The Place of Yoruba Ethical Elements in the Development of Africa: A Rational Analysis



Without resilience, one is tempted to despair of any further discourse on the development of Africa. Contemplating the great number of scholarly works on development which have emerged from African academia since the independence of many African countries – Somalia, Uganda, Libya and Nigeria – and what obtains in their political, social, economic and religious terrain, and the somersault of development policies in these areas, one is tempted to submit that development is an anathema to Africa. A critique of the failure of developmental policies in many Africa states has been attached to the neglect of traditional values at the point of policy making and implementation. Therefore, this paper critically examines how an exploration of Yorùbá moral values, expressed through some pertinent moral concepts could aid developmental strides in Africa, with particular reference to Nigeria. It specifically examines proverbs and taboos, among other Yorùbá genres, as tools of analysis in the Yorùbá moral system with the aim of extrapolating some values germane to improving the existential situation of many African countries.

Keywords: Africa, Development, Proverbs, Taboos. Values

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