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2016 | 6 | 1 | 137-157

Article title

Neglected Past, Gloomy Future: Reflecting on the Contemporary Challenges of Economic Development in Africa

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In every human society, the role of history in determining the level of development cannot be ignored. History is not just an academic discipline, but also the totality of changes humanity has undergone as well as the interactions man enters into with his fellow man on the one hand and the environment on the other since the evolution of the human society. It is therefore, the sum total of these that brings about the development in the society. The history of Africa before colonial conquest is full of various attempts by the people to develop their various areas using indigenous technology, which in some cases are considered very advanced. However, over the years especially after independence, this idea seems to have completely disappeared, which in the view of the paper is due to the neglect of study and knowledge of history. This paper therefore examines the role of the neglect of history in the reality and causes of contemporary economic woes in present day African setting Data obtained from primary and secondary sources were deployed to carry out the study with an analytical and narrative historical method. Findings indicate that the neglect of man in Africa to learn from the lessons of history (both the study and interaction) is responsible for the seemingly gloomy future which the continent is presently faced with as reflected in massive brain-drain, import dependency economy, raw material production industries, and incessant strife among others. The paper concludes that a genuine sense of history, a fidelity to its revelations, courageous acceptance of its judgments and workings and its implications for both the present and future, are necessary steps in the formation of the basic architecture for building a viable Africa. The paper cannot, claim to present the entire history of the continent over the period covered from a uniform perspective. It deal with some selected developments and, in this way, aim to contribute to the presentation of a more multifaceted view especially as it relates to the socio-economic stagnation and decline of indigenous technology of the African continent from a historical point of view.










Physical description


  • Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria


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