Historical Research and Nation-Building in Africa
AbstractHistory as a distinct discipline deals with a systematic study of man’s past for the sole purpose of societal development. Historical research adopts the interdisciplinary model which harnesses the potentials of oral tradition, written records, archaeology and other disciplines in analyzing the socio-economic currents of society. The dream of ‘African Renaissance’ in the spirit of New Partnership For Africa’s Development can only be realized with recourse to a diligent commitment to the study of History. There are fundamental issues that have posed critical challenges to most African countries since they gained political independence. Among these are the credible leadership question, corruption, capacity building, science and technological innovations, inter-group relations, the rule of law, civil society and human rights, conflict-resolution cum peaceful co-existence, ethno-religious crises, security, education, poverty reduction and sustainable development. There is much evidence to demonstrate that our policy makers lack historical hindsight as a viable tool for diagnosing the malaise of underdevelopment and then proffer strategies for the mitigation and possible eradication of these challenges. This paper posits that a good grasp of History remains the pivot on which human and material progress revolves.
Keywords: History, Research, Inter-disciplinary method, Nation building, Sustainable development
LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 9(3), 80-89, 2012