An important new book exploring African identity, culture, research and enterprise has been edited by a respected Liverpool Hope University academic.
Rev Dr Tony Bradley is a Lecturer in Business at Hope and a member of the Business School’s Socio-Economic and Applied Research for Change (SEARCH).
He’s both edited and contributed to Afrikology: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Knowledge and Value In Africa, a new book published by Beacon Academic and which forms part of the Insights in Semiotic Economics series.
The publication, authored by African academics Anselm Adodo and Ronnie Lessem, sheds new light on the unique, locally-based economic models of Africa, and how they’re the product of distinct communities and cultures.
And Dr Bradley says that now, more than ever before in an era where Black Lives Matter, it’s crucial the voices of entrepreneurs in Africa are not ‘drowned’ out by the noise of the West.
In the preface of the book, he writes: “The world has yet to wake up to the profound debt which all civilizations owe to Africa, its heritage and, equally, our need to consider and respect its destiny.
“It is in this light - and, of course, for those of us who know and have lived in Africa, it is the antithesis of a dark continent - that this book will illuminate the distinctive cultural contribution of Africa, through what the authors, white and black, European and African residents but, each born from African soil, refer to as Afrikology. Nor is it a single cultural or philosophical thought-form.
“Africa is not a country, of course, it is a continent. It encompasses such diversity as Morocco and Mozambique, Sudan and South Africa, Angola and Algeria.
“Equally, whilst Africa has contributed so much to human thought, culture and economy, it has, also, been the recipient of global movements, from the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome, to modern Europe, the Americas and, latterly, but not insignificantly, China.
“But, it is the hegemonic influence of the Northern and Western worlds over Africa’s Southern and Eastern soul that is the starting-point for this book. Afrikology is born out of the interplay between the communities of its continent, with their unique values and spirituality, and the reasoning and enterprise of its multitudinous peoples.
“Europe does not have a monopoly in thinking and research. America is not the only source of business, economics and markets.”
The book not only gives a new voice to African economic principles and ideas, it also highlights the ancient and modern settings of its culture.
And Dr Bradley says he and the authors are seeking to paint this great continent in a new light, getting to the heart of Africa’s ‘wild drumbeat’.
He explains: “This is not a continent of poverty, malnutrition, disease and economic inequality. Of course, there are some pockets of each of these phenomena in Africa, as there are in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America.
“But, the heart and drumbeat of Africa is to reflect its role as the origination and the end-steward of civilization. Through Afrikology we see beyond the superficial Western concerns of ‘cancel culture’ and appropriation, to dig deep into the soil of human society and unearth the African universe of solidarity and relationship. ‘Ubuntu: I am because we are’.
“It is a wild drumbeat that the world desperately needs to hear. And thanks to Lessem and Adodo its persistent rhythm is able to be more acutely heard.”
The book is published now. For more details head here.