Appraisal of African Identity for Sustainable Development


Africa is the poorest continent in the world despite her huge human and material resources. She is at the periphery of global development. Some people attribute the African predicament to her experience of slavery and colonialism which distorted her identity and disoriented her values. But she is not the only continent that was colonised. Other colonised continents are already finding their bearing in global development. What is that unique factor about African identity that hinders her from having her own stake in global development? This paper argues that Africa’s stable and rich natural environment which does not coerce her to struggle for survival makes Africa docile and complacent. This psychological disposition makes her to take her survival for granted and to liveonthe providence of her environment without conscientious effort to conquer and drive it to enhance her state of life. The search for African identity should not focus on just exhuming her past culture and lamenting her experiences, but on discovering the latent prowess of Africa that will help her to positively and effectively confront her existential challenges. Colonialism and neo-colonialism are parts of Africa’s existential challenges which she has to tackle to define her identity. For sustainable development, Africa has to wake upfromher slumber of eulogising her cultural heritage and blaming othersforher predicament, and brace up to critically, constructively and pragmatically evaluate her past, confront her current challenges and take responsibility for the effect of her actions and inactions.

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Anyaehie, M. (2013) Appraisal of African Identity for Sustainable Development. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 150-154. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.31A025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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