletics, its obsession and allure for economic empowerment (marathons, World Championships, Golden League track events) through skill and will, unlike any other sport in Kenya, has generated contestations in the emergence of national identity. Thus the crisis in the body Athletics Kenya (AK), the Ministry for Gender, Sports and Culture and among individual athletes in Kenya today is symbolic of the crisis of individuality, nationhood and identity in African development. Since the ‘defection’ of Wilson Kipketer in 1998, Kenyan athletes have negotiated and have ‘run’ for citizenship in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. At stake is whether athletes, athletics, sports policy and the governing bodies are witnessing an evolution or devolution in autonomy especially when citizenship changes necessitate identity changes as is the case of the Qatar/Bahrain ‘defecting’ athletes. The paper presents the case for this issue, while situating the practise of athletes ‘defecting’ within the global flows of movement and questions of identity.
A Towering Critique of the Ambience of Social Welfare, Social Work and the Social Development Paradigm—An African Analysis  [PDF]
Ani Casimir, Ejiofor Samuel
Open Journal of Political Science (OJPS) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/ojps.2015.54025
Abstract: What should be the African social worker in the modern world. The African social worker has discovered that most clinical and other modern social work practices are Euro-centric. And only reflect only European values. He knows that African communal social work practices existed in an ethnocentric environment that encourages an African-centred world view. How this African centred world view wouyld help him to define a new social work values with a paradigmatic shift to his roles as a profession is a challenge to both social philosophy and its social work concentrates. Therefore this article raises serious concerns about the ethnocentric nature of existing paradigms within the social sciences that form the basis for social work theory and practice with implications for modern social work in Africa. In addition, it highlights the theoretical deficits within existing social work models that do not reflect the worldviews of diverse cultural communities in modern world. Can existing social work models continue to express ethnocentric value systems as the universal way to explain human behaviour in the light of growing demands for pluralism not only between groups but also between epistemologies and worldviews? The authors of the article, writing from the perspective of the new African social science, argues for an alternative paradigm that is grounded in the cultural and historical reality of the African communal experience.
The Crisis of Identity in Africa: A Call for Subjectivity  [PDF]
Thomas Kochalumchuvattil
Kritike : an Online Journal of Philosophy , 2010,
Abstract: The humanitarian problems of Africa are manifest and widespread.Periodic occurrences of ethnic cleansing as seen in Rwanda, the ongoing conflict in Darfur-Sudan, the breakdown of democracy under thedictatorship of President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, the outbreak of postelection violence in Kenya, the widespread growth of HIV/AIDS andoverwhelming endemic poverty are by no means isolated examples of thetragedies which continue to plague the continent. These and similar issues have become the subject of intense philosophical debate and reflection. This contribution to the debate will argue that if a sustainable solution to all of these problems is to be found the key area requiring philosophical debate is the degree to which the subjective development of the self is submerged in an African sense of collective identity.
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