Cultural Renaissance through Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges for Memory Institutions

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Fadehan, O.A
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Concept Publications Limited
Lately, there seems to be a phenomenal paradigm shift in the study of history and cultures from purely written tradition perspective to that of integration of indigenous knowledge of the various people of the world in the study process. This social imperative has been informed by developments and discourses in various for a such as the Convention on Biodiversity of the UN and the UNESCO's Convention of Cultural Diversity. Earlier. the oral nature of African history and culture had been a subject of adverse criticisms of the West and such need to be continuallv refuted through cultural renaissance in Africa. Despite the resurgence of global interest in indigenous knowledge, the visible fraction emanating from Africa is margin ali z.ed and small relative to the quantity of global information and knowledge output. The consequences of this scenario include cultural imperialism, poor visibility of Africa and underutilization of its resources. In advocating this cultural renaissance, the roles of the Memory Institutions namely: libraries, archives and museums in the preservation and dissemination of African indigenous knowledge cannot be overemphasized. This paper will discuss the basic derivative roles of these agencies vis-a-vis the challenges of the 21st century Cultural Renaissance through Indigenous Knowledge Systems in.. 257 requirements of information and knowledge management in relation to the propagation of cultural heritage. The challenges include re-engineering of the scope of indigenous knowledge and strategies of management; involvement in documentation, transcription, storage, and mode of dissemination; accessibility; preservation/conservation factors; technology and copyright issues. educational roles and policy formulation, among others. The paper will employ the documentary method coupled with observations of practices in the library, archives, museum and the information world. Finally, the intervention of the memory institutions till the propagation of African history and culture is more than being mere auxiliaries. The institutions remain an indispensable vehicle to take Africa to the glorious destination of reconstruction of African civilization
Staff Publication
African Civilization , Educational Roles , Policy Formulation , History and Cultures
Fadehan, O.A (2010) Cultural Renaissance through Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges for Memory Institutions. Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization