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Re-thinking Development in Africa: An Oral History Approach from Botoku, Rural Ghana

Tuesday 11 October 2011, author(s)-editor(s) 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.

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

2 Book Reviews

  • Re-thinking Development in Africa: An Oral History Approach from Botoku, Rural Ghana 11 October 2011 21:02, author(s)-editor(s) Dr Ato Kwamena Onoma

    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

  • Re-thinking Development in Africa: An Oral History Approach from Botoku, Rural Ghana 11 October 2011 21:03, author(s)-editor(s) Dr Piet Konings

    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