How can indigenous knowledge engender sustainable development in African?

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How can indigenous knowledge engender sustainable development in African society?

How can indigenous knowledge engender sustainable development

How can indigenous knowledge engender sustainable development

Indigenous knowledge, abbreviated as IK; Indigenous knowledge systems cover all aspects of life, including how both the natural and the social environments are managed to enhance the prospects of survival of the indigenous people that generated it. These knowledge systems are accumulated from generations of experiences, observations, and trial-and-error experiments.

Indigenous Knowledge can be defined as the unique and traditional or local knowledge  that  exists and is developed within the context of the specific conditions of the people that are indigenous to a given geographic area.

In a fundamental sense, indigenous knowledge systems are dynamic in the sense that new knowledge is continuously added. They are innovated from within, but they can also internalize  or adapt knowledge from external sources if these are found to be useful for their local situations.

How can indigenous knowledge engender sustainable development

In any traditional community, virtually all members partake of the  indigenous  knowledge existing there, albeit to various degrees. Put differently, the quantity and quality of the IK that individuals possess in a community vary.

Factors that influence this variation include:

  1. Age
  2. Education
  3. Gender
  4. Social and Economic Status
  5. Daily Experiences
  6. Outside Influences
  7. Roles and Responsibilities at home and in the community
  8. Profession
  9. Intellectual Acumen
  10. Level of Curiosity and Observation Skills
  11. Ability to Travel
  12. Level of Autonomy
  13. Access to Natural Resources

IK is usually transmitted through oral means and is preserved in such media as stories, songs, folklores, proverbs, dances, myths, cultural values, beliefs, rituals, community laws, and the local language. Others include agricultural practices, human memories and activities.

How can indigenous knowledge engender sustainable development

Some of the areas of interest in IK are listed and explained below:

  1. Learning Systems: Indigenous methods of imparting knowledge, approaches to innovation and experimentation, and indigenous games;
  2. Systems of Organization, Control and Enforcement: These include traditional Institutions for environmental management, common-property management practices, traditional decision-making processes, conflict-resolution practices, traditional laws, and community controls on harvesting;
  3. Local Classification and Quantification: This consists of a community’s definitions   and classification of phenomena and local flora and fauna; and indigenous methods of counting and quantifying;
  4. Human Health: Traditional nutritional systems; human-disease classification systems; traditional medicine and the use of herbal remedies in treatment of diseases; and the locations of medicinal plants, the proper times for collection, the most useful parts, and the methods for preparing and storing medicines;
  5. Animals and Animal Diseases: Indigenous system of animal breeding and production; traditional fodder and forage species and their specific uses; animal- disease  classification; and traditional ethno-veterinary
  6. Water: Traditional water-management and water-conservation systems, traditional techniques for irrigation, use of specific species for water conservation, and freshwater and saltwater fisheries and aquatic-resource management;
  7. Agriculture: These include soil conservation practices, the use of specific species for soil conservation, soil-fertility enhancement practices,  indigenous  indicators  to  determine favourable times to prepare, plant, and harvest crops, land- preparation practices, indigenous ways to propagate plants, seed storage and processing, indigenous methods of sowing, seedling preparation and care, farming and cropping systems, crop harvesting and storage, food processing and marketing, and pest-management  systems  and plant- protection.

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