Knowledge Production in Contemporary African Society: Lessons for Universities

  • W Boateng


The paper examines knowledge production models and the relevant for universities in contemporary African society. In the process it provides a theoretical benchmark for discussing and understanding the challenges associated with knowledge production in contemporary universities. It sets off with definitions and characteristics of Modes 1 and 2 knowledge production models. This is followed by an analysis of how research is approached and acknowledged in contemporary universities. The interaction model of knowledge utilization is then used as a benchmark in prescribing a research agenda for contemporary universities. Such an agenda should balance the traditional interest of universities (production of scientific knowledge) on one hand, and the contemporary interest of societies (application of knowledge) on the other. It is recommended, among others, that African universities enhance their participation in commissioned or externally funded research to complement science-push research. At the same time, universities are cautioned against excessive fascination in academic capitalism which has the tendency to divert the interests of academics from their traditional roles of teaching and knowledge-driven research towards conducting more applied/commissioned research for industries and other external sources.

Ghana Journal of Development Studies Vol. 4 (21) 2007: pp. 1-10

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eISSN: 0855-6768