Politics, Received Knowledge and the Subordination of Indigenous Creativity: The case of Africa and the Western World
Akinpelu O. Olutayo (Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone)
All societies had their own pattern of development embedded in the means of exploitation of the environment around which certain social institutions were created to satisfy the ‘needs’ of the people. The colonial epoch, with its own needs, substituted the ‘needs’ of the colonized with its own and recommended new ways of satisfying these new needs. This process is still being recommended through the pattern of domination in ‘world institutions’ manifested through new ‘indigenous’ social institutions in the neo-colonial African states. Of utmost significance are the formal educational institutions, through which the political elites are created, characterized by a privileged status and a culture of subordination.
The understanding of the underdevelopment process and its perpetuation in Africa cannot, therefore, be deciphered without an in-depth knowledge of the politics of colonialism, embedded in the ‘world-view’ of received knowledge from the (neo-) colonizing authorities, and enhanced through the subordination of indigenous creativity. In order words, the disjuncture in what constituted knowledge and creativity in the pre-colonial arrangement and that expected in the received domain, is the crux of transformation in Africa. How can Africa catch-up with the phenomenal movement of this airplane?