HomePhilosophia: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 40 no. 2 (2011)

Ifá and the Development Crisis in Africa: A Hemeneuticophilosophical Study

Omotade Adegbindin

Discipline: Philosophy, Cultural Studies



Today there exists the colonial story that the institutional framework within which the African leaders and other elites in power were attempting to solve the problems of development in Africa was European in origin and, therefore, could not douse the enormity of the crisis of development. As part of the colonial story, some people have also blamed the crisis of development in Africa on slavery and colonialism which, in their view, had serious damaging effects on indigenous structures of economic, social, and political organizations. There is also in contemporary Africa a resurgence of the view that African culture has been a stumbling block to development. Those who subscribe to this view are of the opinion that Africans refuse to adopt a rational approach to economic and sociopolitical organization which, to say the least, is in consonance with a complete lack of critical stance in respect of local values. This paper jettisons the cultural dimensions of development, stressing the indispensability of a people’s culture in any conceivable development process. It looks beyond the colonial story and predicates the crisis of development in Africa on the complicity of African leaders (the State) and lack of consensual value commitment on the part of the citizens. It shows how Ifá as a complete philosophy has the prospect of harmonizing the state and the citizen towards the realization of genuine and meaningful development in Africa.