A Compulsory Passageway to Sustainable Development in Africa


As we move forward into the new century, superior development knowledge bases, knowledge assets and knowledge capital (May, 1998), including but not limited to scientific and technical knowledge, are conceivably the ultimate development resources for realizing the transition to sustainable development. They may also be the only real antidote against archaic mythologies, ideologies, superstitions, prejudices, illiteracy, illness, degradation, unemployment and starvation. These rank amongst the foremost issues of sustainable development - a myth of non-African origin stemming more from the excesses and ‘collateral’ damages of modern development than from the tough problematic of a myriad of relatively small slow-developing traditional and globally marginalized societies.


Yet, superior development knowledge remains the answer and the way out to Africa’s multiple crises. It is a ‘passage obligé’ to sustainable development. This passage obligé also requires that obsessive knowledge pervades the relatively young African population, who is more exposed and prone to social and cultural changes than their parents and grand-parents. Average life expectancy of AKSs is about 47 while life expectancy in IKSs is above 75  – a 28 years difference. Median age in AKSs is 18.3 versus 38.9 in IKSs (Western Europe) – a huge difference (more than double) . In addition, life expectancy has been declining in many AKSs .