Question Ten

10. The Western / African model 

  • Q: It seems/sounds like you all have been discussing African progress with western approaches, language, and expect success. The people deserve more and better. Anonymous  

A: This is a challenging comment.  At the risk of misunderstanding, we take it to mean that what ‘progress’ means for /to Africa (including specifically in terms of research) cannot, should not be defined by ‘anyone’ but African constituencies in African terms.  We feel that our basic endeavour does take the cue from perspectives voiced and needs expressed by African institutions and scholars, including some of us (now) in the diaspora.  However, your point speaks to serious questions — also raised in the launch discussions — about who is taken to represent ‘Africa’s’ interests. We reflect on this issue, and its implications for PARC’s work here.