Deploying Indigenous Knowledge for Sustainable Development
Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) are knowledge unique to a given culture or society and are often used in the creation and making of decisions at the local level in the manifold areas of the local economy. Development efforts that ignore IK would end up wasting enormous amounts of resources and might not achieve expected results. The need to deploy IK for sustainable development can be conceptualised when one observes the dynamics and total shift of Africans away from their culture towards western knowledge. This would produce problems on the long run. Nigeria is a country with many cultural and ethnic groups which may make development principles geared towards western knowledge act like a square peg in a round hole. There are three major challenges militating against the deployment of IK for sustainable development: 1) the global wide deployment accepted claim of the westernised knowledge for development, 2) there is no documentation or formal presentation of the IK as we find in the westernised knowledge system. 3) the negative attitudes towards IK. There is however, a need for IK documentation and formalization so as to improve its information, service and system quality. In addition, workshops, seminars, conferences and practices that are geared towards IK deployment for sustainable development should be encouraged at our local levels and introduce policies that would back this up. This paper aims to explore how IK can be deployed to enhance sustainable development in Nigeria.
Key Words: Indigenous Knowledge, Sustainable Development,
Community Development, Culture