Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò: Why Africa must become a center of knowledge again
Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò - Historian, philosopher
Drawing on a rich cultural and personal history, Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò studies philosophy of law, social and political philosophy, Marxism, and African and Africana philosophy. Full bio
for its long-suffering populations?
that offers the best life for humans,
"Africa's knowledge imperative."
on producing manpower
to knowledge production.
in producing civil engineers
by soil scientists and geologists,
to create knowledge about our soil
foundations of the legal system?
to solve problems we know of,
is no problem in view.
of what there is to know of all things,
of our human nature,
when it is not needed
is the crisis of knowledge:
have a water crisis.
regarding its water,
where and when needed to all and sundry.
bodies of water in the world --
fighting the wrong crises,
how to pipe water from Libya's aquifers
of our water resources
what the merchants of misery
and civil society
has been to stinting towards Africa
of water resources in the world.
and rural dwellings alike
on boreholes and wells?
regarding Africa's agricultural resources,
to make Africans live more lives
of the River Nile in Ethiopia,
have water for their lives?
puts California in the desert,
is not geography.
as we are often told,
all the way to South Korea,
to import new topsoil
acquisitions more arable.
of knowledge deficiency.
of slavery and the slave trade,
to the advantage of its people
were dreaming of harnessing
and South Africa.
benefit from this scheme,
Congolese communities are too small
of the modern age.
on the path to becoming,
production and Africa.
for intellectual enrichment.
of the then-known world,
has implications for our present.
between settlers and natives
centuries of our era
when it comes to confronting
at the present time.
do we have in our universities?
their thirst for exotica.
and exporting knowledge
of it as a trade in bodies,
slave trade and slavery
and longest programs
that Africans were mere brutes,
as other farm implements
in their ledgers.
they were princes and princesses,
they were herbologists,
original civilizational elements
is now celebrated.
for the most part,
beginning with the slave trade,
the chains of knowledge translation
of knowledge production in Africa.
from the intellectual production
by immediate needs
to what we should know,
ownership and location.
are now all too content
with libraries elsewhere,
on building libraries
for intellectual edification.
what should be stocked on our shelves
should be determined
in our partners' good faith
down the road.
a place of knowledge again.
actually expands the economy.
of which we have no written records,
and related disciplines,
we seek to know,
on the global human experience
of the original reasons for digging.
and its production sexy and rewarding;
sense of moneymaking
to indulge in the pursuit of knowledge,
groups and intellectuals,
of knowledge production,
from the rest of the world,
to learn from us.
on behalf of common humanity.
and simultaneously enhance diversity
and additional artifacts --
About the speaker:Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò - Historian, philosopher
Drawing on a rich cultural and personal history, Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò studies philosophy of law, social and political philosophy, Marxism, and African and Africana philosophy.
Why you should listen
Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò is professor of African political thought at the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University in the US. As he writes: "I was born in Nigeria. I lived there all my life save for the five unbroken years that I sojourned in Canada in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece. By itself, my living in Nigeria does not warrant comment. But the discovery that I speak of put that life in a completely different light; hence these remarks. All my life in Nigeria, I lived as a Yorùbá, a Nigerian, an African, and a human being. I occupied, by turns, several different roles. I was a hugely successful Boy Scout. I was a well-read African cultural nationalist. I was a member of the Nigerian province of the worldwide communion of the Church of England who remains completely enamored of the well-crafted sermon and of church music, often given to impromptu chanting from memory of whole psalms, the Te Deum or the Nunc Dimittis. I was a student leader of national repute. I was an aspiring revolutionary who once entertained visions of life as a guerilla in the bush. I was a frustrated journalist who, to his eternal regret, could not resist the call of the teaching profession. I was an ardent football player of limited talent. I was a budding spiritualist who has since stopped professing faith. Overall, I always believed that I was put on Earth for the twin purposes of raising hell for and catching it from those who would dare shame humanity through either ignorance or injustice or poverty."
Táíwò is the author of Legal Naturalism: A Marxist Theory of Law (1996/2015), How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa (2010) and Africa Must Be Modern: A Manifesto (2012/2014).
Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò | Speaker | TED.com