Problems in the conception of culture: the case of cultural development in Africa
The gist of this study revolves round the question and nature of cultural development. Admittedly, many societies in the world in general, Africa in particular have been struggling hard to realise cultural development. This is because cultural development has become a major issue in the development debates. Accordingly, it has been argued that for any meaningful and faster development, cultural development is necessary. Indeed, the contention is that for any full-fledged development, cultural development must be real ised first. The above notwithstanding, controversies and debates over the nature of cultural development in Africa abound. At the heart of these controversies and debates are to be found the Eurocentrist and Afrocentrist interpretations of the nature of cultural development in Africa. Whereas the Eurocentrists define cultural development in Africa in terms of the proximity of African culture to western culture insisting that -. western culture is the citadel of cultural development, the Afrocentrists define cultural development in Africa in terms of the independence of African culture from western culture as located in Africa's past. The two appear plausible in themselves. This study thus critically examines the Eurocentrists' and Afrocentrists' perceptions and other views on cultural development in Africa with a view to determining whether or not cultural development has actually taken place in Africa. This constitutes the objectives of the study. This study is based on Library research. More so it is a conceptual analysis in which various views are examined to see if they are consistent or inconsistent. It was concluded that cul tural development has taken place in Africa. This conclusion was contingent upon the understanding that cultural development presupposes the existence of cultural abilities and opportunities to fulfil cultural needs. These, it was established existed in the form of -cultural resources and cultural endowments. It was however, recommended that a lot be done in the way of resuscitating the desire or will to fulfil cultural needs for ability and opportunity without the desire or will to meet cultural needs is in vain. It was hoped that with the implementation of this recommendation, full-fledged cultural development will be achieved in Africa, for our contention is that, contrary to the prevalent view that Sub-Saharan Africa sadly lacks the capacity to fulfil any need be it cultural or economic, Sub-Saharan Africa has the capacities in abundance. Perhaps a lack of a desire to use those capacities optimum maximally is rampant. It should be noted however, that there is no limit to desire.