Download e-book for iPad: African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender by Thandika Mkandawire

By Thandika Mkandawire

In comparison with Asia or Latin the US, Africa has skilled a lot greater charges of emigration of its intelligentsia to North the United States and Europe, and widespread displacement in the continent. This infrequent evaluation of the background, destiny and destiny roles explores their courting to nationalism and the Pan African undertaking; the indigenous language of African intellectuals; ladies intellectuals; and the position of the increasing African educational diaspora.

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Extra resources for African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development (Africa in the New Millennium)

Example text

In later years there were European and American ‘radicals’ who were to appear as peripatetic advisers to a whole range of ‘progressive’ regimes in Africa. Third, African leaders had a penchant for assuming the role of philosopher-king and reducing intellectual work to the level of incantation of the thought of the leader. Leaders sought to acquire intellectual hegemony by themselves or through advisers, constructing intellectual frameworks that would guide national debates. Nkrumah with his panAfricanism and Nkrumaism, Nyerere with his Ujamaa, and Kaunda with his humanism are some of the well-known examples.

This should not be interpreted as suggesting that African intellectuals were close to the foreign ‘prince’. Donors themselves usually exhibited ill-disguised contempt for local intellectuals, whom they saw as either mercenary or as people who criticized them but offered no alternatives, or were part of the rent-seeking or clientelist cliques that had benefited from past policies, which meant that their opposition to ‘reform’ was self-serving. With such a view of local capacities, donors were to embark on the unending task of ‘capacity-building’ aimed at producing a cadre well versed in whatever donors thought was necessary knowledge.

Or as two Zairian scholars stated: Mkandawire | 2 influencing government policies was to turn towards other potential uses of research, such as ‘civil society’. Recourse to ‘civil society’ has, unfortunately, not been without problems. First, the new society was not so discursive as to need serious intellectual input. In purely professional terms, the type of research demanded by NGOs – the main direct consumers of research in civil society – was the consultancy type. This was often premised on the assumption that poor research was good enough for the poor, and as such has often been found to be intellectually unsatisfactory and demeaning.

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