Culture and Economic Security in Africa: Analysis and Implications of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Wilson E. Herbert


Throughout history, great nations have been built and great developmental strides attained, not by inchoate policies or untailored measures, but by well-articulated systematic policies of sustained development. For Africa, development policies and programmes must be circumscribed by a clear understanding of the crucial role of the forces of cultural and economic security on the development process. Given the giant leap in economic, political and social development by other developing continents vis-à-vis Africa, it has become imperative to ponder these questions: Do African cultures encumber or foster Africa’s economic development? Is Africa’s leadership challenge rooted in her cultural heritage? Despite huge natural resources and potentials, the crisis of Africa’s poverty and underdevelopment juxtaposing corrupt and inept national leadership warrants a reassessment of the trajectories of Africa’s development. Indigenous peoples' cultures and their knowledge systems have had a determinative effect on the lives, socioeconomic development trajectory and pace of development of Africans. Yet, these cultures and their knowledge systems have been largely misunderstood, incompletely developed or even ignored by conventional models of economic development. Understanding the crucial role of the dynamics of culture and security in economic development of nation states is important, especially given global commitment to democracy, human rights and pluralism (political, religious and cultural). This paper identifies the cultural challenges that cause the success or failure of national development in Africa. It prescribes the synthesis and remodelling of the apparatuses of cultural and economic security in the bid to foster economic development in the region.

Keywords: Africa, Culture, Cultural Infrastructure, Cultural Security, Economic Security, Economic development, Indigenous knowledge systems, Nigeria

DOI: 10.7176/JCSD/60-05

Publication date:June 30th 2020

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ISSN 2422-8400

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