African Philosophy and Development: A Contemporary Perspective.

  • S A Ekanem


In the documentation of the historical development of the world, Africa has been tacitly ignored. To majority of Western historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and scholars, Africa has no history, no philosophy and as such, the Africans do not posses the cognitive power to engage in the rigorous exercise of philosophizing. This falsehood, which is made more complex and compounded by some westernized African scholars, has relegated Africa to the backdoor of world development and history. However, a reflective look at the history of world development certainly reveals Africa as the cradle of world civilization and development. This becomes more glaring and foundational when we view development, not only from the classical conceptual framework of economics, but from the organistic standpoint of multi-dimensional concept which comprises the physical, the spiritual, the political, the ethical, socio-political, scientific and technological. In all these facets of development, Africa and the Africans have made tremendous contributions. Africans, through their reflective attitudes to society, environment and nature have helped to add value to changes, improvement and innovations of African societies and the world at large. This is viewed from the perspective that, philosophy is a reflective activity, which is prevalent in every society. In this paper therefore, we are going to see how African reflective activities (philosophy) have been used or applied in adding value to our society (development). In doing this, this paper will attempt to establish a foundation for its existence and how it has furthered development in various facets of human's life or existence.

SOPHIA: An African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 9 (1) 2006: pp. 85-90

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eISSN: 1119-443X