This book addresses the troubling dearth of knowledge that many American undergraduate students have about Africa. Many scholars with research interest in Africa are caught by surprise at the superficial knowledge that students bring to their classrooms; it is a knowledge base that is bereft of an insightful analytical framework of the pertinent issues just as it is deprived of a well-informed historical context of the events. There is no mistaking of the import the mass media and neighborhood folklore in shaping the students' perception about the realities of Africa's developments. Mitigating these effects requires access to a college-level introductory textbook on Africa covering a gamut of themes that are germane to the contemporary realities of the continent. It is a textbook that does not romanticize Africa, but addresses the persistent stereotypes that characterize issues about the region. The book does so in two significant ways. First, it offers a refreshing examination of African issues from an afrocentric perspective. This allows the writers to present issues from which they have practical experience, and for the reader to examine them from insider scholarship.
Second, it provides an opportunity for scholars and readers to analyze the issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. Interdisciplinarity is a testament that issues are complex and no single discipline can sufficiently address them. A combination of these two approaches ensures that the book does not develop into a limited and parochial view of issues. The themes covered in the book include: disciplinary perspectives in African studies, ethnocentricism in teaching human geography of Africa, and topics of geography, religion and spirituality, mathematics, psychology, government and public policy, the transformation of higher education, rural development, communication and socio-economic development, culture and decision making styles all as they relate to Africa.
Ishmael I. Munene is an associate professor in the College of Education at Northern Arizona University.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter 1. An Outline Geography of Africa Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Countering Ethnocentrism in Teaching the Human Geography of Africa Chapter 4 Chapter 3. African Religions and Spirituality: The Case of Okija Shrine Worship in Eastern Nigeria Chapter 5 Chapter 4. African Mathematics: From Bones to Computers Chapter 6 Chapter 5. African Psychology: To Be or Not to Be? Chapter 7 Chapter 6. Model of "Governance Management" in Africa: An Integrated Approach of Blending Modern Management Methods with Africa's Cultural Mores for Greater Institutional Efficiency Chapter 8 Chapter 7. Grounded Theory and African Higher Education Transformation Chapter 9 Chapter 8. Rural Development in the Era of Neoliberal Hegemony: Poststructuralist and Postcolonial Methodological Critique and Theoretical Analysis Chapter 10 Chapter 9. Culture, Communication, and Socio-economic Development in Post-Colonial Ghana Chapter 11 Chapter 10. The African State, Dialectics of African Culture, and Representative Political Organization: An Ubuntu/CommunalParadigm Chapter 12 Chapter 11. The Efficacies of Decision Making Styles in the African-centric Decision Making Process