21st COE Program Seminar
Public Seminar on African Area Studies

Date: Monday, September 26, 2005 15:00 - 17:00

Venue: Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Seminar Room (#307) on the Common Building, 3rd Floor. (46 Simoadachi-cho, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto)

Title: "Culture and Development in Africa:Building on positive cultural practices to promote development"

Speaker: Gebre Yntiso, Ph.D.
(Chairman, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Addis Ababa University / Visiting Scholar, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University)

In Africa, cultural factors have rarely been considered in development policies/strategies. This may have to do with the general conceptualization of the link between culture and development. For analytical purposes, the conceptualization of the relationship between the two may be reduced to two broad approaches. The first approach holds that the cultures of African societies hinder development, and therefore they should be replaced by modern practices. The second approach emphasizes that cultures, no matter where, contribute to and benefit from development. Since recent years, there has been a growing recognition on the part of scholars and some international agencies (e.g., the World Bank and UN organizations) that the link between culture and development is complementary and this represents an opportunity for promoting the well-being of human beings. The call today is not just to recognize cultural factors but also to make them an integral part of development strategies. The challenge, however, is how to take culture into account both scientifically and practically. Based on selected review of literature on different parts of Africa, I would like to identify and discuss some examples of 'African positive cultural practices' that could be promoted to contribute to development goals of the continent.

Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
TEL:075-753-7821 FAX:075-753-7810


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