A Knowledge-Based Paradigm for Sustainable Development in Africa


All knowledge is ecological (comprising socio-environmental) and the growth of knowledge throughout history gave rise to a super eco-organ: the brain. All knowledge is also mythological: mythologies provide the substance, the glue, the meaning, the purpose and the organization of reality and society. Effective ideo-mythological and techno-scientific knowledge to deal with the environment is the dual-engine that propels sustainable development. This engine is fuelled by enabling mythological knowledge environments (the mytho-environment), on the one hand, and by efficient technical and technological knowledge environments (the techno-environment), on the other hand.


At the core level, sustainable development in Africa requires effective mytho-techno-scientific knowledge for sound environmental management, poverty reduction, food security and improved prospects for the young generation. This calls for enabling knowledge environments for the acceleration of economic growth (Cohen, 1998), the rehabilitation of the resource base and the realization of an AGR. These are the critical mainstays of sustainable livelihoods, incorporating vital elements of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and key MDGs targets – in themselves a workable vision, albeit mutilated, of sustainable development in the African context.