Keywords: Africa, science, technology, sustainable development, knowledge economy, knowledge society, knowledge management, indigenous knowledge, green revolution, scientific knowledge, technical knowledge, indigenous knowledge, mythological knowledge, policy initiatives
Knowledge for sustainable development in Africa: towards new policy initiatives
Knowledge is becoming the chief currency of the modern age and a decisive resource for sustainable development. This paper reflects on the concept of knowledge and discusses the current state of knowledge in Africa, as it relates to the radical transformations that are necessary for achieving a meaningful transition to sustainable development. This transition is far from being on track for at least half of the region and it desperately needs a boost for scientific and technological knowledge. In fact, the region may be losing the global knowledge race that characterises the development effort at the beginning of this 'Knowledge Millennium'. Various types of knowledge are considered and assessed, and critical knowledge challenges are formulated. The role of scientific and technical knowledge is particularly emphasised as the main driver of sustainable development, and the potential contribution of indigenous and mythological knowledge is also stressed. In conclusion, the paper calls for the initiation of a long struggle of self-exorcism and for a profound reform of knowledge based on the premise that freedom is the infinite fountain of knowledge.