Question Eleven

11. Extraversion to Introversion

  • Q: Divine is on point. Please be humble, “abandon” previous approaches, and improve in the direction he suggested! Anonymous   

A: Divine challenged us that the core of transforming partnerships needs to begin with a deliberate shift in orientation in Africa itself: away, broadly, from “extraversion”  – defined by Hountondji as an orientation to the concepts, knowledge production processes in the global North as a source of authority – towards a deliberate introversion.  A re-valuing of Africa’s own culture, determination of its own concepts, frames and priorities – including, crucially, what it wants from, values in, and has to offer in research cooperation with the global North.  This must be explored in Africa-internal processes and debates – as a basis for engaging with global North constituencies on necessary change in research relationships.  Can or should  PARC play any role in fostering or supporting such introversion? We are keen to hear and consider views on this, in particular from the continent and diasporic communities.