Managing Knowledge for the Enlightenment of Africa

Africa is perhaps the most culturally imaginative and creative region in the world. It is extremely diversified, rich in talents and ingenuity with unlimited
resources and potential. It has colonized the planet and it enriches humanity
through inimitable arts. Yet, one African out of two lives in dismal human conditions.
And despite spectacular progress here and there, it also remains profoundly socially
and culturally conditioned, corrupted, domesticated and debased by two
self-inflicted intellectual and ritual servitudes – koranic and evangelical -
and overwhelmingly regimented, disciplined and deceived by a host of indigenous
erroneous beliefs, faulty dogmas, intoxicating mythologies, life-denying superstitions,
theological entrappings, mystifying fictions, pipe-dreams, fantasies,
charlatanisms, junk science and a flood of nonsense. It is a region, in comparison with other
regions, that is excessively possessed, framed and misled by the unsustainable dearest
fallacies, which keep part of it firmly into the darkness of ancient times. So what is needed is to make room for some sustainable,
subversive and seditious ideas for the way forward, building on the authority
of self-imposed scientific and technical rationality, keeping in mind that
reason is before all an instrument of deception and cunning, and on the blurred
ruins of western modernities, born out of revolts against outdated and
illegitimate wicked religious and nasty political powers.

The immense power of science should be directed at the ‘re-Africanization’ of Africa – a region which should be purged from the worthless rubbles of history
- by submitting blind religious faith and traditional folkloric loyalty to the
criticism of reason and move Africa from the oppression of ancient prejudices
to the tyranny of modern ‘neo-Socratic’ rationality.

In this regard African policy-makers should recall the ideals of the French Revolution: down with paternalistic, autocratic and despotic kings and fear-mongering,
deceitful and fraudulent merchant-priests. Translated into this region at the
present time - obscured and disfigured by foreign metaphysical symbols - on top
of the African agenda freedom thinkers, lovers and fighters should put (1)
‘deprivatizing, defragmenting and civilizing African states’ and (2)
‘desacralizing, secularizing and decolonizing African cultures’, for a less
totemic, more cosmopolitan, non-Abrahamic, truly enlightened,
scientifically-informed and much less patriarchal self-determined and
self-empowered post-colony, in search of the superior genuine and purified
meta-African, achieving the highest human possibilities.

Science, which should neither be demonized, idolized or worshiped, has never been the forte of the spiritually contaminated African human animal and can never be
under current pre-modern overreligious knowledge systems, particularly science
as a way of thinking and as a method of evidence, that, if allowed to run free,
would certainly transform the very cultural underpinning and identity of the
continent. The modernization of these
old-fashioned systems, as the backbones of any mode of modernity, requires in
priority the modernization of our mental and intellectual costumes. This
process is essentially the passage from closed, self-confirming, faith-based,
totalizing or terrorizing
knowledge systems – propagated by bigoted
and barbarous ecclesiasts and mysterious ‘witch-doctors’ - to essentially liberal,
falsifiable, facts-based, scientifically-established, technically-proven and
innovative knowledge systems (not a single new god in the last 1000 years!!).
In these uninhibited systems scientific knowledge can be construed as a theory
of the real and as a technology of truth and understood as the epistemological foundation
of any form of Afro-modernity. It is also the passage from the ‘Book of
Scripture’ to the ‘Book of Nature’ and from the submission to the white man’s
colonizing gods to the more authentic African stuffs.

The key to an African revival or Renaissance is the breaking of the reigning hegemonic order, basically regulated and sustained by Islam and Christianity –
two medieval phallocratic backward solitudes and perverted obscurantist
establishments – living in the secluded past, thriving on holy lies, absurd fabrications,
fears, mirages, delusions, false hopes and subservient obedience and,
genealogically, on the non-African narcotics, values and moralities of ancient middle
Eastern ‘slave’ mindsets and worldviews.

Historically, science has proven to be too toxic, troubling, unsettling or destructive for a region whose knowledge systems are plagued with spirituo-, mystico-, magico-, abrahamo-,
euro- and phallo-centricity, that excessively seeks comfort in historical
debris, bogus revelations, pseudo prophecies, imaginary deities, ancestors’ spirits,
phony limbos, made-up angels, mind-boggling miracles, wonderful heavens, amazing
demons, implausible resurrections…and other strange chimeras and taboos,
providing ample material for Freudian theses. It is a region that fell prey to
a gigantic fraud and misfortune and that babbles abusively in the invention of hypothetic
other-worlds and after-lives, which confines the minds, poisons or vampirizes
life, drags Africans outside nature and denies or weakens this worldly existence.
It also wears down the natural self, consumes time and precious resources, drains
valuable energies, devalues the body, masks the discovery of the earth, lessens
control over natural environments and erects interreligious barriers, which
split communities and undermines Pan-African solidarity. Uncovering an original Afro-modernity,
distinct from the North-Atlantic style, requires liberating and supporting the
few progressive, autonomous, scientific, secular and free thinkers on the continent,
which entails unashamedly blaspheming in every meeting, on every wall, on every
CoP, network and blogging site, with an unorthodox radical neo-narrative.

Science in Africa has to become defiantly offensive and utterly heretical and sacrilegious to be effective and win over the two great non-African pathetic phallocracies
that deplete the African spirit and vitality and dampen African innovation, as
the current state of a self-alienated region amply demonstrates. Muslim and
Christian cosmic visions and phantasms are not helpful and absolutely not needed
in Africa, as the degree of human development of Finland, Japan and Singapore,
for example, abundantly demonstrates, for they constitute insidious obstacles
to cognitive development and to the emergence of scientific ways of constructing
and ordering realities. These anachronistic vestigial phallocracies, oppressive
machineries of churches and mosques and
institutionalized captive systems of mental cruelty, where escape is nearly
impossible or statistically insignificant, flourishing on selling the shameless
notion of personal immortality, impact negatively on all aspects of African
life, including in unsuspected places, such as in agriculture where repeated long
periods of fasting, numerous religious holidays, prayers for rain, faith in
providence, belief in humans as supernatural beings, women’s banned inheritance
and ownership of land, fear of ungodly bio-engineering, dismissal of scientific
facts and rejection of common-sense truths, etc. are contributing to hunger, poverty
and underdevelopment. They also impact positively in many respects as they fill
a basic human need and provide some soothing intelligibility to a fundamentally
incomprehensible tragic world.

Part of the solution, in addition to economics and politics, for going beyond mythical taming canons, self-deceptions, self-flagellation, wishful thinking,
intellectual torpor, inflationary rhetoric, circular or tautological arguments,
feel-good meetings and ceremonial entertainment, is to become compassionately disrespectful
of long-established authorities, roll Imperial-Doctrinaire-Contemptuous Islam
and Hebraic-Pauline-Constantinian-Roman Christianity out of Africa – two proselytizing
religions of decadence - and battle magical witchcraft and mystical shamanism,
which would open the way to superior insight, understanding and awareness and
to a distinctive version of Afro-modernity, honoring unbelievers and infidels. This paradigmatic shift toward modern ways of
knowing and acting requires championing the scientific method, the rule of
technique and innovation as well as promoting decisive scientific arbitrations,
increased technical mediations and a redefinition of STI’s relationships with
religious, cultural, social and economic life.
For this shift to occur there is a need to better appreciate modern
science, not as a Christian crime, but as a method of both calculative and
subversive thinking and as a means of achieving the systematic unmasking and renovation
of conventional / medieval / pre-modern realities. This call for re-cosmologizing,
re-mythologizing, ‘re-prophetizing’, re-charlatanizing and re-directing the
evolution of a mutilated reality toward a truly ‘African’ future, emancipated
from the sacred relics of a convoluted history.

African science policy makers have to design sustainable visions, strategies and policies to let the scientific spirit out of the bottle, fight medievalism, drive a new
relationship between Africa and the emerging modern cosmos, forge a new engagement
with the naked world, de-technocratize the mostly empty development discourse
in science and practice the science of the ‘hammer’.

Jacques L Hamel

Scientific Affairs Officer



Views: 106


You need to be a member of Knowledge Management for Development to add comments!

Join Knowledge Management for Development

Donate !

We all get a great deal out of our engagement in KM4Dev. Maybe you would be happy to express appreciation through a regular voluntary contribution. Crowd funding works! 

background and info



note if the donate link above does not work for you, click here on donate! and at the bottom of that page click on the donate logo



© 2024       Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service