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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Coloniality of Knowledge and the Challenge of Creating African Futures

  • Author(s): Ndlovu, Morgan
  • et al.

One of the difficult questions facing the continent of Africa today is the question of whether the peoples of Africa can possibly experience a fundamentally different future from the present, while still trapped by colonial domination in their ways of knowing, seeing and imagining. This question is quite challenging, not only because colonial domination in the sphere of knowledge production has played a role of emptying the minds of African subjects of their knowledges and memories, but has also played a part in implanting foreign ways of knowing and remembering. In this paper, I argue that the peoples of Africa cannot possibly imagine a future “otherwise” without transcending colonial domination in the sphere of knowledge production. Thus, I deploy the case study of the Pan- African University (PAU), to argue that colonial domination in African ways of knowing leads to a crisis of “repetition without change,” even in instances where an effort is made to decolonize knowledge with the aim of crafting a different future for the peoples of Africa.

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