Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Their Relevance for Sustainable Development: A Case of Southern Africa
This paper discusses Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in the light of their relevance for sustainable development initiatives in Southern Africa. It argues that IKS can be an invaluable alternative to countries in the region that are overly dependent on modern technology in their quest to raise the quality of life of citizens. The main argument of this article is that modernity has not always provided long-lasting solutions in the manner that Africa’s natural resources have been harnessed, supposedly for the benefit of its inhabitants – the Africans. Indeed, the occident is seen in this regard as the main purveyor of an inimical form of modernity on the continent that in effect has failed to arrest Africa’s developmental woes. Many theories imported from the West have not been able to find innovative solutions to Africa’s development dilemmas. In many instances, solutions from this sphere were usually grafted on the African social milieu with no consideration for adaptation at all. Africa has indeed had its share of experi-mentations and it is high time that countries on the continent utilise development theories that incorporate IKS dimensions.