Knowledge and development in Africa
Makinda, S. (2012) Knowledge and development in Africa. In: The Refereed Proceedings of the 2012 Australian Political Studies Association Conference, 24 / 26 September, Hobart, Tasmania pp. 836-854.
This paper argues that the main cause of Africa’s poor governance, insecurity and abject poverty is the lack of appropriate knowledge. Therefore, the key to good governance, security and development on the African continent is the provision of relevant knowledge in one form or another. The paper explores the international structure of knowledge and argues that Africa remains on the scientific, technological, economic, political and military margins of the world largely because it is a net consumer, rather than a producer, of knowledge. It also examines the meaning of development in the African context, focusing on how knowledge can play an important role in the empowerment of women and in the promotion of respect for human rights. In addition, the paper explains how the political and legal infrastructure in African states has hindered the absorption of new knowledge and suggests how some of these countries might acquire a larger share in the benefits of global knowledge flows if they established appropriate governance structures. Finally, the paper explains the value of capacity building and argues that Africa’s international partners can play important roles in helping African states develop expertise in various fields.
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