Journal of Philosophy and Culture

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The Quest For Development In Africa And The Dilemma Of Competing Cultural Paradigms

F Offor


This essay reopens the debate among African politicians and intellectuals concerning which paradigm is the most suitable for achieving the goals of development in Africa at this present moment of her history. Since the early 70s, African intellectuals and politicians have reflected on this problem and the highpoint of the debate was that only a synthesis of our traditional cultural elements with other relevant areas of foreign culture holds the prospects for achieving this goal. This essay however indicts this latest position as encouraging the hegemonisation of western cultural values as well as the marginalisation of those African states for which this paradigm is meant to serve as blueprint for development. The essay then identifies the need for the debate to transcend the basic assumptions underlying the major paradigms by preferring an approach that will not only guide against the continued marginalisation of African states, but that will at the same time ensure their effective participation in the development process currently going on across the globe.

Journal of Philosophy and Culture Vol. 3 (1) 2006: pp. 153-172
AJOL African Journals Online