Re-thinking Development in Africa

Re-thinking Development in Africa

An Oral History Approach from Botoku, Rural Ghana

Komla Tsey

In this thought provoking book, Komla Tsey argues that if governments, NGOs, development donor agencies and researchers are serious about development in Africa, they need to get down to ground level, both metaphorically and literally. They must search deep into Africa’s own rich oral traditions by creating space and opportunity for ordinary Africans, whose voices have so far been conspicuously absent in the development discourse, to tell and share their own stories of development. Story-sharing as research methodology acts as a mirror, reflecting the participants’ self-evaluation of where they have come from, where they are now, and how to proceed into the future. They are strategies that can empower and enable individuals and communities of people to be agents of their own change which, in Tsey's view, is what development is all about.

ISBN 9789956726509 | 178 pages | 229 x 152 mm | 2011 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

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Reviews

“This is a well-researched … [and] … a readable book intended to be read by a wider public than the academic world. Unnecessary jargon and references are kept to the barest minimum. The book is clear evidence of the author’s deep understanding of the changing dynamics of Africa’s cultural heritage and its indigenous knowledge systems. Evidently, it deserves a wide readership among those interested in development issues.”

Dr Piet Konings, Sociologist, African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

“Of the many refreshing things about Komla Tsey’s book two things struck me as radically distinguishing it from much work on and approaches to development in Africa. He adopts a truly historical and broad approach to development that is foreign to the literature on development. He shows how development understood broadly as ‘the quest for a better future’ is not a project that arrived in Botoku, Ghana, recently but is one that people have been preoccupied with for centuries.”

Dr Ato Kwamena Onoma, Department of Political Science Yale University, USA

About the Author

Komla Tsey

Komla Tsey is a Ghanaian by birth currently Professor of Education for Social Sustainability at the Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Australia. Since the 1990’s Komla has been living in Australia, researching and learning about health and well-being, mainly with Aboriginal organizations and communities. He continues to undertake longitudinal studies of community development projects in Ghana. Komla has written more than 100 academic journal articles and research reports on a wide range of development related topics. He is author of Re-thinking Development in Africa: An Oral History Approach from Botoku, Rural Ghana (Langaa, 2011). Watch Komla talk about his book Re-thinking Development in Africa here.

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