Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) comprises knowledge developed within indigenous societies, independent of, and prior to, the advent of the modern scientific knowledge system (MSKS). Examples of IKS such as Ayurveda from India and Acupuncture from China are well known. IK covers diverse areas of importance for society, spanning issues concerned with the quality of life - from agriculture and water to health. The IK resident in India and China have high relevance to rural life, especially given the level of engagement with agricultural and health technologies. The goal is to establish a heuristic whereby IK can be reviewed and evaluated within particular contexts to determine if the IKS can lead to the development of appropriate technology (AT) addressing that need sustainably. Although much work on cataloguing and documenting IKS has been completed in these two countries, a paucity of attention has been paid to the scientific rationale and technological content of these IKS. Evaluation of many indigenous technologies reveal that many of these technologies can be classified as ‘appropriate’, focused on basic needs of water, sanitation and agriculture, and many have origins in IKS that survived. Thus, IKS must be validated, exploited and integrated into AT innovation and development.
Part of the book: Indigenous People
The development across Africa has been piecemeal and uneven, sometimes actually leading to impoverishment and “underdevelopment.” Former colonizers and multilateral development agencies have often been the agents of these postcolonial development practices, which focused on facilitation of extraction of wealth, either as material resources or raw agricultural product and export, usually to former colonial era companies. The processing of those natural resources produced immense value-added wealth; however, not much wealth returned to Africa. These development models have been piecemeal, with symptomatic solutions that are Band-Aids, resulting in minimal progress in terms of actual improvement in the quality of life and well-being of citizens. To counter this, it is necessary to shift from linear, mechanistic worldviews to holistic, complex visualizations that are integrated and systemic. This transformation, in understanding and conceptualization through system lenses, makes clear that the unit of development must be ecosystems centered and represent organizational patterns that encompass the whole environment, including human, social, cultural, technological, and economic facets. This new understanding requires comprehensive ecological literacy transitioning from homo-arrogance to biomimicry. Such transformation enables comprehensive solutions that account for interaction among natural, physical, and social phenomena. This chapter describes a development approach, embodied in the Songhai model and conceptualized, developed, and successfully implemented by Godfrey Nzamujo. It captures the essence and reflects a new paradigm, whose core foundational ideas are synergy, symbiosis, collaboration, and complementarity. This new paradigm, as demonstrated by Nzamujo and Songhai, is described as a potentially transformative development model, ensuring sustainability for the future of Africa.
Part of the book: Regional Development in Africa