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Subscribe to receive the latest news on international cooperation, development and Africa-Europe relations. Iheduru, O. Indigenous business for regional dynamics in Africa.
Two West African examples, namely industrial investment and infrastructure development and financial integration, demonstrate the socialisation effects of business in the unfolding drama of new regionalism in Africa. Until recently, any suggestion that large-scale firms indigenous to Africa existed except in South Africa would have been heresy to a world used to an Africa most in need of salvation from poverty, war and famine, starving children, tyrants and warlords.
While many of these pathologies still persist, the regional landscape is changing, thanks to home-grown businesses that consider Africa and its developmental needs as the centerpiece of their investment decisions. The question then is whether these indigenous entrepreneurs are capable of constructing a regional identity and framing the values, norms and ideas that could change the way the African region works.
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In other world regions, business as part of civil society is deeply involved in the regionalisation process, whereas their African counterparts are overwhelmingly portrayed as merely rent-seeking and, therefore, incapable of policy engagement beyond selfish interests. The regional policy role of African business is less about persuading states to adopt particular policies or holding states accountable, and more about the regional socialisation effects of their activities that frame issues and influence the choices of political decision-makers and other non-state actors.
The effectiveness of regional integration depends on states and non-state actors partnering to develop new discourse, ideas, and norms within international institutions. Most of these entrepreneurs emerged in the aftermath of the economic crisis and structural adjustment programmes of the s and s that led to the liberalisation of African economies. Foreign businesses pulled out, leaving Africans to fill the vacuum. Mr Tony O. The answer will not come from Development Bank initiatives, aid incentives, or relief programs.
And the goodwill of others, however well intentioned, will never be enough to empower our industries…What we need are more capitalists with a passion for Africa. African governments soon warmed up to indigenous business as partners in long-term economic growth and sustainable development; while regional organisations — seeking to shore up their democratic credentials — opened up limited spaces for regional engagement by business and other civil society organisations.
This perspective of regionalism contrasts with the neoliberal simplification of globalisation as the singular force inexorably leading to global convergence of regional economic thought and policies. Discussed below are two policy domains drawn from West Africa, namely i industrial and investment policies and infrastructure development, and ii private sector-led financial integration, that demonstrate the role of business in the unfolding drama of new regionalism in Africa. As we open up Africa with high quality regional infrastructure — especially rail, transnational highways, information and communications, air and maritime transport — Africa will witness a phenomenal boost in intra-African and global trade; the entrepreneurial spirit of small and large businesses, and millions of our young people, will be unleashed.
The identification and careful exploration of and commentary on the forms and efficacies of this growing collection of works of thoughtful articulation and aesthetic expression are now principal forms of endeavor in Africana philosophy. The creation and expression of new articulations and expressions of thoughtfulness by persons African and of African descent, and by other philosophers not African or of African descent, on these works as well as on old, continuing, or emergent issues pertinent to Africans and people of African descent make for other forms of endeavor in Africana philosophy.
These efforts of recovery, exploration, commentary, and critique constitute an ongoing project-of-projects with several agendas. Another very important agenda is the identification and recovery of philosophizings that were engaged in long before the centuries-long struggles with peoples of Europe began.
A third agenda is to learn from the philosophizings the lessons of the considerations that governed or substantially conditioned the organization and living of life in the various circumstances in which peoples of Africa forged their evolutionary adaptations. It is to learn how and why it was and is that from among peoples abused and degraded for centuries in conditions of continuous terrorism there have been steady successions of persons who have spared substantial portions of the emotional and intellectual energies they managed to preserve and cultivate, along with nurtured senses of their sacred humanity, to devote to quests for freedom and justice, hardly ever to quests for vengeance.
Yet another agenda is to compare the philosophizings of persons African and of African descent intra-racially and inter-racially, as it were—that is, to seek out the similarities and differences in the various instances and modes of thought and expression of persons situated in similar and different times and places in order to learn more about the forms and agendas of human species-being as manifested in philosophizing. An important consequence of pursuing this agenda should be significant contributions to inventories of thoughtfulness and aesthetic expression in the storehouses of human civilizations, contributions to the enlargement and enrichment of canons of Philosophy, and contributions to revisions of histories and of historiography in the discipline.
Among the lessons to be relearned: how not to abuse persons and peoples; how not to rationalize abuse; how not to live massive lies and contradictions and lives of hypocrisy. Several of these ancient societies—the kingdoms of Mali and Ghana and the royal dynasties of Kemet Ancient Egypt , for example—had evolved complex social strata that included persons of accomplished learning. Some of these persons were stationed in institutions devoted to the production and distribution of knowledge and creative expression and to the preservation of that knowledge and expression in written and artistic works stored in libraries and other repositories and, in the case of works of art, incorporated into the ontologically-structured routines of daily life.
And in order to preserve shared, adaptive life across generations in all of the various social orders, it was socially necessary to construct and maintain interpretive orderings of natural and social realities, as well of creatively imagined origins and genealogies and constructed histories, by which to meaningfully order individual and shared life. These were experience-conditioned thoughtful means by which to provide knowledge to guide the ordering of meaningful individual and shared life transmitted across generations past, present, and future.
Still, the philosophizing efforts were disrupted and distorted to various degrees in many instances, were creatively adaptive in many others. There is a long history of efforts by scholars African and of African descent to reclaim Egypt from the intellectual annexation to Europe that was urged by Hegel in his The Philosophy of History. This costly mis-education of popular imaginations persists, as well, in historical accounts of various areas of thought though increasingly less so in historiography related to Africa.
A provocative and controversial argument, indeed. Still, widespread disciplinary ignorance regarding the histories of ancient peoples and civilizations other than those stipulated as being ancestors of European White peoples is a direct and continuing consequence of racism in the formation, organization, and practices of communities of discourse and scholarship and the development of racially segregated idea-spaces, intellectual traditions and networks, and scholarly organizations throughout Europe and North America.
Thus, few academic philosophers are likely to know of the scholarship of various persons in the Association such as Maulana Karenga and Jacob H. Carruthers Both scholars have contributed additional research and scholarship to studies devoted to reclaiming Egyptian thought-traditions as African traditions of thought. Diop had begun the challenging work of reclaiming African heritages decades earlier by arguing in a dissertation submitted for the Ph.
His explorations in support of his claims have enormous implications for revisions to histories of the origins of Western Philosophy. The discipline has thus long been overdue for a spirited and disciplined critical reconsideration of the possibilities and realities of informing Greco-Roman and African Egyptian contributions to the histories of emergence and development of philosophical thought that has been canonized as foundational to the genealogy of Western Philosophy.
Africana philosophy has been forged as a novel context of provocations for such critical reconsiderations. Meanwhile, for several decades academic philosophers in Africa, and elsewhere, have been involved in intense debates and discussions that have prompted reconstructions of disciplinary enterprises of Philosophy departments in educational institutions as well as national and international organizations of professional philosophers. The initial focal question at the center of the debates and discussions was whether or not there were proper instances of Philosophy in traditional i.
The historical context in which the debates and discussions emerged and in which they were waged was conditioned thoroughly by European colonial domination and exploitation of African peoples rationalized through rank-ordering racial characterizations.
This rationalizing work was aided significantly by the intellectual efforts of canonical European philosophers. Since successive generations of European and Euro-American White people had been educated into widely-shared common senses of their racial superiority to inferior Africans by such supposedly philosophically well-reasoned, science-verified, and theologically sanctioned teachings, the claim that there were Africans capable of producing thought of the caliber of Philosophy was regarded by most of them as utterly preposterous.
At the core of the controversy was the pressing question whether African persons were fully and sufficiently human and capable intellectually in comparison to the model human par excellence: the man of Europe, the White Man, the avatar for all White people and for humanity proper, whose defining characteristics were capacities for reasoning and articulate speech logos. Consequently, the claim of Bantu Philosophy made by Placide Tempels, a Belgium priest engaged in missionary work in the then-called Belgian Congo, that Bantu Africans related ethnic groups identified by the dominant language group, Bantu, spoken by the related groups had an indigenous philosophy was a serious challenge to the racialized philosophical ontology-cum-anthropology that undergirded colonial domination and exploitation.
However, Tempels tempered the unsettling implications of his claim by also claiming that Bantu Africans did not have conscious knowledge of their philosophy. Rather, he claimed, it was he who was able, using the tools at his disposal by virtue of his training in Philosophy, to engage in a hermeneutic of the practices and language of the Bantu and extract the constitutive epistemology and axiology structuring the operative, behavior-guiding philosophy at work in their linguistic practices and normative actions. Nonetheless, the impact of Bantu Philosophy was substantial. Other scholars engaged in comparative explorations of thought-systems of various African peoples countered the criticism by providing accounts of a number of such systems that gave clear evidence of their very capable and developed rationality Forde ; Fortes The subsequent decades of debates mid through the s regarding the possibility of African philosophy and disclosures of the long-developed rationality and humanity of African peoples were significant consequences for intellectual agendas and practices of revolutionary developments in political arenas manifested in anti-colonial struggles throughout the African continent, and in efforts to construct new political, economic, social, and cultural orders after the successes of those struggles.
A number of these engaged intellectuals regarded Tempels and similarly oriented European and Euro-American thinkers as allies in their struggles against the dehumanizing rationalizations that supported European colonialism. Some regarded Bantu Philosophy as a defense, even a vindication, of Africans as rational human beings quite capable of managing their own lives and therefore capable of independence from colonial rule.
For these dissenters such candidates were really more ethnological studies of African peoples than philosophical articulations by them, and that their proponents were more misguided in seeming to attribute unconscious, unwritten, and widely shared putative philosophical systems to all of the persons in the particular groups under discussion. African and African-descended intellectuals involved in and otherwise supporting anti-colonial liberation struggles and post-colonial efforts to rehabilitate and further development new African nation-states found in these raging debates intellectual weapons with which to reclaim, reconstruct, and redefine the histories, personhood, peoplehood, needs, and future possibilities of African peoples.
Life under exploitative, dehumanizing colonialism compelled intellectual and artistic engagements with prevailing conditions and spurred the nurturing of imaginative visions of possibilities of liberation and of how liberation might be achieved; whether and how modes and agendas of life before the holocausts might be recovered, restored, or adapted to new circumstances as thinkers and practitioners of the religious and theological, creative and expressive artists of literature, music, sculpture, dance, and painting all grappled with the profound existential challenges of the loss of personal and communal integrity through the violent imposition of the conflicts of Tradition and Modernity and the need for liberation and freedom.
Twentieth-century struggles on the African continent have thus had significant consequences for, and impacts on, creative intellectual and expressive work in and with regard to continental Africa, and the African Diaspora generally, in giving rise to widespread, prolific, and in many cases especially important articulations of social, political, ethical, and expressive aesthetic thought and feeling.
These articulations and expressions have become important object-lessons as well as inspiring resources of agendas and critiques drawn on to forge distinctive disciplinary enterprises of academic Philosophy. Positions taken in these and other focal debates were developed from the resources of a variety of traditions and schools of academic Philosophy and other disciplines, including analytic philosophy, phenomenology, hermeneutical, and existential philosophizings, various modes of social and political philosophy, and Afrocentrism.
Today there are a significant and still growing number of formally trained African philosophers throughout the world who draw on and contribute to the discipline and profession of Philosophy. An important development has been the taking on for serious consideration the expressed articulate thought of particular persons past and present who were and are without formal training or degrees, in academic Philosophy especially, but who have engaged in and articulated more or less systematic reflections on various aspects of life, and the inclusion of instances and traditions of such expressed articulate thought in revised and new canons of African philosophical thought.
An important leading example of efforts along these lines has been the groundbreaking work of deceased Kenyan philosopher H. Odera Oruka on the philosophical thought of traditional African sages. Engaging in actual field work in Kenya, Oruka interviewed and conversed with several locally recognized and respected sages and amassed a substantial body of transcribed, critically edited, and now published texts that are the focus of critical studies as well as motivations for more refined work of the same kind in numerous places on the African continent.
The Tempels-inspired debates over whether African or African-descended peoples have philosophies or can philosophize have been resolved—or are no longer taken seriously—and given way to explorations of other concerns. Both the anti-colonial struggles and the challenges of sustaining post-colonial successes and resolving setbacks and failures have prompted much academic philosophizing.
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The continuing maturation of these developments is evident in the emergence of different philosophical orientations, agendas, and foci that have, in turn, prompted several thinkers to endeavor to develop critical, metaphilosophical overviews of developing schools or trends that account for their emergence and implications, their similarities and differences. One of these, already mentioned, he joined others in labeling and characterizing as ethno-philosophy : that is, second-order works that purport to identify and engage in an exegesis of the philosophical schemes and significances of articulated thoughts and expressions, acts, and modes of behavior shared by and thus characteristic of particular African ethnic groups.
Another current, previously mentioned as having been initiated by Oruka, he termed philosophic sagacity to distinguish what he regarded as the rigorous and critically reflective thought of independent-minded indigenous thinkers who were not formally educated in modern schools. Nationalist-ideological philosophy for Oruka was constituted by the articulations of persons actively engaged in political life, especially those who led or otherwise contributed substantially to struggles for African independence and sought to articulate conceptions by which to create new, liberatory social and political orders.
His designation for a fourth current, professional philosophy , was reserved for work by academically trained professional teachers and scholars of academic Philosophy and their students. Other nuanced characterizations and examinations of trends in philosophizing on the African continent have been developed. Nkombe and Alphonse J. Finally, Nkombe and Smet labeled a fourth grouping the synthetic trend, one characterized by the use of philosophical hermeneutics to explore issues and to examine new problems emerging in African contexts.
Still other scholars have attributed somewhat different characterizations to these and other traditions or modes of philosophizing in Africa and, importantly, identified newer developments. An example of the latter is the pathsetting metaphilosophical and anthologizing work of Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze, the deceased philosopher from Nigeria who pioneered bringing into several idea-spaces and discursive communities of academic Philosophy in the United States and Africa the interdisciplinary writings of contemporary scholars and artists from across Africa, African Diasporas, and other countries all of whom are significant contributors to postcolonial philosophizings.
These are critical explorations of the challenges and opportunities facing Africans and people of African descent in various national and transnational situations defined by configurations of conditions after colonialism in which political liberation has not ended the suffering of African peoples, resolved long-running problems of individual and social identity, or settled questions regarding the most appropriate relations of individuals to communities; of appropriate roles and responsibilities of women and men and their relations to one another; of justice and equity after centuries of injustice and dehumanization; or of the most appropriate terms on which to order social and political life Eze The heuristic value of the concept of postcolonial is not to be underappreciated, for the various instances in which the successes of defeating the classical, directly administered colonial ventures in Africa of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been compromised by situations of indirect rule, or neocolonialism, effected through economic control of the new African nation-states by Western European and U.
American transnational capitalist enterprises and multinational organizations and agencies supposedly providing advice and aid. These compromises must be fully appreciated in order to understand the prospects for full national independence and self-determination in the areas of economic, political, social, and cultural life generally. Foremost are the challenges from the scourge of HIV AIDS, which is proving to have as much impact demographically, thus in other areas of life, as were depletions of populations during the centuries of export enslavement though with consequential differential impacts on age groups.
Likewise challenging are questions of the priority and efficacy of armed struggle and the terms of engagement in light of recent and ongoing histories of such ventures on the African continent, too many of which involve conscripting children into armies as armed warriors. Scholarly efforts to develop informative and critical metaphilosophical overviews of African philosophical trends, currents, and schools of thought, in part to forge new conceptions through which to take up these and other pressing challenges, are confirmation of the rich diversity of formal philosophizing by academic philosophers and other intellectuals and artists that emerged on the African continent during recent decades, and of the continuing maturation of their efforts.
A significant number of these intellectual workers, philosophers among them, have cultivated international relationships with other scholars and artists and their organizations; and some of them have spent several years in, or even relocated to, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, and other countries for both formal education and to work in institutions of higher education. In the process of doing so many have also developed the professional relations, practices, and levels of accomplishment and recognition that have led to the publication of works that are continuing to attract wider critical attention in various discursive communities and are being added to course and seminar readings.
These movements, relocations, cultivations of transnational relationships, and expansion of the literature of published works have enriched the development of new idea-spaces, the circulation of ideas, the formation of new discursive communities, and thereby contributed substantially to the development of Africana philosophy.
There are now histories of African philosophy and major collections of writings in the subfield by professional African, African-descended, and other philosophers published by major, transnational publishing firms covering a still-expanding list of subject-matters organized, in many instances, by themes long established in academic Philosophy: historical studies; issues of methodology, logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics; philosophy of religion; political and social philosophy Hallen ; Kwame ; Mosley ; Wiredu In several noteworthy instances, these philosophizings are conducted by way of deliberate explorations of articulations of the settled thought structuring the life-worlds of particular ethnic groups.
As well, such studies will prove important for comparative studies of philosophizing Bell Still, a number of developments are worth noting. Several canonical subfields of academic philosophical discourses stand to be enriched by the inclusion of explorations of subject-matters within African contexts.
https://ulythanis.tk As well, new questions should be posed and explored, among these the following: How are canonical figures and subject-matters of the European Enlightenments to be understood in light of the extensive involvements of European nation-states—and of canonical figures—in colonial imperialism and the enslavement of African peoples?
How did the centuries-long institutionalization of enslavement affect the philosophizing of various European thinkers with regard to notions of freedom , the person , the citizen , justice , of manhood and womanhood? What was the impact on canonical European thinkers of the presence among them of the articulated thought and the persons of such figures as Anton Wilhelm Amo c. Amo settled in Germany and became a highly educated and influential teacher-philosopher. As more research and scholarship on such figures are completed, understandings of eighteenth century intellectual communities in Germany and elsewhere in Europe will have to be revised; so, too, notions of the meanings and influences of notions of race and their impacts on intellectual productions as well as on social life.
Work in Africana philosophy in general, and African philosophy in particular, compels comparative studies. Conceptions of personhood in several indigenous African schemes of thought of Akan and Yoruba peoples, for example invite comparisons and rethinking of notions of personhood long sanctioned in some legacies of Western European and North American philosophizing. Likewise for explorations in the areas of religion, aesthetics, politics, and the meaning of social life. One such example is the transformation under way in South Africa from the White Racial Supremacy of racial apartheid to a multiracial, multiethnic democracy.