Towards Afrocentric social work: plotting a new path for social work theory and practice in Africa through ubuntu
This conceptual article reflects that social work, after being wholesomely transferred from the West to Africa, came with several traits of Western society. These aspects are undoubtedly affecting the relevance of the profession in African settings because Africa had and still has its own value systems. This paper critically argues that for social work to have a wider appeal in Africa and for it to be as impactful as it has been in Western society, it needs to be redefined in line with local value systems. One of the most important concepts of the African value systems is that of Ubuntu, and this paper tries to find a common ground for Ubuntu and social work theory and practice towards the creation of Afrocentric social work. Ubuntu shapes humanness in the African context and ignoring it will continually sweep social work into obscurity. Furthermore, there has been a rise in studies on how the relevance of social work in African settings can be improved and most of these studies have focused on the adoption of developmental social work whilst neglecting the notion of Ubuntu.
Keywords: Ubuntu, social work, Africa, value systems, relevance, theory, practice